Manchester Arndale offers everything you didn’t know you needed in a retail space. Chocolate, coffee, pedal bins, discounted running shoes, sushi, wrapping paper… I could go on, but I absolutely won’t. In short, there’s a reason why it’s the busiest place in the city centre.
The Arndale’s £11m development of Halle Place, however, seems to add something a little different; a prosecco-led dining hub offering a range of al-fresco eateries with a much-needed drop of seclusion from the retail equivalent of the M6 down to one lane during rush hour.
One of the dining options is WOLF, an Italian street food venue offering a selection of pasta and salads, as well as its hero dish, the Piada, a thin crust Italian flatbread, similar to a burrito. Interestingly, it’s been pitched right next door to an almost-open Barburrito, which will no doubt start picking fights with WOLF over customers. A wrap battle if you will.
WOLF has a really welcoming fit out, with a focus on making it as simple as possible for the customer. There’s clearly a desired one-way system much like many outlets offering a grab-and-go service, with big, easy to follow menu boards hanging above the counter and a till at the end. Think Subway, but also please don’t think Subway because the quality of the ingredients on offer is a cut above your average sandwich joint and the choice is absolutely fantastic.
All the meats are free range and marinated on site for 24hrs and the seasonal vegetables are sourced daily from local producers and cut and prepped on site so you’re pulling together a bespoke dish with some real quality behind it.
I went for the Piada and it did not disappoint, although I do feel I have to take some credit as I chose everything that went into it. Hats off to WOLF though, for doing literally everything else for me including preparing the incredible ingredients… ironically keeping the wolf from the door.
In the wrap, I had fresh Italian spaghetti, hot and spicy chicken, mozzarella, red onion, spinach and WOLF’s unique, Italian sauce, their parmesan alfredo, which was so good. The wrap itself was fluffy and chewy; something different to the usual tortilla. Even down to the last bite you get everything you want in a handheld meal; hot, cold, sweet, sour, crunchy and soft… you just get a little extra softness because you’re finishing the Piada off and that’s almost a bonus. Close to heavenly.
If I were to tumble through Halle Place again on an empty stomach, WOLF would be the choice for me. It’s great quality food, it’s fresh and it’s fully customisable, so it’s easy to create something you really want every time you go. Now off I go, back to Home Bargains for some bin bags and Milky Bars.