70-72 Portland Street
Red Chilli is one of Manchester's well known Szechuan Chinese restaurants, and ever since Jay Rayner wrote about it I've been wanting to go. On a previous trip to Manchester, G & H took us and a bunch of other friends there, but I had a strange illness that made me lose my appetite and therefore missed out on the joy of all that spicy numbing food. So when I was back in Manchester for work, I made sure to detour to Red Chilli for a takeaway dinner. After some consultation with the waiter about what would travel well and be good with rice, I ordered two of their cold starters: Sliced Ox’s Heart, Ox’s Tongue, Ox’s Tripe in Chilli Sauce with Crushed peanuts, and Special Flavored Shredded Chicken. These were promptly wrapped up and I couldn't wait to dig in - I was starving and could tell from all the red hot chilli oil that I was going to need all the steamed rice and napkins that were included. It was wonderful - and perfect at room temperature, since the stinging/numbing chilli sensation didn't need to be coupled with burning my tongue. I valiantly tried to eat it all but had to give up about two-thirds of the way through. I might demand we go back there next time I'm in Manchester - it's possibly the favorite meal I've had there.