Disdury, Manchester [UK]

Chocolate, scotch bonnet, fermented passion fruit at The Walled Garden, Manchester.

The Walled Gardens, Manchester

Chosen by Mary-Ellen McTague, chef and co-founder, The Creameries

Eddie Shepherd is a vegetarian chef who runs an underground restaurant from his home in Didsbury, cooking for eight people per night. (It’s open Friday to Monday, three weekends per month.) He makes multi-course menus that are really technical, with a touch of molecular gastronomy, but fun and delicious as well. He uses his home to really good effect; at one point you’re instructed to go into the living room and one of your courses – tofu, dandelion, pickled apple – is hanging from the ceiling in a bauble. He does this amazing thing with mushrooms, which are dried, rehydrated in stock, set into a block with an enzyme, then cooked, smoked and finally marinated again – they have a flavour closer to charcuterie. He uses a lot of techniques, but my big takeaway is just that it’s really enjoyable and delicious and fun.

has anybody tried this place?

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First I’ve heard of it and not really my thing. Sounds very Didsbury though.

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Couldn’t get any reservations. But, went to The Creameries and Greens. Going to Hispi tonight.

I see Hispi has crispy lamb breast back on the menu. I had this when we went in January last year. Really tasty.

I love lamb.

I’d be interested to hear of your experiences at all three places, in due course. We used to be regulars at Greens but it sort of faded with us a couple of years back. Creameries was OK but we don’t feel we have to rush back. We get to Hispi as often as we get to anywhere.

I intend to do a write up this year as I’m always pestering you for recommendations. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about Korean food in Manchester?

I know next to nothing about the cuisine, as such.

The longterm stalwart in the city is the Koreana (it’s been around since the mid 80s). which I’ve been to a couple of times over the decades and enjoyed the food. As it’s become seemingly more popular in the UK, there have been more openings, particularly in the city centre, but I’ve no experience of any, I’m afraid.

What’s keeping you, John? A whole new world (of Korean cooking) to explore!

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