Tag Archives: Gorilla

The Deaf Institute – Manchester

“A surprising little find just off the beaten track”

I may have mentioned earlier, as well as liking his grub, The Cook Twit likes his heavy metal and tries to keep his beer belly in check. A hot, humid, drizzly Monday eve presented a bit of a problem. Devotion to his cause meant he had to trek along to extraordinaire rock god Sebastion Bach whilst juggling a notion of keeping his weight in tune with a ’52 diet’ fast day. The breakfast and lunch had passed with ease having merely chugged some porridge and an apple. The dilemma what to have for tea. Young Seb was treading the boards at The Academy on Oxford Road, I know there is plenty of quickie food joints up there, pizzas, kebabs, burgers all standard student fayre. Cutting to the chase I slipped off the main drag and stepped early doors into hip joint The Deaf Institute.

The historic exterior
The historic exterior

I believe it is a cousin of more mainstream city centre stalwarts Trof and Gorilla.
The outside looks good. It occupies a grade two listed building finished in 1877, that was formerly the Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute. It still has a brilliant, carved moniker sat above the doorway which says “Deaf And Dumb”. Also above the door is a carving of a hand on a book which was the emblem used at the time on badges worn by the deaf.
Inside is just as good. High ceilings, ferocious wallpaper, well worn schoolboy furniture, trendy chandeliers, it is a grungy delight. Deep bass, thumping chilled out sounds oozed from the transistorised amplification. Not many in, but hey it’s drizzly and it’s Monday. Still I’m happy, a copy of ‘The Skinny’ and a black coffee, I’m sorted. (Coffee!!! – Ed)

Ferocious wallpaper
Ferocious wallpaper

I still have to eat though, how do I get something for three hundred calories? I surveyed the hard to read, black type on red, graphic menu. Some great stuff on there. It’s a limited offering. Breakfast , burgers, hot dogs, a Sunday roast and some salads.

The hard to read funky menu
The hard to read funky menu

I went for the ‘Crunchy Mexican Streetfood Salad’ (£5). I added a grilled lemon chicken breast for an extra £1. The salad was essentially a mound of grated white and red cabbage, carrot. radishes, coriander, jalapeños, lime and brown rice. It had a few chick peas as well. It came with an oily, but mainly vinegary dressing. I have to say it was lovely. Fresh, zingy, crunchy with a healthy ‘chillified’ kick, it was absolutely lovely. The chicken was a tad overdone for me, I have a knack of cooking it still moist which is rarely replicated outside.

Zingy salad, awesome smoothie
Zingy salad, awesome smoothie

I’m not sure it truly met my three hundred calorie target, but I’m sure it was less than the burger and fries!
They have a great cocktail and beer menu as well. They have tons of bottled beer from all over the world including some decent American pale ales. As I was keeping off the alcohol I had a blueberry and banana smoothie (£3.50). It just hit the spot. It set me up wonderfully for a sweaty metal night. It all came to just over a tenner. It’s gone on my list. If you’re heading up to the Student area from town to a gig, you can do worse than nip in to The Deaf Institute for pre gig livener. I’ll be going again defo.

The Deaf Institute
135 Grosvenor Street
Manchester
M1 7HE
T: 0161 276 9350

Thedeafinstitute.co.uk

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Gorilla – Manchester

Always had a soft spot for Gorilla in Manchester. Set across from former ‘grab a granny haunt’ The Ritz, it is the natural port of call when The Cooktwit indulges in one of his other passions – rock music. Having been a nightclub, The Ritz has now morphed into a fully fledged, live rock venue. If a former rock titan has seen fit to grace The Ritz on their way down from the lofty heights of success, The Cooktwit and his chums have been there ready and waiting, air guitar in hand.

 

Trendy, The Ritz, trendy roof and upstairs diner,
Trendy, The Ritz, trendy roof and upstairs diner,

 

Gorilla is also a hop, skip and a jump from Oxford Road rail station, meaning our merry throng can be on the train home with ‘The Final Countdown’ encore still ringing in our ears.
However, a little ritual has developed, the Gorilla bar provides a thirsty rock troupe with good beer and has even given way to provide a pre gig snack in the shape of a trusty burger, shaped and seasoned by the fair hand of Chorlton butchering legend WH Frost. I have ventured these delights on to the palate of a good few of the ‘hoi poloi’ and have all agreed these are the work of an angel. They are juicy, pink and sized correctly for a fine feed.

The cocktail bar
The cocktail bar

In the guise of ‘Billy no mates’ I have on several occasions ventured alone into Gorilla. I’ve always found it to be a friendly and welcoming den. The bar tenders, encapsulated behind their three sided counter, often festooned in either facial hair, tats or piercings, or all three, are never anything other than friendly, efficient, jolly and professional. Indeed it’s quite a treat to watch them conjuring up their extensive cocktails.
But it was a different occasion this time. This time I trooped in with The Flame. We had just been up the road to The Opera House to watch an afternoon performance of ‘Rock Of Ages’. It was basically a spectacular romp through all the 80’s hair metal tunes you can think of, coupled to a series of jokes and raunchy dance routines. Indeed being a gentleman of a certain age and feeling somewhat hot under the collar, it was critical to reach Gorilla (the nearest bar) to cool the shock of seeing over a dozen power ballads and a veritable phalanx of near naked ladies clasped to the gills in suspenders belts! We arrived just after five and bagged a table right by the window facing out to the infamous Ritz. An American ‘Red Hook’ Pale ale was quickly acquired to apply the ‘cooling’!

The menu
The menu

The Gorilla decor ticks all the trendy bar boxes. In fairness to Gorilla I reckon they wrote the trendy bar book. Unmatched, up cycled furniture, craft beer, industrial lighting, exposed ceilings, retro branding, food served on wooden planks, plenty of organic, veggie, lentily stuff on the menu. The menu itself, along with a vintage drink booklet, is thoughtfully printed on lined paper with an old ‘typewriter’ font. So the trendy bar boxes all ticked, it’s all here and I think its great, and thankfully so did The Flame.
As great as the burgers are I decided to have a change this time. I went for a simple chargrilled half a chicken (£12). It had been marinated in thyme, garlic and lemon and I have to say without any doubt this was the finest piece of chicken I have had in years, if not ever. To say it was succulent, moist and tasty is not really doing it justice but it’s all I can think of. It came with a handful of watercress, on a plank, with two wonderful dips. A garlic mayo one and a chimmichurri (herby, olive oily) one, both very nice. I had some fries on the side (£3).

The chargrilled chicken, dips, chamoula kebab, the lot
The chargrilled chicken, dips, chamoula kebab, the lot

The Flame had a Chermoula Chicken Kebab (£10) which was toasted in an African spice rub, it came with a puy lentil, tomato, cucumber, and green herb salad, harissa yoghurt and a grilled flat bread. She had a roasted squash side to keep it company. Though I say so myself it looked the business and was absolutely bang on to how The Flame likes her food. She was well chuffed. We swapped a little bit. To be fair even she admitted my chicken was best, but I had half a wrap with all the trimmings and it was heavenly. All in all two great mains.
As is the norm I was forced to have a desert for research purposes, so I had the pecan pie and whipped cream (£4.50) while the flame had a standard black coffee in a mug. The pie was ‘delish’ although the base was a little tough and needed a good hacking with a fork. The bill came to £44.60 for the two of us with the drinks.

Pecan pie and beer
Pecan pie and beer

I think we all know Manchester has plenty of gourmet burger outfits who all do a grand job, but spare a thought for Gorilla. As I mentioned I’ve had quite a few here and they have been consistently superb. Judging by the number of them being carried aloft from the kitchen they are still hitting the spot. So there you have it, another recommendation, Gorilla it is!

Gorilla
54-56 Whitworth Street
Manchester
M1 5WW
http://www.thisisgorilla.com
0161 407 0301