Gareth had booked this restaurant for our groups Friday evening meal. With around 20 people, who have different tastes (and appetites) this was a good choice, especially with it being a set price (£14.99 for Friday Evening - November 2013) - check website for other prices
Previously, we've eaten at Chinese 'All You Can Eat' Buffets. Red Hot Buffet offers cuisine from China as well as Japan, India, Thailand, Italy, England and Mexico.
Well this was certainly a popular place! It is a large, quite stylish venue - at least two floors, and as far as I could see it was nearly full. I'm not a huge fan of these buffet places usually, but I enjoy the company at our VT meets! This place is ideal for groups, although the long tables mean that you can't chat to those more than a few seats away. We entered the restaurant by a flight of stairs. I'm not sure if there is alternative access for wheelchair users or those with mobility/respiratory problems.
Children under 10 eat for half price. I was quite amused to see the children at the next table completely absorbed with their smart phones/ tablets.
Our waitress explained that we had to use the upstairs bar to order our drinks. Then that we could go to the buffet as many times as we wanted. After each course you left your empty plate on the table and this was quickly removed. Apparently the time limit is 1.30 hours to 'Eat as much as you want'. The bar had a selection of wines, beers and spirits and served cocktails as well as soft drinks.
So....... The Buffet Hall is quite large, with numerous displays of hot and cold delicacies. Most are labelled. Stations are arranged in the various cuisines, with chefs cooking some dishes to order. At the far end are desserts, which include a chocolate fountain, ice creams, cakes and hot puddings such as apple crumble.
I picked a plate and selected a few starters - some of these were quite creative! I also had a wander round to see what else was available, ready for Round 2!
All of the food was quite tasty, the hot food was hot and the cold dishes appropriately chilled.
The staff were on hand to replenish empty pots - I was pleased to see that they removed these, before returning with a new full pot. I've seen where some places, where they just top up the half empty containers with fresh food - Yeukk!
I selected a few Indian dishes for my main meal - and added a few other pieces from the Oriental selection. I realised when I was getting full, that I'd missed the crispy duck pancakes :-(
I managed to squeeze in a selection of light desserts - avoiding the lurid blue ice cream!
Although the buffet was busy, you didn't have to jostle to get to the food.
Would I eat here again? Yes, if in a group. I wouldn't feel comfortable eating here by myself, though I think I spotted some couples eating at small tables on the floor above us.
All in All, the food that I ate was tasty and of good quality and I enjoyed it far more than I anticipated.
Slattery's is a famous cake and chocolate shop in Manchester which specialises in hand making birthday & wedding cakes to order.Technically Slattery's is located in Bury but it is not difficult to get there by bus so I thought it would be nice to add this review to the Manchester page, I guess it is off the beaten path and not a lot of people who visit Manchester would think about going here. English celebrities often get their celebratory cakes made by Slattery. Downstairs is a chocolate store where you can buy a variety of different kinds of chocolates, truffles and sweet goods. Upstairs is Slattery's restaurant where you can eat.
The only problem with the restaurant area is that because it is not a large area, it can get quite noisy. Lunch time and weekends do tend to get quite busy. If the restaurant is full when you arrive you are given a key fod which will vibrate and flash when your table is ready, so I would recommend that you go to the restaurant first and see if you have a table and if there isn't one ready you can browse the shop downstairs until your table becomes free.
Monday to Friday: 9.00 - 5:30
(Breakfast goods served till 11:30am
last orders in coffee shop 4.00pm)
Saturday: 9.00 - 4:30
(last orders in coffee shop 3.00pm)
Favorite Dish: My favourite thing from the Slattery menu is the "Slattery's world famous hot chocolate". You get a clear glass that has been lined with chocolate and sugar, filled with hot foamed milk with a slattery's chocolate coin on top. You mix in all the chocolate and it tastes like heaven on a spoon! It is quite expensive at £4.00 for glass but it does taste delicious.
They also a variety of cakes, tarts, Sundaes and for those who prefer savoury, they serve salads, sandwiches and lasagne.
This has been a popular place for VT meets, as Gillybob has booked this place for Friday nights, before her Annual Manchester Christmas Markets VT meet, or when VTers are in town, such as tini58de. There are some good bars/ heritage pubs nearby for after (or before) your meal
Buffet City has branches in Manchester and Chester - Chinese and Oriental dishes.
So, we arrived here at around 1900 hrs, and were shown to our table in a room off the main hall. This place was quite busy with works parties, families, couples etc.
Drinks orders were taken (not cheap, but probably to compensate for the cheap food) Gilly and I shared a bottle of wine (£13.90).
Then we had free rein of the buffet tables. There are over 60 starters/ mains/desserts to chose from - you can eat as little or as much as you want-return to stock up your plate whenever you want to.
I missed out on the soup, and went for starters of pork ribs, crispy seaweed (deep fried cabbage) and parcels of meat and seafood with satay sauce dip. My next venture was for crispy duck pancakes with spring onions/cucumber and hoisin sauce.
Then it was onto mains, when I probably over faced myself with my selection- I had an adequate portion, then discovered the Thai selection, which tipped me over the top. (Check the website below for menu choices)
There was a debate on the table as to the best way to tackle the courses- Evans was to eat as much as you could quickly, before your body realised how much you'd eaten. Gilly's was to wait a while, then try again. My plan turned out to be between these two.
I still managed to squeeze in a dessert of coconut flavoured algar jelly on Gilly's recommendation!
Apparently you are entitled to 1.30 hours of seating and eating! I think we went over this time limit. At one point we had eaten plenty and were taking a breather, and we were waiting for Ricky and Sheila to arrive.
It was quite hot, but the air con/fans were turned up high. Before long it was getting a bit chilly, and we were reaching for our jackets/jumpers etc.
A waitress had appeared at the entrance to our room. Ricky and Sheila arrived, and.... the fans were turned off. Think the cold air is a way of moving people out! So bring layers!
Open 7 Days a Week for lunch and dinner Buffets
Mon - Thurs 11.30 - 18.00 (£5.50) and 18.00 - 22.30 (£8.90)
Fri-Sat 11.30 - 18.00 (£5.50) and 18.00 - 23.30 (£9.90)
Sunday - 11.30 - 22.30 (£6.80)
Lunch customers must leave before 18.30
Students and over 60's (10% discount (food only) with ID).
Under 2's eat free.
Under 8's and less than 132cm eat 1/2 price (food only)
Cheques NOT Accepted. There is a Nat West a few metres away with an ATM.
I'm not usually a fan of these 'Eat as much as you can for cheap' but I enjoyed this evening-Think it was more to do with the company!! The food was good though!
UPDATE..... I ate here again recently-another VT meet! It cost £11 for the buffet this time.
The place was full, and quite noisy-we were in the main room this time, within easy reach of the buffet!
Favorite Dish: My favourite dishes are the starters, and the crispy duck pancakes (which I could eat all night)!!
Again, I had to finish with the coconut algae jelly.
This was the venue for our VT meet to welcome MalenaN to Manchester, chosen for its location and reasonable prices.
This branch of Missoula, was previously known as Edwards. Another branch can be found in Deansgate.
There are Missoulas scattered around England, plus one in Cardiff and Glasgow (I later realised that I'd eaten at the one in Glasgow the previous year)
Easily spotted, with its double fronted plate glass windows and colourful entrance.
On 2 levels (with disabled access) and a rooftop terrace, with seating and patio heaters.
Contemporary fittings and furnishings, with glass, chrome and reclaimed wood, subdued lighting.
Both floors offer a mix of seating areas - tables with high stools or low tables and comfy chairs, sofas etc.
Well stocked bar on the ground floor, where you also order your food.
Open for breakfast, then last order for food is 22.00hrs.
Unobtrusive background music. Some nights there is live music, or DJ's though.
We decided to sit in the upper mezzanine floor, to spot others arriving. We later moved downstairs, as food was only served here when downstairs was full. (This was Monday night, so the clientele were mainly people dropping by after work, or meeting up with friends for a drink)
There are some good Special Offers on the menu - Monday night was Buy a Main meal, get one free! Also, order a Pizza after 17.00 hrs and get a free drink. See the website for other offers/menu etc.
We voted to go with the BOGOF! As there were 7 of us, we decided to split the bill equally, but when we placed our order, the barman pointed out that we were entitled to another free meal!
Note your table number before ordering.
All in All, a good place for our group to meet up for a few drinks, a meal and a chat.
If you look out for the daily special offers, you can eat very cheaply, so good for anyone on a budget.
Mon - Thurs 10am - Midnight
Fri 10am - 1am
Sat 8am - 1am
Sun 8am - 12am
Favorite Dish: Myself and Alyson chose gammon (7oz) with fried egg (an alternative was pineapple) and 'shoestring fries' - (French fries)! (for an extra 50p you could have curly fries instead) (£5.95)
Three chose 'BBQ Smothered Chicken' -"Chicken breast topped with melted Swiss Cheese, sweet cured streaky bacon and BBQ sauce - served with shoestring fries and peas" (£6.25) 2 opted for Chicken Burritos, but these were 'off the menu' so they opted for lasagne, served with garlic herb bread and dressed salad (£5.50)
We chose macaroni cheese, served with garlic herb bread and lettice with dressing as our 'extra free meal' to share as a side dish.
When divided between us, this came to the grand price of £3.50 each!!
I enjoyed my meal, although my gammon was a bit dry, so I was glad of the macaroni cheese to 'liven it up' a bit.
The smell and taste of Mulled Wine (Gluewein) is one of my favourite Manchester Christmas Markets experiences.
It warms you up, and has a feel good factor!
Here at the Manchester Christmas markets, you are served your hot mulled wine in a mug. For this you pay a £2 deposit, so you can keep your mug as a souvenir, or hand it back and re-claim your £2.
If you keep your mug, you can get it re-filled at any of the stalls serving mulled wine throughout the days/ nights of November/ December that the Christmas Markets are open.
Since 2008, I've tried many variations of mulled wine, sometimes with fruit flavourings- cherry or raspberry or with added rum.
I've also amassed a collection of 'Manchester Christmas Markets mugs' - as the design changes each year now, they make a useful souvenir.
After 3 years of trying. Gillybob secured us tables in this historic restaurant for our 2009 VT Manchester Christmas Markets meet .
The building known as the Wellington Inn has existed since 1552 , Though at that time it was situated in the Market Place and Shambles. It is now the oldest building in Manchester.
About 17 of us met up outside the pub at 1600hrs, after a day strolling around the Christmas Markets.
We were directed to the upper floor (Byron's Attic), where tables were reserved for us. We had to duck under low beams to enter the room-Hey, I'm a shortie, and even I had to duck under! I sat at a table for 2 with leics- it was a bit of a tight squeeze.
We had to place our food orders at the bar on the floor below. There was quite a fair sized queue with us VTers and other customers. It gave me a chance to decide which of the draught guest Real Ales I wanted (pic 2) I went for the Cornish Doom-Bar- which I enjoyed with my choice of Sausages and Mashed potato with gravy.
The Wellington is famed for its pies-I nearly opted for the Game Pie, which Gareth recommended, but decided to go with the snorkers and Mash. I enjoyed my 3 sausages and fluffy mashed (creamed) potatoes, but would have preferred then to have been grilled/baked/fried so they had a sticky/caramelized outer from a slow cooking - this is just a small criticism, because I still enjoyed them.
The food arrived after a decent interval, it was hot and well presented.
While we were waiting for our food, photos were taken and post cards signed in VT Meet tradition.
UPDATE - November 2011, This was our venue again for our Christmas Market Meet. Since my last visit, this is now part of the Nicholsons pub chain Noted for their traditional pubs with character, plus good quality food, wide selection of beers and 'Good Hospitality'
This time, we were seated at a couple of long tables. Our waitress was excellent - Rather than have the nightmare of sorting out the bill at the end of the meal, she organised for us to have separate bills - each of us being assigned a number for this purpose. She then took our drinks order - this was far easier for us (and other customers) than if we'd all trailed down to the small bar on the floor below. Our food was nicely presented - I was very pleased with mine.
Yes, we ate here again in 2012!!
I'd certainly recommend eating here, although it can be very busy in the bars and beer garden,especially during the Christmas Markets. Also, the dining room is up 2 flights of stairs, so may be difficult for those with mobility/breathing problems.
For diners -the ladies toilets (2 cubicles) are on the 2nd floor (Gents are on the 3rd floor - Dining room )
Favorite Dish: I was going to go for one of the pies, but opted for their smoked hadock rarebit. I was really pleased with this - piping hot moist fish on a bed of potatoes, peas and asparagus with a lemon sauce - Mmmmmmm! Washed down with a pint of Thwaites Wainwright draught bitter.
Total bill £12.80
Wandering around the European Christmas Market, after enjoying a warming cup of mulled wine and a bratwurst sandwich, I enjoyed the smells from the other food stalls.
One of the popular stalls was a hog roast - where hot roast pork is served with stuffing and apple sauce (help yourself from the nearby dispenser) sandwiched between a soft bread roll.Try to get a piece of crackling for added yumminess!
Another stall, which I think was French sold a traditional hot dish of bacon mushrooms, potatoes, garlic and onions in cream, another pot held potatoes in a sauce.
For those with a sweet tooth- Gingerbread, pastries, chocolate, marzipan etc. were in abundance!
As well as mulled wine, mulled cider, and mulled fruit (non alcoholic), hot chocolate laced with a nip of rum or a variety of European lagers and cold beer was available. The beer garden is open 'til 2100hours.
I'd meant to buy some of the plump olives that I'd spotted earlier, but got side-tracked.
Favorite Dish: I especially enjoy the Hog Roast, bratwursts and the French dishes.
I'm hoping to try the Manchester Egg this year.
The food is all of a good quality, priced around £4/£5 per portion.
I suppose that many come to the annual Manchester Christmas Markets to shop for gifts, but the attraction for me was to try the bratwursts and mulled wine.
The Manchester European Christmas Market is one of 9 sites around Manchester, that make up The Manchester Christmas Markets, and is open 10.00 - 2100hrs (15th Nov - 22nd December 2013)
MAP & DIRECTIONS
Over the past few years, visiting European food markets has become a popular attraction in towns and cities in the UK. I love visiting the one in Sheffield - though I spend far more than I intend each time!
The Manchester Christmas market had a nice atmosphere- it wasn't too crowded at my first visit in 2009, so was quite easy to walk around. It was very cold though- so wrap up warmly! The stalls were attractively arranged in the traditional styled wooden chalets. Christmas music was being played by small groups sitting outside the Town Hall (I felt so sorry for them sitting in the cold)
Food from Germany, Austria, Spain, Holland and France were just a few of the stalls that I saw.
The aromas from the stalls were tormenting me, I had to try something! A mulled wine and a bratwurst roll were calling me!
Bratwursts are thought to have originated in Germany . Brat= finely chopped meat + Wurst = Sausage.
They are usually pork, beef or veal (or a mix of these meats) and are grilled or roasted, but can also be served in a variety of ways including cooking in beer. Mustard is one of the usual accompaniments. Sauerkraut and potatoes are sometimes served.
There are many variations on the size and recipe of the bratwurst, many are regional dishes.
Mulled Wine - Again there are many varieties and recipes. Mulled = heated and spiced! This dates back to medieval times, when it was often drunk for medicinal reasons. Wine was more available than water often, but was sometimes too rough to drink. It was discovered that ading spices fruit and honey, and heating it made a pleasant drink
I usually prefer red wine mulled, but you can use white wine too. Other ingredients include water, fruit juices, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and oranges. Some add a nip of brandy too! You can use any cheap wine. Mulled wine is also available in the shops in bottles or in 'teabags' or muslin bags to add to the wet ingredients.
Gluhwein (Glow wine) from Germany, Vin Chaud (France) Vin Brule (Italy) are all names for this warming drink. In Germany a shot of Schnapps may be served as a chaser.
Scandinavian Glog has an addition of raisins and almonds.
Favorite Dish: I enjoyed a cup of hot, spicy and alcohol laden mulled wine, which was a lot stronger than I'd anticipated! I paid £3 for the wine and £2 for the cup - which you could keep or return to collect your £2 deposit
I was glad of my bratwurst served in a bread roll (£4) to soak up the mulled wine! The stall that we purchased the wine from was serving 2 different varieties of sausage- a plain pork, or a spicy version. I opted for the spicy one, while Margaret went with the plain version. These were topped with lashings of tomato ketchup and a mild mustard.
There were small tables nearby to stand at.
There are also stalls to purchase a variety of sausages, bratwursts, salami etc to eat at home.
Another favourite stall in Albert Square, is The Hog Roast .......
Saturday late afternoon, Manchesters bars and restaurants were full. Luckily Gillybob soon arranged for a table for the 17 VTers who were attending her Christmas Markets 2009 VT Meet at The Hard Rock Cafe.
As our table wasn't ready yet, we enjoyed a drink in the bar. Gillybob was given a device that would vibrate when our table was ready. This Hard Rock Cafe is the largest in the UK with seating for up-to 430 diners.
We were seated at a long table, where we could chat, take photos, sign post cards etc while waiting for our food. The young waiters were very patient and efficient. One was rewarded with a VT badge from Gillybob, after he'd been interested in what VT was all about. Dao even managed to parade his VT flag without trouble! (see my Travelogues for more photos)
This world wide known establishment opened here in September 2000. The Hard Rock Cafe is known for its American influenced food and drinks served amongst a background of Rock memorabillia, donated by musical greats past and present or found in auctions etc.. Music videos are played on various screens.
This was my 2nd visit to a Hard Rock Cafe (my first was in Bath,where I'd been excited to see one of Clarence Clemons saxaphones- The E-Street Band are one of my favourite groups)
Many of the legends from the Manchester music scene are represented here - Oasis, The Smiths, Stone Roses etc. As I'm from Sheffield, I was surprised to see a plaque that commemorated The Arctic Monkeys non appearance at the 2007 Brit awards. Instead they were linked by video from Sheffield. Some of the costumes that they wore for their acceptance speech are displayed in glass cabinets above the sign.
Around the bar are words from Oasis's 'Wonderwall'
There's also a shop to buy HRC gifts and CD's. The Hard Rock Cafe organisation is known for its philanthropic acts- donating vast amounts to various local, national and International charities. Their present projects involve fighting hunger and poverty and supporting World Hunger Year (WHY?) and the 'Imagine there's no hunger' campaign. You can buy charity goods or give donations at the Rock Shop
Click here for more info on Manchester Hard Rock Cafe
Mon - Fri 12:00PM - 12:00AM
Sat - Sun 11:30AM to 12:00AM
Fri - Sat till 2:00AM
Sunday till 12:00AM
Mon - Sun 12:00PM - 12:00AM
I've just found out that the next HRC is to open in Venice on 18th December - So maybe I'll call in for a drink during my Christmas Visit. I'll probably not eat there this time though, as I'll be filling my face with local produce.
Favorite Dish: The menu is geared towards Quality American food such as burgers and steaks - all good quality, with large portions. (Click onto the link above for a sample menu) .
I decided to miss the starter and chose a salad -
The Honey Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad at £9.95 sounded delicious - and it was!
"Fresh cut greens tossed with sweet red onions, grilled cajun chicken tossed with a honey citrus dressing.Topped with fresh orange segments, spiced pecans, red pepper strips, sweetened dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles" (See picture ) This was a great place for a large group to eat ( especially as we hadn't pre- booked).
The food was good, well presented and my salad was cold, while the chicken was warm, which I was quite impressed with as the place was very busy.
My friend and I had dinner there after we had seen 'A Doll's House' at the Royal Exchange House. I love the coffee at Costa so I was happy to one. I had a tomato and mozzarella pasta salad and was followed by an Eton Mess Muffin which both were very nice. I also had a Peppermint tea which was a nice change to my usual coffee. It cost around about 7.10 gbp (June 2013).
Favorite Dish: I usually love their coffees and pastry goodies :)
The Siam Orchid, located in Chinatown was the first Thai restaurant in Manchester, and is still serving the most authentic Thai food in the city! This is a great little restaurant on Portland Street, and the food here is sure to leave you wanting more. My first visit here was the night before i left for university, after my family had been saying for a long time that they would have to take me.
My father visited the restaurant with my grandparents for his 21st birthday, and the then owner had ordered some prawn crackers especially for the occasion from Hong Kong, and my grandfather still maintains that they were the best he has ever tasted.
This place is certainly high up on the list of the best restaurants in Manchester.
Favorite Dish: Everything from this restaurant is fantastic, and I really cannot fault it, and the only bad thing that ever happened was simply my own fault (watch out for whole chillis in the hot and sour soup! Speaking from experience, you will be in agony if you eat one by accident and it will ruin the rest of your meal!)
Having said that, the Hot and Sour soup is delicious, as are the spare ribs.
We usually order form the set menu, and change one or two dishes, as we always find it so difficult to decide what to eat here!
If you have time when passing through Piccadilly station why not stop by Carluccio's Cafe up on the first floor! If you don't have time for food why not just have a coffee from there range of traditional and fancy Italian coffees and if its before 12:00 then they are only £1!! yes thats cheaper than Ritazza, The mayfield or the new sports bar that opened a couple of months ago and the quality is far higher. If you have time you can always have a pastry as well and that will only cost you £2 with a coffee in the mornings, I recently had a Croissant and it was the best i have ever tasted, lovely and fresh and served with a friendly smile which is great at 08:40 in the morning, if you don't have time to sit down or not hungry just yet you can even pick up a packed lunch to eat on the train, In fact you don't even have to be going on a train to visit you could even visit especially just for lunch or dinner.
The food is really really good,
And there is a small shop that you can buy some selected items from! (there is a much larger shop at the spinning fields cafe!
But the food....
Really good, just go!
Why are you still reading this? get to Carluccio's!!
Oh and the Staff are really friendly and helpful!
Favorite Dish: All of it!
The Bank is another on of those great Nicholsons classic pubs, one of two in Manchester the other being the Old Wellington.
It's a great pub and like all of Nicholson's Pubs the service, drinks and food are all first class. Nicholson's are reputed for their distinctive buildings with intriguing history and the Bank is probably one of the most interesting. Originally it was the Portico Library It was conceived in 1803 by a group of businessmen and built from stone in a neo-classical style.
The library and newsroom opened in 1806
The Ground floor did eventually become a bank but the Portico Library still survives upstairs. The entrance is at the side of the pub.
Service is always friendly and quick, It can get very busy though.
Monday to Thursday: 10:00 - 23:30
Friday to Saturday: 10:00 - 00:30
Sunday: 10:00 - 23:30
Food is served : 10:00 - 22:00
A fine array of pre-match traditional fare can be found in this busy establishment.
Chips, peas and gravy is the usual for me, althouigh i used to add the additional meat pudding to the order, but it can be a bit of a belly buster.
This Manchester chippy has been going for years, and is named after Lou Macari, the Scottish midfielder who graced the red shirt of Manchester United between 1973–1984. He made 400 appearances for the club, scoring 98 goals.
There are stories that he still has something to do with the ownership of this shop, but of that I couldn't be sure...tasty chips though.
This is a recent addition to the restaurants that are springing up over the ship canal canal in Media City.
It's a good place for pre Old Trafford meal as the service is fast paced.
The food is always fresh and tasty and so it makes a healthy alternative to chips, peas and gravy.
Favorite Dish: the menus is that usual stuff for the restaurant chain. It's Japanese food by way of noodles and soup with noodles.
The last time I visited the restaurant I was feeling brave and so went for the "firecracker".
Tender marinated chicken breast or prawns stir-fried
with mangetout, red hot chillies, red and green
peppers, spring and white onions in a fiery sweet
and hot sauce. served with steamed white rice and
garnished with shichimi, sesame seeds and lime
It was nice and hot ... beautiful.
Whatever you want to eat you will find it in Manchester, From Chinese street food to Michelin starred it's all here!
You can see what are supposed to be some of the best here