Nutter does Famous

22 Nov
The pop-up scene in Manchester has truly exploded of late. Whether creative, inventive or as often as not, surreal, since my adventures at the Southern Summer Barbecue, the city has seen the birth of a street food collective, a new supper club come to the fore and more ingenuity from the pop-up pioneers behind The Yacht Club. With Guerilla Eats showcasing the streetwise talents of Fire and Salt BBQ and Dirty Dogs are Hot, Dine In Out delivering dinner party style events across Manchester and for this winter only, The Ski Club will be serving up an après ski experience right in the heart of the city centre, us Mancunians are spoilt for choice.
The latest pop-up to grace us with its presence was the Nutter Does Famous do, where Andrew Nutter of Nutters fame collaborated with Beau Myers and the Almost Famous team behind MFDF12’s Food Pioneer Award. With larger than life reputations both, renowned for their tasty and packed with a punch food, the £50 upfront tickets sold out quicker than an Almost Famous special. Understandably, expectations were high with a small amount of trepidation thrown in for good measure, given the teasing tweets and impulsive nature of the two guys at the pass.

Nutter does Famous Menu

Like any good pop-up, the surprises were plentiful. Queuing (as always) to get past the unmarked Almost Famous door, a vicious girl fight kicked off between two love rivals, only to morph into a street performance from carefully placed actors amongst the crowds. Our nerves were soothed in a festively-themed room, (more of which later), complete with harp player and the most elegant Grey Goose and elderflower cocktail to ever pass my lips, before being met for the sit-down dinner by the same theatre group singing ‘Food Glorious Food’ and sprinkling petals from the Almost Famous rafters. Curiouser and curiouser.

Street fight. Nutter brings a true taste of Rochdale to the streets of Manchester.

Not a jam jar in sight. Grey goose and elderflower cocktail.

Theatrical performances aside, what was truly surprising was the food. Expecting a dirty burger, boozy mash-up, we were presented with classic flavour combinations, expertly executed and exquisite tasting food. No kitchen towel on the table, cutlery in hand, we were set for a right royal feast. Baked clam chowder thick with mussels, soft, pillowy brill topped with a rich and moreish pesto and the most unctuous pork belly served with crackling and fat piggy juices, our table full of Twitter lovies found themselves silenced on more than one occasion. Finished off with a honeycomb-adorned chocolate mousse, we were transported far beyond the burger trays to fine-dining heaven.

Brill with Jerusalem Artichoke, Wild Mushroom and Pesto

Pork Belly, Crackling and a Pineapple and Black Pudding Beignet

The biggest revelation of the night however, was Nutter himself. Having only ever seen him from afar, Union Jack flag and a bottle of grey goose in hand, I was expecting some full-on antics, but when it comes to his craft, he’s one serious dude. Passionate about great flavours, local ingredients (bury black pudding wontons anyone?) and heard on the grapevine from crew members past, a great man to work for too, leading from the front and inspiring his team to deliver the refined food his Rochdale-based restaurant is renowned for.

Andrew Nutter plating up dessert

Chocolate mousse with honeycomb and a chocolate orange bee

In a night full of the unexpected, it was entirely expected that Beau would have something up his sleeve. Master of the big reveal and king of creating a sense of urgency around his creations, in our journey from Socio Rehab for cocktails and canapés to the top floor burger den for the main event, we were introduced to the marvel that is Miracle, the Christmas themed pop-up from Almost Famous.

Promising the mother of all turkey burgers, fondue-style desserts and Christmassy cocktails when it opens this week, we enjoyed a sneak preview of the venue amidst the twinkling ambience of log cabin bars and slightly bizarre sprout prints whilst enjoying our amuse bouche. And whilst a Bloody Mary lobster shot is for life and not just for Christmas, could this be another pop-up to put on the wish list, perhaps?

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