T’Arricrii, Hatch, Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7ED – Visit Now
T’Arricrii is one of the newer members of the ever-growing and endlessly interesting Hatch family. This food stall is ran by Sicilian brothers Romeo and Riccardo Rizzo, who specialise in food from that self-same small but highly-influential island.
The two key items on the menu are arancini and cannoli – both staples of the Sicilian diet. You’ll likely have tried both before, but not like this.
First up, the arancini. You’ll likely know these as those little risotto rice balls, often served as a small plate or starter. At T’Arricrii they’re the main deal. A huge, ostrich-egg shaped dome of deep-fried breadcrumbs opens up to reveal the rice and your filling of choice – in my case, ham and cheese.
The Rizzo brothers are all about authenticity and spreading the word about Sicilian cuisine
They’re quite something – big and hearty, and more delicately-flavoured than those over-salted little balls you’ll find over here. The Rizzo brothers are all about authenticity and spreading the word about the cuisine from their island – this is a labour of love.
Having said that, devouring a full arancini is no mean feat, and you’re unlikely to eat more than one, or even half of these calorific monsters.
But there’s always room for dessert, and the Sicilian cannoli is arguably even more of a draw than the arancini. For the unaware, this is a tube-shaped Italian pastry, fried and packed with a sweet, creamy ricotta cheese. One end has almonds sprinkled on it, the other flakes of cocoa. It’s a stunning dessert, one that crunches apart with one bite, squirting the sugary filling everywhere. All the flavours are perfectly balanced, and while I’m rarely swayed by promises of ‘authenticity’, this dessert doesn’t need any adjusting for UK palates.
I wash it down with a bottle of that ultimate Italian drink, Chinotto, all wince-inducing bitter orange aromas, that quickly depart leaving a satisfying fragrance. It’s my first time trying the drink, and I’m as awed by it as I am the food.
But beyond the food, Romeo and Riccardo are a big part of why T’Arricrii is well worth a visit. It’s an understatement to say they’re proud of their heritage, and given half the chance they’ll chew your ear off for hours about their love of their homeland’s foo, and their desire to put smiles on people’s faces with their food. We leave grinning from ear to ear.