Anybody who knows Manchester will tell you the same thing: you’ll find the suave and sassy city-slickers in Spinningfields and the cool cats in the Northern Quarter. The NQ is a hive of independent bars, eateries, record shops and thrift stores and the newest kid on the block goes by the simple-yet-effective name of 33 Oldham Street.
With the name giving nothing away, 33 Oldham Street has me a little befuddled. It must be a restaurant because they serve great food (I’ll come to that in a moment) … but then there’s a bar… and really loud music playing while you eat… Oh and a DJ setting up for the night...
Should I order a post-dinner coffee and wind down after a busy week? Or head upstairs and hop onboard the Tequila Slammer train? I just don’t know…
Each floor - with its retro décor and musical homage - was cosy as can be though and I cannot wait to see how 33 Oldham’s Street’s identity evolves as time goes on. It is also reportedly home to the Northern Quarter’s biggest roof terrace so there are still plenty of tricks up its sleeve. Had the food not been such a glorious triumph, I might have said that these guys should just write off the dining factor and concentrate on becoming the uber cool bar it has clearly got the potential to be. However, what was served up was so flippin’ delicious that I was left thinking quite the opposite.
The menu is split into small plates, big plates and sides and, with hanger levels at 100, we decided to go for a big plate each and a side of halloumi fries with smoked shallot aioli (£5). Oh, my lord, that smoked shallot aioli. It was rich, deep in flavour and a truly unique condiment which wouldn’t be out of place in a top quality, fine dining restaurant.
I also went for the pan-fried hake with sautéed potatoes and some tenderstem broccoli (£13) because, well, it is January. It was cooked to Beyoncé levels of FLAWLESS perfection and seasoned with a truly expert hand. The bed of smashed potatoes underneath the tender-but-crispy fish were so good, in fact, that they’ve left me with a burning desire to see what the 33 Oldham Road Sunday roast is sayin’.
From the well-endowed drinks list, we went for a Jaffa Martini (£9) and a Vinyl Revival (£8.5). The former was an interesting chocolate-orange take on a classic Espresso Martini, the latter was an indulgent concoction which tasted exactly like the Chocolate flavoured Baileys I swore I wasn’t going to drink anymore of ‘til Christmas 2019. I challenge you to resist any better than I did.
The DesignMyNight Digest
So, while I would absolutely recommend 33 Oldham Street as an awesome place to go right now, I’m expecting it to go through one helluva glow up in the coming months. Once it has settled into its new Northern Quarter nook and the sun has got its hat on so that roof terrace can have its time to shine, 33 Oldham Street will become the place to be. You heard it here first, people, you heard it here first.