Tag Archives: Chorizo

The Millstone – Newton-le-Willows

“A little bit of the world in Newton le Willows!”

Difficult to believe but somehow it seems to work. The Millstone is a small hostelry offering International tapas. It is on Mill lane heading out of Newton. It’s a little bit out of the way to be part of the standard High Street pub crawl. It’s niche really is its small and friendly bar offering decent cask ales for its merry band of regulars. It doubles up as a pit stop for our Sunday stroll. The pub is only small, square in shape, symmetrical set in two. You walk through the central door to be greeted by the small well kept, ‘U’ shaped bar to the right. The small, ‘thirtyish’ covers dining area is set behind a partition to the left. Cream and navy paint allied to neat signage and oak furnishings present the gaff in a smart, contemporary manner.

Smart small square hostelry
Smart small square hostelry

A couple of big tellys in the bar side mean its a favourite with the sports fans. When we ventured in for a romantic trist we had not factored in the Rugby League Grand final. It was wonderful to be reminded throughout our meal that the Warrington Barmy Army were in and in fine fettle! Still such is the way the dining area is set off from the bar side you can enjoy your meal in relative seclusion. It was a little unusual on this occasion for it to be quite so raucous! Newton is a rugby town after all.

International tapas, extensive menu
International tapas, extensive menu

Head chef Paul uses quality local and international ingredients to produce the goods. His mediterranean influence sparked by a seven year stint running a restaurant in Portugal.  He prepares all the dishes to order on his trusty six burner stove and his huge collection of IKEA pans! This ensures the food is hot, tasty and perfectly cooked. Some dishes work, some don’t work quite so well. As well as the international tapas they do a steak on a stone, a traditional Sunday lunch and a first rate paella.

Steak on a stone, paella
Steak on a stone, paella

Platter,  salmon kebab, bury tapas, Panko cod

Platter, salmon kebab, bury tapas, Panko cod

Our opening platter of feta, anchovies, peppers and olives with warm bread was delightful. As were the spicy kidneys. My bury black pudding tapas in mustard cream was less so. The garish yellow sauce being a bit thin and sweet for me. The wine is good and well priced and my Thwaites Wainwright set the scene nicely.

In contrast to some tapas bars the morsels turn up together and are then dotted around your table. This gives me the chance to steal some of The Flames superior choice at will, much to her annoyance!

King prawn fajitas, lamb chops, chicken chorizo stew
King prawn fajitas, lamb chops, chicken chorizo stew

The menu is extensive and skirts around all walks of international cuisine. Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Mexican and many more all get a chance. I have witnessed a substantial paella in the past which I have yet to try. After our opening platter we ordered a further three dishes each (we were hungry!). The flame homed in on the fishy side of things which are thoughtfully listed separately. In no particular order we wolfed through a Cod in Panko breadcrumbs and a sweet chilli jam, salmon kebabs dusted in Cajun spices, Mini King Prawn fajitas, chicken and chorizo stew, bury black pudding in a mustard cream sauce and lamb cutlets. We washed this lot down with some spicy wedges and some warm bread.

The ensemble. Cosy dining area, Apple Betty
The ensemble. Cosy dining area, Apple Betty

The dishes are all around a fiver, plus or minus a quid if there’s some posh fish involved. For me the lamb cutlets won. Four beautifully cooked chops around eight millimetres thick (are you sure they weren’t 9mm? – Ed). Another highlight was the king prawn fajitas, well cooked prawns with a hint of heat. The flame reckoned the chicken and chorizo stew won and who am I to disagree? To be fair it was all pretty good. As I mentioned above the slight downer being the swimming sauce around Bury’s finest. Using my special dessert stomach I managed an apple Betty with three scoops of ice cream just to finish!

This lot all romped in at £60. We had quite a bit of grub and drink for that, after all we can both walk here! It was a crisp bright night so it was a pleasant walk home. So there you have it Newton has a few decent places to eat! We always nip to Ariete if we want Italian and Amans for Indian. If you want a flash of Spain, The Millstone is the one.

The Millstone
71 Mill Lane Newton-leWillows, Cheshire
01925 569306



SoLita – Northern Quarter – Manchester

Stop Press – This could be the best burger I’ve ever had!

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about SoLita for months now. I think SoLita is short for South of Little Italy? The twitteratti has been encouraging discerning flollowers to try out this little Mexican gem in Manchester’s northern Quarter. The problem has been I’ve never known where it was! 
However, a couple of weeks back I stumbled on it whilst searching out a decent pint on the way home from work. Having memorised its location I ventured out once again to sample its delights.
It operates from a corner plot, tucked away from the bright lights of the city. The munching takes place on two floors, a large, red, banquette, diner style awaits below while a small, intimate bistro greets you from the street complete with funky, cartoon wall graphics!
As it was only tea time on a Wednesday eve I was able to acquire a high poseur table slot. Perfect for a lonesome soul, (the flame was otherwise engaged). The menu, printed in black on white acts as your place setting. Perfect for someone who had forgot his readers! There was also a large blackboard shouting out the specials in coloured chalk. There is plenty of choice here. A big feature is their use of an Inka grill which uses charcoal to provide heat and barbeque flavours. A whole host of fish, meaty steaks, chicken and sausages can be had off this, but I went for one of the specialty burgers. 
I went for the Catalan burger (£10.90) with sweet potato chips. Boy oh boy it was sensational. A Catalan burger comes with the obligatory melted cheese, that goes without saying, but it then comes with large slices of chorizo sausage, roasted peppers and a roasted tomato allioli. The combination provided a wonderful, juicy, spicy mess. For a bit of crunch I opted to pay an extra £1 for the sweet potato chips, which were slightly less successful, but hey, a minor quibble against the main event.
I was only in for a quick snack, but I have to say I will be back for more. I had to leave without tasting my own tiramisu (see blackboard). The menu is wide and varied, the atmosphere and service is warm, friendly and utterly beguiling. And to add to that they even served a decent ale! I washed this Spanish delight down with a ‘Top hop Hornbeam local 4.2%!’ Result.

37 Turner St, Manchester
0161 839 2200