Tag Archives: Steak & Kidney Pudding

Kaleido Manchester

When we think of the combination of football and food I would imagine that the majority of us would conjure images of pies.

But stop right there……… this is definitely not another pie post.

Kaleido is perched atop the newly relocated National Football Museum on the 5th floor of the Urbis Building, with the attached cocktail bar nestling above on the 6th.

Kaleido has by no means generated the kind of fervent anticipation of other recent openings but the team of Executive Chef Paul Riley, General Manager Franco Caroleo and figurehead Frank Bordoni are keen to match the ambition of the museum beneath them.

So we thought we’d have a look.  We being The Hungry Mrs and me plus Mr B and his better half.

After being greeted on the ground floor and escorted via the lift to the 5th my initial thoughts were that the place looked good – a little bit 1980s – but good. All white leather and a feature wall reminiscent of one of those toys we all had as a kid………. you know that you looked into and twisted and…………. oh.  Decoration aside the name is a nod to the kaleidoscope of people who play, support or are involved in football.

I have to be honest and admit that at this point I was a little pessimistic. I am so much more at home in homely feeling restaurants so I began to feel that this may have been a case of style over substance or “all fur coat………” to pick  a more colourful expression.

However after a warm, if slightly nervous welcome from our waitress we got down to the business of deciding what to eat.  The first thing to grab our collective attention were the prices.  For a city centre restaurant sitting in a landmark building they seemed all too reasonable, again, creeping doubts.

I opted for the jellied ham hock terrine with (deconstructed)  piccalilli and sourdough while The Mrs went for the oak smoked salmon with gribiche and crispy capers. Both were beautifully presented and whilst I didn’t try the salmon, the terrine was delicious, the piccalilli lovely and tangy.

Mains were Hereford oxtail and kidney pudding with feather blade, cabbage and carrot puree for me and spring chicken with ravioli, truffle vinaigrette, baby leeks and smoked bacon for my better half.  Again there were no complaints about how well our eyes were being fed.  The pudding and it’s contents were delicious and moist, the small amount of kidney (a good thing in my opinion) just adding that lovely depth of flavour.  The feather blade fell apart, however was a little dry but when combined with the pudding gravy this was easily forgotten.  I didn’t sample the chicken but The Mrs commented that she’d have liked a stronger taste to the vinaigrette as the chicken, whilst wonderfully cooked came off a little bland.

Then came the desserts, caramel apple tart with tonka bean ice cream and a cheese board, both to share.

Gorgeous caramelized appley bits with a cool, smooth ice cream that had a hint of vanilla but also the faintest element of spice, perhaps cinnamon?  With regard to cheese, I’ll confess to being a bit of a luddite (more to come soon on this) but all were very tasty and set off beautifully by the quince jelly.

After dinner we also checked out the 6th floor bar, just, you know, because why not?  The Key West Cooler was a treat after a lovely meal.

So what of the overall impression of Kaleido? While there may not be the sea change that you may get in the images in that ubiquitous kids toy when it comes to the dishes on the menu, it is apparent that there is a dedication to create an experience.  Where, as each course is served, there are “Ooohs” and “Aaahs” from the assembled, reminiscent of a great fireworks display.  I think it is fair to say that this is no damp squib.  Vibrant but cool and with some fantastic views across our city this place is sure to go off like a rocket.

Football and food just got interesting.



Hollands Pies

A good few weeks ago I received an e-mail out of the blue from the marketing people at Hollands Pies asking if I would like to try some of their goods.

Now, at first I was sceptical.  This was the first time that yours truly had been asked to sample a product and immediately I wondered what the catch was. Cynicism abounded.  However, after consulting the Twitterati, it became apparent that the e-mail was doing the rounds so I gladly accepted their offer.

Having grown up in Manchester, lived all my life in the Northwest and not being averse to a chippy tea I was reasonably familiar with their wares.  Add to this that occasional working in Accrington meant that I have driven past their factory on a number of occasions means that the brand was already somewhat ingrained.

In all honesty then I began to wonder what they were up to.  Why should Hollands send out lots of free samples to people who, in all likelihood, would be familiar with their products?  Was there something groundbreaking going on that they had slipped under the radar?  And with equal honesty I’m no more sure now that I know the answer.

Anyway – I digress.  Weeks later I had neither heard anything nor taken delivery of any pies so I presumed that my original cynicism had been well founded and that there were to be none.  Out of the blue again – an e-mail “Your pies will be delivered tomorrow afternoon”.  Excellent.

Part of the reason for the delay in writing this post (sorry Hollands) is that the blog was beginning to look a bit pie-centric, as if it was all I ate.  Perhaps the reason for the offer in the first place!!  However, even I wasn’t about to sit down and try to consume the 7 different varieties in one sitting.  As I recall, the following day would have been a Friday.  Chippy day at work. Perfect. In to the office I went with my little bag of pies and announced that lunch was “On me”, well on Holands but you know what I mean.

So armed with chips from the chippy we got started on what, I’m sure thousands of others were or might be doing later that same day.  And while there were nods of satisfaction and hints of appreciation I guess that’s kind of the point.  Hollands have been making pies for over 160 years.  They are clearly doing something right. And while the pies were certainly tasty (the peppered steak being my favourite) and filling I’m not sure I would buy them from the supermarket. From the chippy yes.  But when it comes to cooking at home I prefer to do so from scratch – that’s just me.

I really did appreciate the chance to sample the pies from Hollands, however, given some comments on other blogs perhaps they should introduce their goods to our brothers and sisters down south……..

I’ll pie off now


Varieties in the bag: Peppered Steak, Cheese & Onion, Sausage Roll, Meat, Meat & Potato, Steak & Kidney Pudding and Chicken & Mushroom