Brickworks, 48 Barton Square, Manchester, M3 2BH – Visit Now
Review by Chris Patrick
The space underneath Barton Arcade is about to be opened as a venue. For this preview, courtesy of Just Eat, I wandered down several flights of stairs, lined with candles and incense, into a cellar of vaulted archways where people offer you free Prosecco refills (I, of course, stuck with one but greatly appreciated the offer).
There was perhaps a hint of Eyes Wide Shut, making a change from the usual Clockwork Orange
Ambient music floated through the crowds. There was perhaps a hint of Eyes Wide Shut but this is Manchester and it makes a change from the usual Clockwork Orange. Droogs outside, Sophistos in.
The event was to promote some high-end takeaway food being brought to the city by Just Eat. The providers were Dirty Bones, who specialise in NY inspired comfort food; Bird, who are fried chicken and waffle experts; Buns & Bao from Miami, offering Taiwanese-inspired Bao buns; and (not to be confused) Buns & Buns, who combine the Bao bun with global flavours.
Marks have been awarded here for the free Just Eat goody bag containing all the factual information I needed to write this review plus some mints, a notebook and a bottle opener. Free wine was also provided to each table.
One of the interesting things about the evening was that, gathered there in the basement, were a load of other people who presumably like to order food online. Usually, when doing this your dinner partners are anonymous. This night I was perhaps the least glamorous diner, but there’s no great surprise; you’ll be glad to know I wasn’t in the form I typically take when ordering food online.
Adam, the area manager for Just Eat in Manchester, and a natural showman, compered the evening, getting the crowd in the mood for food, whilst The Rush played various Manchester standards. You don’t get Monteverdi at an event like this and so who cares.
The chicken wings were deep and tender and came willingly off the bone
On to the food. The mac and cheese balls broke apart, loads of chives, a fine crumbly crust. Pasta in bread? My old-world sensibilities didn’t know what to make of it. It was very nice. The chicken wings were deep and tender and came willingly off the bone, and the blue cheese sauce they came with was refreshing. The corn fritters were a good snack.
Whilst I scribbled others Instagrammed around me. Some even had portable lighting rigs. It’s a good job I don’t show up on film. I remarked to someone beside me, if it tasted great now, it would taste even better if you were hung over. Let’s be honest: this is the point of online food, and with this high-end stuff that point was admirably made.
For the mains, the Salvadorean Cabbage Slaw was vibrant and zesty – a more alive food than you’d normally expect from a takeaway. The Thai Bun, steamed and stuffed with battered prawns, was great: fluffy, salty-sweet, it was the best thing on the menu. So the Bun won, but there were also some burgers which were great too, made of real meat.
Dessert was a Killer Chocolate Brownie. There was just enough bite on the outside and it was warm, thick and soft on the inside, really an ideal brownie, served with a fresh and tangy sauce.
So if you’ve been out to a great venue last night and woken up feeling like a battered prawn – just go online and order one.
Full menus can be found by downloading the Just Eat app or ordering online at www.just-eat.co.uk.
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