Wednesday, 26 February 2020

2020 EATS: My favourite restaurants of the new year...

For most people, January is one of the worst months of the year. It seems to go on for an eternity (no, seriously, there aren't 365 days in January alone) and your pay packet from before the Christmas and New Year festivities suddenly has to stretch a looong time before the next one. However, January isn't all that bad - especially in Manchester - with so many restaurants offering amazing food deals to cure the January blues!

Here are a few of my favourites...


I haven't been for food at Dive before but with the launch of the Zumu food menu in 2019, it has been on my list for a while. The menu is a variety of Japanese cuisine with a street food style, incorporating a mixture of small plates, main dishes and sushi platters.

 I opted for four of the small plates:
- Duck Gyozas
- Squid with a Sweet Chilli Sauce
- Spider Roll (Soft Shell Crab)
- NQ Roll (Prawn Tempura)

Each dish was honestly amazing. The duck gyozas were cooked to perfection and the sweet BBQ sauce it was served with complemented the dish so well. The presentation of the sushi was lovely- it came on a platter-style tray and was served with wasabi and fresh pickled ginger. 

Dive offered a fabulous 50% off throughout January. They currently offer 50% off all sushi every Monday and have an amazing happy hour every day until 10pm, serving 2-4-1 cocktails and spirits, £10 bottles of wine and £15 bottles of prosecco!

I can't lie, recently a brunch is one of my favourite things to do. I'm just going through a phase where I seem to be craving poached eggs and avocado on the regular! When I heard that Trof were offering 50% off all food, I was definitely tempted (and gave into that temptation of course).

I opted for the Chorizo Hash which was two poached eggs, chopped chorizo and hash browns, with hollandaise sauce on sourdough. I also added avocado and halloumi on the side.

This is probably one of the best breakfasts I have had in a long time. Everything was soooo good - I literally cleared my plate. The presentation was so aesthetically pleasing with such a variety of colours on my plate. I loved the touch of chillies to add an extra bit of spice (and colour).

I would highly recommend visiting here. Even without the January discount, the menu is very reasonably priced and the restaurant has such a chilled vibe. This is the perfect place for a catch up!

BLVD is always one of my top choices. I just love the whole vibe in there, be it for food or drinks, or both! This January they offered an amazing 50% off the whole food menu, providing a fabulous discount for all diners.


I opted for:
- Sesame Glazed Pork (served in Bao Buns)
- Lobster Tacos (served with Asian Slaw)
- Tuna Maki Roll (served with Cucumber and Cream Cheese)

First things first, there's no presentation like BLVD. The attention to detail is second to none - the sushi looked too pretty to eat! It all tasted amazing too - I really enjoyed every dish.

I would highly recommend visiting BLVD if you're interested in good food and a good vibe!

I haven't been to Tampopo for a very long time, probably for several years now, so when a friend suggested a lunch date I was definitely game. This Pan-Asian restaurant is located in Albert Square, in the centre of Manchester. 

Their menu is so full and varied and has an option for everyone with curries, broths, stir fries and meat dishes as well as vegetarian/vegan alternatives. I was really struggling with what to pick as I had so many options that I liked the sound of!

I opted for the Tamarind Duck with Jasmine rice which is served on a bed of pok choi. This was amazing. I really enjoyed the tamarind sauce as it was quite sweet without bordering on sickly. The duck was cooked to perfection and it was a lovely change from my usual restaurant orders!


I also opted for a portion of Spring Rolls which were served with a delicious hoisin and peanut dip. I'm sorry but I need the recipe for this dip immediately as I need it on tap at home! It was divine. The spring rolls are also vegetarian/vegan friendly so they are perfect for any diner.

We made the most of Tampopo's 30% off food deal but the menu is very reasonable without this. Students can currently enjoy 20% off their total bill Sunday-Thursday when showing a valid student ID!

My final favourite on the list HAS to be here. I visited BAB very recently at the beginning of February and it did not disappoint. I wasn't too sure what to think when I first heard that it was kebabs as I would usually associate them with fast food. However, these were definitely on another level! Labelled as "a kebab worth sitting down for", they definitely didn't disappoint!

I decided on the Flat Iron Steak kebab served with balsamic onions, walnuts, watercress and a beetroot puree with a truffle and blue cheese sauce to top it off. The mix of flavours was just everything. The beetroot puree was to die for & the steak was cooked to perfection for me.

I could not recommend this place enough. The decor is so pretty and is the perfect setting for a catch up with friends or a date night!


So there you have my five favourite Manchester-based restaurants of 2020. Where are your favourites?!


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