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Apr 19, 2010 04:13 PM

Hound refugee in Manchester/york needs recs

I just returned from a decent meal at Red chilis thnks to your recommendations (Beijing dumplings, mixed hot pot were both very good.) Due to volcanic ash I am spending an unexpected week in Manchester and York at the end of a two week vacation in the Lake Dist and Scotland. I was generally happy with food we encountered. Beautiful setting at the Mustard Seed in Inverness, unfortunately I think my duck brast/ pheasant combo was a little dry. Outstanding meals at First Coast in Edinburgh and unexpected good fortune in finding The Gilded Lily in Carlisle. I enjoyed the scenery and the fish and chips at the Chippy next to the Seaforth in Ullapool. Sampled smoked haddock from the Victorian Market in Inverness, numerous samples of haggis and black pudding. Love your bacon. In Manchester I had the lamb shank at the waldorf during the City v Man United game and fish and chips at a place in the shambles.

I make go back to Red Chilis for the fried whole fish I saw served.

In York I tried one of the hog roast sandwiches but skipped the Sunday Roast at the Evil Eye. Since I hope to return home this coming Sunday I may have missed my only chance to have a Sunday Roast. What the heck is a Sunday Roast anyway and should I go out of my wy to have one if I return.

Any recommendations you have are welcome. Does the Marble Arch still have good food?

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  1. Hi, I never saw your original post, but when I saw the title of this, I immediately thought to recommend you to visit Red Chilli!

    They have branches in York and Manchester (and Leeds, which is where I am currently based).

    If you are going for a fish dish, I'd say the finest by far is the 'pan fried sea bass with garlic heart, mushroom and bamboo shoot'.

    Not only I, but several other diners that I've been with, including mainland Chinese people, have said this is the best fish dish there! If for any reason this doesn't appeal, there's a dish of seabass fillet peices poached in a spicy broth with Chinese cabbage underneath and dried chilli and crushed sichuan pepper on top.. it's called "shui zhu yu" (pronounced "shway jew you" ) in Mandarin, but I can't remember the English name! (or 'La zi yu' is a similar dish they might have).

    Other than that, 'ma po dou fu' (pock marked mother Chen's beancurd - minced beef cooked with soft chunks of tofu in a chilli and sichuan pepper flavoured sauce) is excellent, shredded potato with red pepper is good, and I recommend the "beancurd, vegetables and vermicelli claypot" as a great dish for helping you manage all the other chilli laden dishes! Its a soup dish with rice noodles, fried beancurd chunks and chinese cabbage; very soothing :)

    For a good meat dish "la zi ji" (I think it's called 'aromatic diced chicken with chilli' on the menu is great; with or without batter (I actually prefer the battered version, served amongst a pile of chillis and sichuan peppercorns from which you pluck the pieces to eat! Anyway, hope that all helps, and hope this reply isn't a few days too late :P

    I don't know the restaurants in those cities to make any other recommendations sadly, but good luck with your food hunt!

    1. "I make go back to Red Chilis"

      Or try "Red & Hot" just round the corner in Chinatown. Better IMO.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        Thanks for the input. I did go to Marble Arch and was quite impressed. Best black pudding (served as an appetizer) I've had so far and the three ales including the ginger flavored one were excellent. I met a longtime regular who related the story of removal of plaster covering the magnificent tile work in the pub . Another pub and real ale fan from Bristol was there who never passes an opportunity to visit the Marble Arch when he is in Manchester. I am back in the US thanks to a standby flight but thoroughly enjoyed my experiences in Manchester. I even brought a bag of Whatsits home for a manchester native here in Baltimore.

          1. re: Harters

            Thanks for the correction. No matter how you spell it they still seem like styrofoam. My wife loves the cheese curls (similar) here but I have never been a fan of them. It is interesting how people have a favorite taste or item that reminds them of home.

            1. re: baltimorejim

              "No matter how you spell it they still seem like styrofoam."

              Agreed :-0

              Glad you enjoyed your visit to our region.