The Arndale Market in Manchester is a wonderful place, and I think when people are looking for a quick bite to eat at lunchtime in Manchester, it’s ideal. Many people just think of food in the Arndale as the Food Hall where you can get artisanal hand crafted delights, such as McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Taco Bell*, but there is also this area where you can have Mexican, Caribbean, Italian and Vietnamese food all in one small space, and wash it down with a pint of real ale, too.
Yes, it’s crowded, and you are lucky to get a seat without first having to hover over someone who looks like they’re almost finished, but there’s just such a great choice of proper food, cooked with love and care.
Viet Shack had been on my list of places to pop into for lunch on our Manchester break, but lunches ended up being a dessert only affair, so on the Thursday we visited for something to eat before going to see Guardians of the Galaxy on the mahoosive IMAX screen at the Printworks.
We shared a portion of the Prawn Summer Rolls, the little bit of peanut butter and chilli sauce on the top was great for me, but for Sara who can’t have very spicy food, it was too much for her. They said it was a mild chilli sauce, we should have taken that with a pinch of salt and asked for two with no chilli sauce, but lesson learnt. These were nice enough, and the little fried onion bits added texture, but the summer roll wrapper… thing… was just a bit chewy, if that’s how they’re supposed to be that’s fine, but I didn’t like that too much.
The main event for us both was a Bánh mì, now allow me to put on my tweed jacket with leather elbow patches for a moment… the Bánh mì sandwich goes back to French colonialism of Vietnam, hence the French baguette bread… sorry about that.
This sandwich was filled with sliced pork meatloaf, grated carrot, cucumber and coriander (which I love, Sara hates, so yay, extra coriander for me!) I adored this, it’s like the king of all butties, the meatloaf filling was perfect, I just wished there was more of it, because as I’ve established oft’ times before, I am a bit of a fatty.
We both washed down our food with “coolers”, I had a lemon and mint cooler, and Sara had the raspberry and mint cooler.
Lovely and refreshing, and I’d imagine very simple to make at home, too. Just flavours, steeped into water. Nothing wrong with that. Food and drink finished, off we went to the cinema to watch a talking racoon and a tree shooting at things…
*Disclaimer, I kinda like Taco Bell, I know… awful.