Hidden within an unassuming lot in Redbank, an area that’s quickly become something of a haven for great food and booze, you’ll find The Sparrows.

A mysterious, yet welcoming little nook juxtaposed by the industrial railway arches that it’s built into. First impressions through the door feel very much like you’ve stepped out of the cold and into someone’s cosy little front room.

A front room packed with carbs, and cheese, and all those other things you associate with pure, unadulterated comfort.

An eclectic mismatch of Polish, German, Austrian and Italian staples, combined with delightful arrays of globetrotting wines and Japanese Sake—Sparrows encapsulates everything that is so great about Manchester; a willingness to not just embrace new cultures, but to wholeheartedly grab them with both hands and welcome them firmly as one of our own.

Despite not being a necessarily huge food menu, it covers a dazzling array of delicacies and from what was tried, does so in stunning, faultless fashion.

First up, Spätzle; irregularly shaped pasta made with fresh eggs and in this case, tossed in chorizo, cherry tomato, spinach and cream—a very solid choice. A side of focaccia for mopping up leftover sauce is an absolute must here.

Next, Pierogi; hand-made cottage cheese and potato dumplings fried up and served with a dollop of sour cream that’s just the right level of tang to compliment—but not mask—any of the goodness in these flavour-packed parcels.

Finally, the Smoked Sausage—a personal highlight. Sitting on a heap of sauerkraut, braised onion and with a mustard dipping pot, the contrast of sour and smoke make this a prime example of less being more—a painfully simple dish, but one that manages to squeeze out every last ounce of flavour. Get this ordered early, as it does take a little time to prep—but my God, it’s worth the wait.

Hearty, homely and in general, just an incredibly lovely place to pull up a chair. It’s a unique dining experience that feels closer to a warm embrace than a sit-down meal, that long-awaited hug with an old friend you haven’t seen for a while. Drink it all in folks, it’s special.

Fri 22 Oct
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Wed 20 Oct 2021