Yelp's N4 Passport Event from Screen Stockport on Vimeo.
Ask any Mancunian, 'What's the coolest neighbourhood in this fair city?' and they're bound to answer, 'It's that there Northern Quarter, innit. Sound. Mint.' And soforth. So when Yelp Manchester took on its first Area Passport, incorporating more special offers than you could possibly take advantage of in a week, where would we head? It was a no-brainer really.
Brand new, effortlessly hip gallery store Lomography slots right into Northern Quarter culture, and we were honoured when they allowed us to use their incredible venue to play host to the launch party, kicking off the week of deals in style.
And what's a launch party without live music? That's why we had the gorgeous Aislinn Fearon of Polly Amorous Presents on hand to provide the performers, and what awesome provisions she made. We had audio treats from Amy Clarkson, Rachel Hillary and Taylor and The Mason, and the crowds simply couldn't get enough.
Speaking of treats, partygoers needed sustenance, and there was certainly enough of that to go around. Celebrating the commencement of a week of discounts, N4 Passport contributers Fyg offered up fresh deli platter goodies, Home Sweet Home tempted with cookies and cakes, Dough delivered piping hot pizzas, new kid on the block Bakerie served boards of foccacia and sourdough with oil and balsamic for dipping, and Sugar Junction's bread providers Robinsons Bakery had a plethora of party bites to snap up from freshly baked breads to gooey ginger flapjacks and Manchester Tarts our city can be proud of.
Washing down all that delicious food was an ice-cold selection of Brewdog beers, decanted into sample cups so that yelpers could try as many kinds as they wanted!
Glossy N4 Passports were given out to revellers on arrival, and with nearly twenty local, cool and independent Northern Quarter businesses on board, they were taken very eagerly.
Don't just take our word for it – read the reviews that have been posted about the event and see what our guests had to say. Natasha T for one fell in love with the audio: 'The music was wonderful throughout the whole night, It was like…acoustic velvet… My friends and I are all big music fans, and we were so enamoured with Taylor and the Mason that we've already stalked their MySpace page for gig dates.'
Lee Z thought the food was 'all brilliant; gorgeous breads from Bakerie, the usual quality goods from Home Sweet Home (those brownies!). Lovely flapjacks and Manc Tarts from Robinsons, I ate pate from Fyg and I normally hate pate, the beer from Brew Dog was really good and I'm not much of an ale drinker! And finally some Dough Pizza, if you need to know what I think of Dough then read the snippet of my review inside the passport (cheers for that Em). This is getting a bit annoying now, just once I'd like to be able to pick a few holes in an event, but I can't!'
The N4 Passport Launch Party kicked off a week of deals across the Northern Quarter, with the following special treats on offer:
2 Courses for £15 from the following…
- Cucur Udang – famous prawn & Chinese chive fritters served with tofu, cucumber & peanut sauce (Vegan option available), featuring in our book
- Murtabak – found on many 'Mamak' (Indian Muslim) stalls across Malaysia, these scrumptious deep filled chicken & egg pancakes are a Ning favourite
- Roti Canai – very popular for breakfast, this divine buttery, flaky flat bread is great for dipping in its curry sauce and a MUST-HAVE when visiting Malaysia
- Kuey Teow Goreng – Penang's greatest dish otherwise known as Char Kway Teow, fabulously wok-ed flat rice noodles with soy and chilli sauces, beansprouts and chinese chives
- Bihun Goreng Singapura – spicy, curry flavour wok-fried vermicelli noodles with egg and crisp vegetables, Singapore style!
- Bihun Goreng Satay – wok-fried vermicelli noodles with a Malay satay (peanut) paste, egg & crisp vegetables is a taste sensation on the streets
The Bay Horse
Any two pizzas and two small glasses of wine for £15
2 for 1 on the monthly cocktail
Thomas Restaurant and Bar
25% off your food bill only
Complimentary drink (wine, hot or soft) with each deli platter
Dough Pizza Kitchen
25% of your total bill
Black Dog Ballroom
NY style burger and a milkshake for £5
Afternoon Tea, £10 pounds per person for a minimum of two diners (usually 14.50 per head)
Nexus Art Cafe
Buy any cake, get a hot drink free
Any 4 of the cocktails listed below for £12
* Caipirovska: Vodka, lime and sugar muddled with your choice of fruit; strawberries, raspberries, mango, peach, pear or banana)
* Bramble: This classic drink combines Mother's Ruin with lemon juice and sugar, shaken and served over crushed ice with a drizzle of Crème de Mure.
* Cosmopolitan: Citroen vodka shaken with Cointreau, fresh lime juice, orange bitters and cranberry juice, served with a flamed orange garnish.
* Margarita: Sauza Hornitos 100% Agave Tequila and Cointreau shaken with orange bitters and fresh lime juice served in a rock salt rimmed glass.
* Caiprinha: The national drink of Brazil. Pitu Cachaca shaken with lime & sugar. Simple and delicious.
* Flavoured Caiprinha: Pitu Cachaca shaken with lime, sugar syrup and your choice of fruit; strawberries, raspberries, mango, peach, pear or banana.
* Southern Belle: Southern Comfort and Jack Daniel's shaken with pear purée, mint, lime, sugar & pressed apple juice.
* Nuts and Berries: Disaronno, Frangelico and Chambord shaken together then topped with a layer of milk and cream, garnished with flamed chocolate.
* Oriental Blossom: Bombay Sapphire and Lychee liqueur shaken with Jasmine syrup, green tea and pressed apple juice. Light, fruity and floral.
* Enter Name Here: Sailor Jerry spiced rum and Cointreau shaken with raspberries, passion fruit syrup, orange juice, lime and pressed apple juice.
* 43: Licor 43 shaken with Finlandia Vodka, Frangelico, apricot liqueur, half & half and secret mixed spice, garnished with flame chocolate.
Frog & Bucket Comedy Club
2 for 1 on tickets all week
25% off your food bill
Leo's Fish Bar
20% off your total bill
Home Sweet Home
Any toastie and a coffee/tea for £5
List of toasties…
* Cheese with onion or tomato
* Cheeseburger – their famed speciality!
* Sloppy Joe
* Cajun Chicken BBQ Melt
* Breakfast – full English in a toastie
* Ham & Cheese
* Bacon Goat's Cheese
* Bacon, Brie and Cranberry
* Green Apple and Honey
* Pestorello – pesto, sunblushed tomatoes, red onion, spinach leaves
* Feta & Tomato
* Banana & Chocolate
Free houseplant when you spend £25 or more
Chinese Arts Centre
5% off all products in the shop
Lomography Gallery Store
10% off everything in the store
The Three Minute Theatre
2 for 1 on tickets for in-house events
£20 off first Colonic Hydrotherapy Treatment. Normal price is £75
Grace R took on a personal Passport Challenge to take advantage of as many offers as possible, and there were many tasty delights to choose from. For example…
Crispy Lancashire belly pork and haddock risotto at Thomas Restaurant and Bar…
Welsh rarebit at Bakerie and cake and coffee at Nexus…
Toasties and treats at Home Sweet Home and Sugar Junction respectively…
And who could argue with four quality cocktails for £12 at Apotheca? That's three quid a pop!
Thanks to all the food and drink sponsors involved, the Northern Quarter businesses who provided incredible special offers, Cityco for the incredibly helpful and friendly networking sessions with N4 business owners, Aislinn Fearon and her amazing music contacts, the supremely talented Jody Hartley for taking such brilliant photos and the breathtakingly creative Screen Stockport folks for the video at the top of this blog, and all the yelpers and friends who took part in the launch and participated in the week of deals!
Want to see more snaps of that amazing Passport Launch night? Check Flickr, catch up on the gossip on Talk as well, and until next month, SYOY…
Emma-Lou H, Manchester Community Manager