Do you like art deco, white tiles and Victoriana? Your dream restaurant might just have opened in a former newsagents on Oldham Street. The word ‘fress’ is a Yiddish word meaning something along the lines of ‘to eat in a gluttonous way’. It’s one of those words that sounds like it means – and while the food at Fress hasn’t got us whipped into a frenzy just yet, the vibe is promising. There are two menus: brunch and dinner. The former includes gourmet fry ups, baked eggs with a chorizo and tomato stew, burgers and sandwiches (all around the £8 mark). By night things take a turn for the Ottolenghi. Bar snacks – padron peppers, grilled octopus – are joined by starters such as chicken liver pate, avocado hummus and ‘hankerchief pasta’ (basically a big sheet of the stuff) served with nutmeg and almond pesto (all £4-7). Mains include beetroot and chilli spatzle, crispy lamb belly, seafood risotto and a stuffed squid salad with whipped feta, priced up to a very reasonable £14. Marble-topped tables, vintage-print tiles and glass lanterns are conducive to a relaxing lunch. I had the baked eggs (£8) which were light on egg and heavy on chorizo; there was about 500g of the densely piquant sausage, packed into a well-balanced  tomato stew. A side order of sourdough is marred by a slick of chorizo oil. Either way, it’s sweetly satisfying and makes a change from the ubiquitous shakshuka. The Reuben sandwich (£9.50) comes with perfect fries and not quite enough pastrami. So far, so ok. The Bloody Mary (£7) is a watery disappointment – I suggest taking a peek at the Refuge’s goldfish bowl sized creation for inspiration. The dragon flower tea (£4.50) works a treat. Other drinks include a list of US and Euro beers, lagers and wines and more cocktails. Watch this space for an evening review to follow.

Now open: Fress, 62 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE. Tel: 0161 236 0856,

Thu 20 Jul
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Thu 20 Jul 2017