According to our hosts for the evening “Solita” in Italian means “The only thing” and in Spanish “The lonely lady”.
For the last few weeks the Manchester food Twitterati has been twitching with the name of SoLIta. Pictures of drool enducing dishes have appeared, disappeared, changed and reappeared. The grapevine hissed with whispers “When does it open?” “How’d they do that?” Deep fried what now?”. It murmured with rumours “Manchesters first Inka” “There’ll be bacon jam” “Italy meets America meets Manchester”
Well thanks to Dom Sotgiu, the force behind this new venture inviting a few of us down for a sneaky preview, some of these quetions can start to be answered.
In a humble building in one of the oldest residential streets in Manchester is where you will find this place. Just south (So) of what used to be well known as Little (L) Italy (Ita).
But judging books by covers is as we know, foolhardy at best. While the groundfloor dining room and kitchen are in keeping with the scale of the exterior of the building the two upper floors house private dining areas for larger groups and the large, soundproofed basement bar expands the capacity even further. This final aspect being a great addition for those who just perhaps fancy a superb cocktail.
So tour complete it was time to get stuck into that menu (link at bottom of page). Pictures being worth a thousand words and all that I shall let them do the talking for a minute while I drool. Again.
So after wiping my chin I’ll continue. The food all tasted amazing. Personally I would prefer a rougher texture to the Chuck Steak Burger but I’m odd when it comes to textures, taste-wise though it was awesome, the inclusion of bone marrow just adding a lovely sweetness to hit against the smokey Inka cooked meat.
Ah, the Inka grill. In case you haven’t heard of them, it is essentially an enclosed indoor barbecue, this one burning coconut husks to reach temperatures of around 500C
Well, it gives up a fantastic smokey quality to anything it even looks at. Add to this the fact that it allows for brilliantly pink in the middle steaks with a charred outer (see hanger steak) and yours truly is seriously wondering how essential the washing machine actually is.
Oh and yes. Currently this is the only Inka grill in the city.
Now unfortunately I had to leave early so I did not get a chance to sample the much discussed deep fried coke or the similarly treated mac ‘n’ cheese. This however is not a major problem, serving only to provide an excuse for a revisit – as if I needed one.
So while SoLIta may be the only thing in the city serving up Inka cooked food I somehow doubt that they will remain the lonely lady for very long. I predict a whole host of new friends very soon