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Another year, another Michelin announcement. And, for Manchester, another year without any of the city’s restaurants receiving a coveted star. Perhaps it was not as surprising as in previous years, when Aiden Byrne and Simon Rogan were very visible in their then-new restaurants but hospitality businesses anywhere know the value of recognition and must now wait again. Manchester and the surrounding area’s restaurant scene certainly isn’t staying still.

Meanwhile, it was once seen as a bit of a consolation prize to be awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin, in recognition of good food at moderate prices. Nice but not stellar. But in the fiercely competitive market for people’s smaller entertaining and treat budgets, a ‘Bib’ is something to be very pleased with. And although a large percentage of the new Bib Gourmands were in London, CODE congratulates Skosh in York for joining the list this year.

Have a good week.



The acclaimed Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In has just introduced a pre-pay booking system, with the intention of being able to manage its waiting list more efficiently. The ‘Tock’ ticketing system was first used by London’s Clove Club and is widely established in high-end US restaurants. With a set price for dining, £75, plus extra for wine pairing and a cheese course, it’s a logical step for WTLGI – general manager Emma Underwood explains “the benefits for us and our guests will massively outweigh any misgivings”.

Mackie Mayor

The news that the Altrincham operators were opening a large food market in central Manchester were greeted warmly. However the much-shared opening date of 2 October has passed – the company has announced on its Facebook page that it will be up and running with a soft opening from 17 October, citing minor delays with fit-out. The historic former meat market will have 400 seats at its centre, surrounded by a huge variety of food offerings. CODE wishes them luck with clearing up after the builders and looks forward to the opening.


Leeds will get a huge boost with plans just announced by Caddick Developments. The South of York Road area (hence SOYO) revamp comes with a £300m price tag, but will not only feature new accommodation. The plan is to create a ‘cultural hub’, so that residents will have a 'neighbourhood' on their doorstep. This will include new and more strong investment in existing arts venues, better use of the area’s current green spaces and – in good news for the hospitality world - an array of bars and restaurants.

Mahmood Mazhar

Still in Leeds, the owner of Norman Bar and Core Telecom has announced plans for a big new project in the city. Mahmood Mazhar got the green light from city planners to convert an empty restaurant on Merrion Street into a vast restaurant and bar at ground level, office space through the building’s height, and a sky bar and terrace on penthouse level. CODE always supports reinventing spaces to create new opportunities in the hospitality trade and looks forward to further details.


Science and food meet … but not in a laboratory. The latest branch of the independent Swedish health-food mini-chain Friska is a new arrival at the Manchester Science Park and is the company’s first move North – it has seven sites in Bristol, plus Birmingham and Luton. The Manchester enterprise is a concession, and is based in the brand-new Bright Building, where the footfall is the park’s innovation and science businesses. They can expect breakfast and lunch offering such as salad and hot boxes, burritos and soups.

Rosa’s Thai

And talking of superior fast food, the popular Rosa’s Thai chain has plans to open in Liverpool early next year. CODE are fans of the pad thais and curries (which are one of the most successfully transported dishes on Deliveroo, in our opinion; they always arrive in good condition). Husband and wife team Alexa and Saiphin Moore have built their ten-strong business by finding the right locations and decided on Liverpool after scoping out the area by bicycle (and they say the city’s large Thai populations helps too). It will be the first part of a planned north-west hub for the brand. (Source: Restaurant magazine)

Danny Young

The award for Young National Chef of the Year was presented last week and was won by Danny Young, of country-house hotel Northcote Manor. The 23-year-old junior sous chef had come third and runner-up on previous occasions, so the win must have been all the sweeter. Ten finalists were required to cook for the judges at the Restaurant Show, including Mark Sargeant (a previous winner himself). Young wins a stage worth £2,500 and a trip to Norway with Michel Roux Jr. CODE congratulates him and all the other finalists.

Aiden Byrne

Aiden Byrne has stepped back from day-to-day cooking at Manchester House, it was recently announced. The news broke before the Michelin announcements, but Byrne’s desire to win a star was well documented. He will continue to consult and be involved, but has an expanded role at Living Ventures (owners of Manchester House as well as a wide variety of other hospitality brands). The new head chef has been announced as Nathaniel Tofan.


Front of House for TV show, Electric Ray

Location: Manchester
Salary: TBC
Covers: n/a

Click here for more information


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There was no reason for Rihanna to stand under her umbrella last week. The singer was spotted dining high up in the sky at Hutong in the Shard. The Dumbwaiter hears that she ordered Crispy Ma La Eel – head chef Fei Wang's new dish – and the classic Peking duck.

The Dumbwaiter started off his Monday evening last week in the kitchens of Claridge’s. Fortunately for the guests of the Mayfair hotel he wasn’t cooking but instead raising a glass of Dom Perignon with executive chef Martyn Nail and food writer Meredith Erickson on the publication of the hotel’s first ever cookbook. Guests then ascended from the kitchens to enjoy a three-course dinner cooked by Nail and his team.

From Brook Street to Bahrain: click here to read The Dumbwaiter’s best bites of the week.

The Grill on the Square

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