After a week of hell, this weekend’s Friday Food Fight created by B.Eat Street Manchester was the necessary food heaven to put a huge smile back on our faces. What better to wipe away the woes of a working week than nine street food style stalls dishing up a fabulous variety of delicious food in a cracking heritage venue? There’d already been some snidey sods online having a pop before the event had even taken place but having dealt with my own Facebook troll earlier in the week, it only served to prove that it’s always the best course of action to IGNORE THE HATERS, as it was a great night with a buzzing, happy atmosphere, a cool but lovely crowd and top tunes.
The venue for the 12 week Friday night run is Upper Campfield Market on Deansgate, opposite the Hilton, a gorgeous industrial building dating from 1882 with cast iron columns, wrought iron latticing and glazed upper levels. The type of building long forgotten about but which is increasingly being used & is perfect for these type of unique, bespoke events. Hungry Mancs formed an early doors queue at 5.30 for the “#foodrave”, very different type of rave to the ones of 25yrs earlier where food wasn’t high on the list of ingestibles. How times change 😉We resolved to work our way round the room ’til we popped or fell over and scored pretty highly. First up came Umezushi, a small and very highly rated by pals sushi bar. I enjoyed the seafood donburi, it was light & fresh, but was delicate sushi at this type of event a little incongruous, given it was competing with such big tastes & smells? Possibly. I didn’t like the idea of throwing all those thick plastic pots aways either, felt a little wrong. May have been better with fresh fish being sliced in situ, a more foodie experience to draw in the crowds.
Mike plumped for one of Arepa!Arepa!Arepa!‘s Colombian flatbreads which are cooked on a hotplate then stuffed or sliced with sweet or savoury fillings and apparently cure 90% of hangovers. These are usually found on Levy Market, juicy, filling & very well priced. Perfect food for this type of event, a one handed mini meal packed full of flavour.
Solita NQ‘s Big Manc Jr burger was drippily gorgeous, making Mr M a very happy bloke, treating it a bit like a canapé before asking what was next. I love that at nights like these normal food etiquette, e.g. a burger being the main course, flies straight out of the window 🙂
One of our two stars of the night was the LoveFromTheStreets stand, long queues for the full 3hrs we were there, with great portions of tasty Caribbean delights for the prices charged. The Jerk chicken was finger lickin good with juicy ‘slaw and soak it up rice. Spot on.
Nutter’s was the other stand out stall, a quirky Brit twist on street food with elements like Lancashire cheese, black pudding & butternut squash creating exciting, innovative choices which, when scoffed, worked marvellously too. The Ploughman’s Lunch Fritter was ace and we were lucky enough to be given one of the special pudding boxes, omg, have never tasted marshmallow & chocolate strawberry brownies like it – superb. There were audible groans of delight around our table, not bad considering we were sitting next to the speakers.
Diamond Dogs got more & more busy as the night went on, proper ‘had a beer and fancy getting my chops round something’ food really isn’t it, as opposed to something to start off with. Didn’t manage one, maybe next time!
Same goes for the pizzas from Ramsbottom’s Honest Crust which the whole of my Twitter was raving about and cooked in their mobile wood fired oven – but there’s only so much you can eat in one evening. They looked amazing and it’s an ‘on my list’ for next time. Em enjoyed one of the Piggy Smalls pulled pork platters which disappeared as I was getting my Nutsfood plate – no pic of that either!
Space needed to be left for pudding courtesy of new venture Sugar Rush, we had the delicious vanilla ice-cream & pineapple cheesecake trifle. It made a welcome break from the ubiquitous cupcakes at food markets everywhere and it was great to read the Sold Out tweet at the end of the evening from the girls.
This Friday night event, on ’til May, should definitely be on your ‘To Do’ list if you find yourself in Manchester, hungry & thirsty at the end of the week. There were a few grumbles about beer prices but I think they were about right, it’s not an event designed for lairy gangs of pissheads and if slightly high prices ensure a trouble free atmosphere, all the better for the longevity of the brand & its success.
We’ll be back in the next few weeks. Who am I kidding? See you next Friday 🙂