Friday, 18 July 2008


Out with the old … looks as though El Macho, the Mexican place on Portland Street, has closed down. A shame. Was it our only Mexican restaurant? I can tick it off my list of places to eat at least, it having resided there since 1997. Also Monsoons is looking suspiciously abandoned at the minute. Monsoons, the take-away next to Spar on Oxford Road, is such a Manchester experience. It’s the best place to watch semi-respectable suits abandon all willpower to their hangovers of a Monday and eat burnt meat in the window with their fingers. Monsoons is also responsible for the greasiest, shiniest patch of pavement in the city. At night it’s pretty scary and the staff are bad-tempered. I can’t remember if the kebabs are any good, having been either blotto or vegetarian or both on all of my visits, but it smells great when you’re hungry. It will be sad to see it go. Maybe it’s just a refurb?

And in with the new …University Place is the enormous flying saucer cum steel drum erection on campus. The whole ground floor is seemingly devoted to eating, which is nice. The building itself is fairly unlovable and lit by mysterious means since it has no windows above the ground floor. What’s more it symbolises, to me at least, the University’s willingness to haemorrhage money in the name of image while such thorny issues as paying staff agreeable salaries remain unresolved. The Maths Tower that preceded Uni Place was, I grant you, an eye-sore in its own right but, typically, I quite liked it. Anyway, the food. Cheap, good quality, quick, and for the most part pretty healthy. The canteen is all of these and comes replete with the added thrill of school-canteen style rivalry to bag the cool tables. I’ve had roast vegetable tarts and mushroom stroganoff on separate occasions and they’ve both been lovely, as have the sides. I might even forgive them the architecture for those crispy, yummy roast potatoes.

1 comment:

Neil B said...

FYI: the chicken kebabs in Monsoons (I can't speak for any of the others) are brilliant. And thats not from a pissed-at-three-in-the-morning viewpoint, they actually are. So there.

Hope it doesn't close; I've been frequenting it since I first moved to Manchesterfordshire in 1995!! What an old cow