Have you been to Manchester’s coolest street food hub? There’s a 12-week long foodie pop-up going on there at the moment and honestly, it is the place to be. That is, if you want fresh, delicious, next-level street food made with what can only be described as a lot of Northern love. The local traders here are some of the friendliest I’ve met. And the quality and level of craftsmanship that goes into their scran speaks for itself!
Here’s my rundown of what’s hot there at the moment. What I love about Hatch @hatchmcr is that it really feels like a community. I spoke to the traders as they were hand-crafting my lunch and they all said they’re really enjoying it there, feeling the love and getting to know their fellow traders. Family vibes, guys! It’s also mint they’re bringing the hot-and-tasty fresh food scene a little bit outside of the city centre! Oxford Road has lots to offer so it’s more than enough reason to leave the NQ for the afternoon if you ask me!
Free-range chicken from Yorkshire. A 12 hour brine. All sauces and accompaniments vegan-friendly. A vegan version of their chicken sandwich is in the making; so there is no way this vegan option will feel like an after thought. And that’s exactly they (Dan and Sam) want it! They only moved into their Hatch kitchen on Wednesday, and were still perfecting the vegan version of their signature chicken sarnie when I arrived the next day. It’s gonna be made with the finest quality seitan so make sure you come go down and try it if you’re a herbivore!
Honestly, their chicken sandwich is sensational; hot, crispy and served on rustic bread. The fact that they were still testing their vegan version, working hard to get it just right, sharing it with the other food-loving traders to ensure it’s spot on; shows these guys are the right kind of perfectionist. I’m sure it’s going to be nothing short of vegan perfection if it’s anything like their carnivorous version. And I can’t wait to go back and try it! Give them a follow to keep up with the action: @_firebirdhope_
[both options £6 each].
What these girls (Lu and Hannah) do to seafood is really quite incredible. For seafood lovers they make it exciting. But for non-believers they make seafood enticing, accessible and SURELY irresistible?! Their cheesy crab balls (who doesn’t love a cheesy ball?!) are so well balanced in their delicate flavours of crab and cheese that even those crazy folk who don’t dig the fruits of the sea would find them hard to resist.
We also tried their take on the fish finger butty: beer-battered smoked haddock with a curried tartare sauce, iceberg lettuce and proper white door stop bread from Robinson’s bakery. And it really is a taste sensation.
But I must say, the showstopper here is actually their Colchester oysters. I know loads of people don’t like oysters. They say they’re ‘too fishy’ or they ‘don’t like the texture’. Well, let me address those people right now: oysters, when fresh and garnished well, taste clean, refreshing and have a hint of the sea as they go down. They give you a little buzz afterwards and are probably way cheaper than drugs. So If you’ve never tried them, now is the time.
I think it’s amazing that Lu and Hannah are bringing the finest, freshest quality oysters to the street food scene of the North; what a revaluation! And for £6 for 3, dressed lightly in either their homemade hot sauce, soy and ginger dressing or shallot vinegar they’re honestly delicious. Go and try them asap and follow them @holycrab_uk
[crab balls £6, Fish butty £6.5, Oysters 3 for £6].
Yadda Yadda and Well Hung
Yadda Yadda make “kebabs n that” which is possibly the best tagline I’ve ever heard. Think 12 hour slow-cooked North Yorkshire lamb shawarma or a vegan chickpea dhal with salt and pepper fries. All rolled up into a soft, floury flatbread with harissa and all the crunchy fresh salad and pickles. Everyone seemed to be eating a Yadda Yadda kebab of some variety, and Sam from Firebird Hope looked to be enjoying hers very much. @yaddayaddapopup
And Well Hung make the meatiest of ‘well hung’ meat platters with homemade accompaniments like a chimichurri using British, flat-iron steak. We saw a group of lads tucking into their steak and chips with peppercorn sauce, which looked absolutely incredible to be honest! @wellhungmcr
We didn’t get chance to try Yadda and Well Hung personally this time, but their price and quality are no doubt the same as above: EXCELLENT! Can’t wait to go back for more.
To wash it all down
OL brewery bar @olbrewerybar is serving up all sorts of great crafty beers (schooner sized, £4.5 each) and TAKK is also on site serving their caffeinated delights (average price £2.70) but if you want your coffee warm, ask for it, as sadly, our oat milk lattes were less-than-lukewarm 😕
Hatch is expanding!
Talking to the lovely lot down at Hatch I learned about their expansion, which is amazing to hear. I finally got to meet the gorgeous Zos (of Mama Z supper club and Instagram @cookingwithmamaz fame!) and she told me that she is in fact joining the Hatch family. She’s Filipino and cooks up the most epic looking, authentic food. Her next Supper Club ‘Kamayan’ (which means ‘eat with your hands’) is on Saturday 19th May at Redbank and I am away so can’t make it but you would be foolish not to! Tickets here.