Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the tag “No. 4”

Didsbury’s Dining Dozen 

Eating out in M20 has moved on a lot from Burns Restaurant and Silvio’s Cafe. From the artisan crunchiness of Pizza Hut at Parrs Wood, through the stripped back beauty of Urban Grille and its clients who can only park on traffic lights, throughto The Canadian Charcoal Pit – which opened when Didsbury last voted Tory and predates Channel 4 our culinary prestige has grown.
My twitter feed often has people putting out calls for recommendations and my own Didsbury Mum has told me to stop sending strangers round for Chicken Soup. I have never tried The Rose Garden on Burton Road but have heard it reported as the best food in the city. Jem & I is similarly lauded but last time I went it was for a Market Research pastie tasting and I’m one of the few who is not a fan of Albert’s Shed. I want to like it. As The Barleycorn it was the first pub I went into and as a Casino in the early 60s it has a proper history, but it always feels a let down.

So your Christmas 2015, early 2016 top 12.

12. Volta, Burton Road. Nothing specific, not a single dish or a bauble but the whole experience of accessible urban chic and good cooking in an atmosphere that feels big city.

11. The Third Eye,Wilmslow Road. Squeezed in between the beatific Bisou Bisou and the mysterious Conservative Club, this is a Didsbury Legend that evokes strong feelings of loyalty. Making me a Third Eyer rather than a Great Khatmandu fan is a combination of the smiley women who welcome and remember you and the Makhan Fish.

10. The Mud Crab Cafe, Wilmslow Road. I wanted to hate it, replacing the much-loved and euphemism friendly Felicini’s but it is great. A proper diner experience, less showy and deep fried than Solita and they do a mean cocktail.

9. Sangam 2, Wilmslow Road. It shouldn’t thrive, but it does. This 70s Indian Restaurant throwback is perennially popular, reasonable and full. The Fish Tikka is a bit gorgeous, the service is crap and it’s the perfect group outing venue in the village.
8. Fosters, Dene Road. Pablo Zabaleta (hard as nails, Cheshire-based Argentinian footballer) has been quoted as saying he wants to bring Lionel Messi (Deity) to Didsbury for Fish & Chips. They could go to Burton Road, less likely the back room at The School Lane Chippy, but I think he meant Fosters. An American cousin once tried and was beaten by The Whale; I think he’s still there still there. Great combination of chips, chippiness and a little Didsbury.   Messi on the menu

7. Cau, Wilmslow Road. This building has struggled since it stopped being The Old Grey Horse, somewhere in the early 90s. I like Cau. The staff seem to come from the same stage school as Chalk’s skinny-hipped servers but the food is fab and the decor works. With a bit of luck they’ll stay a while.
6. Japan Deli, Wilmslow Road. Technically Withington. Lacks atmosphere, variety and very often clientele. But the sushi is fantastic and the Chilli Squid makes it all worthwhile.
5. Pinchjos, Burton Road. They say you never forget your first kiss, where you were when Princess Diana died and your first Morcilla, mine was at Pinchjos.

4. Healthy Spirit Cafe, Barlowmoor Road. Go in hungry, come out cleansed. Take out the gluten and the dairy, add a little touch of hope. How many places around here offer meditation followed by lunch and aren’t sheltered housing? The only downside is being pram-unfriendly, which may be an upside.
3. No 4., Warburton Street. Nestled far enough behind Urban Grille to be out of its shadow and near enough to The Dog and Partridge should you need to check the football scores. This was my backstreet retreat in pre-Didsbury Dad days when I would read the whole of the Saturday newspaper whilst tucking into the weekend brunch. It still feels like a treat to go in for an occasion.
2. Piccolino, Lapwing Lane. Somewhere between independent and a chain; nestled between Rimmer’s Green’s and the sublime Lime Tree and parked next to the monolith that is The Metropolitan is Piccolino Didsbury. Wilfully expensive, they do things with Scallops, Prawns and Carpaccio that make me happy to forego the children’s college funds. Reasonably priced Chianti and Linguine can transport you to Sardinia, whilst being able to nip into Tesco Express on the way to the Metro home. Go for an intimate lunch.

 My Blue Peter Badge table designs.
1. Peking House, School Lane. Not strictly a restaurant but definitely a tourist attraction with views across the piazza to the Violin shop I’ve never been in. When I first went there School Lane had an art shop and the Metrolink was science fiction. Go for soup and anything with broccoli or cashew nuts. You always get treated like a friend AND prawn crackers.

 The 9th Wonder
There are others that are fighting for a place and this has Ben a bit like choosing a Fantasy League team. The Japanese Restaurant on Burton Road has my admiration for sticking a handwritten piece of A4 on the door during Westfest to announce they were closed for a bit; and the seaweed’s good. Bourbon & Black, want to love it but being the only person in there not on their phone on Tinder or Snapchat was hardwork. Pizza Express is always worth a visit to bump into old friends, happens every time and Saison and Azzure bring Euro chic and Aladdin’s starters make them the most interesting of dilemmas to chose where to go.
So, as we stock up on antacids, prepare to indulge and miscook a Turkey or two – I’ll be realising that if I stick to my budget it’s a Chicken Kebab from Turkish Delight in Chorlton and another six viewings of Cinderella on Amazon Prime.

Advertisements

Early Morning and the sun is not even threatening the flags

It is 5.25am and there is rare quiet and calm in the house. It may seem unfeasible to be up by choice now, but time is precious and in a busy house with children, on an almost sunny spring day, this is magic.

The sun is coming up over the Metrolink station and the waft of Lynx seeps under Didsbury Son’s door and throughout the house. In 5000 years the Lynx particles (which have an ability to hang around pungently in a manner that makes kippers envious) will carbon date Didsbury Son to the month. This is the post-Primary pre-Hollyoaks phase. A confusing time when joyous childhood easiness makes a last stand before the inevitable rise of the surlies.

This is the last night of the fair. By the big wheel generator, a boy is stabbed and his money is grabbed and the air hangs heavy like a. Wait, sorry that’s The Smiths, I had a flashback through the glinting sun back to the 80s.

The Mighty-Headed twin boy, whose spherical bounce is a source of both pride and wonder to me is flat out. His hands look poised to conduct and his lips purse, ready for the 6.30 kisses, changing, tickles and bottle. The pearly topped presence in the next cot down is purring and there is a hint of a smile as she sighs happily towards the edge of sleep. All 3 blessings counted I make myself a mug of tea just how I like it, safe in the knowledge this is the only drink in the next 24 hours I will be able to finish whilst its still hot.

The sound of the suburbs waking up fills my senses. The fretful mothers who feigned religious observance to get the “right” primary school for free dream of getting into illegal without being asked to move their 4x4s. The Karma Sutran staff sleep and hope their dreams will have a happy ending and in Cibo they wonder if the Venetian influence in their restaurant will be enough to see off the Didsbury Loungerians or No. 4’s small but perfectly formed army.

The village wakes up slowly. Deliveries, cleaning, early workers then schoolchildren. Bottles are banked near The Fletcher Moss and Didsbury’s 3000 hair snippers ponder where everyone will be going on holidays.

As the time slips by I have only one dilemma. Do I go and wake the twins to keep them in their routine? Or do I make myself toast and marmalade, proper coffee and sit in the garden to bask in the rays, safe in the absolute certainty that the moment I have laid out a slice of heaven on a plate the first waah will tumble down the stairs and my next view of breakfast will be of coffee with a skin so thick it could wrap around a Rhino.

20130503-080343.jpg

A head.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: