Flawd

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Flawd

Flawd comes from the mighty culinary minds behind Higher Ground, the much-praised, award-winning restaurant over on New York Street in Manchester city centre. Flawd, meanwhile, is based in New Islington, just over the bridge from Ancoats, and since opening in 2021 has rightly become a source of pride for locals. Ask anyone in the nearby bars and cafés for the best place to eat, not just nearby, but in Manchester, and Flawd will make a strong showing. 

Ostensibly a wine bar, there’s a small food prep area just behind the busy bar, and while the place itself isn’t big by any means, it never feels rushed or stressful. The staff have things honed so it runs like a dream, and it’s hugely impressive to witness. 

Nowhere else in the city is making small plates like these. Dishes change all the time, according to sourcing, season and perhaps even for the hell of it, so you’ll see the day’s options scribbled out on a blackboard behind the bar. And for all you sustainable diners, it’s worth noting that many ingredients on the Flawd menu come from their own garden – this isn’t just local dining, it’s hyper-local. 

At our mid-February visit, that means dishes like the green sprout salad, merged with parsley, toasted sourdough crumb and chunks of preserved lemon. It’s a bright, crunchy dish with fresh flavours that blend beautifully, undoubtedly opening eyes to the power of raw ingredients. This is vegan/vegetarian dining in excelsis – original, surprising and delicious. The next time you see a hoary old nut roast, or the perennial goats cheese on a menu, think back to this.

Then there’s the plate of winter brassicas, made with a wonderfully meaty mushroom sauce, then topped with paper-thin slices of raw mushroom and lighter-than-air pork dust.

The Garstang blue rarebit is elite-tier cheese on toast. The tangy cheese comes melted deep into the thick slab of grilled bread, topped with mustard leaves, tarragon oil and tiny purple slivers of sauerkraut. Heavenly.

Then, naturally, the (natural) wine. The staff have a galaxy brain knowledge of all the colours of the wine rainbow (our recommendation: the orange), and after a couple of glasses, there isn’t a wine in the place you won’t want to try. Quality is paramount, yet it never feels like an exclusive club, or stuffy and scholastic – Flawd make drinking wine fun and pleasure-focused, as it should be.

The name Flawd is a misnomer. Watching the chefs behind the bar carefully crafting each item is like watching artists at work. From wine to food, everything here is built upon a set of ideas, principles and standards that few venues can match.

9 Keepers QuayManchesterM4 6GL View map
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Opening Hours

  • Wednesday5:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Thursday5:00pm - 11:30pm
  • Friday4:00pm - 12:00am
  • Saturday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Sunday12:00pm - 10:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

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