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Papa G's Manchester
Tel. 0871 977 3881 (*= Calls cost 13p per minute plus your phone company's operating charge)
The Printworks, Manchester, M4 2BS [map]
Quality independent Greek Cypriot restaurant inside The Printworks
 
 
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Papa G's Restaurant Manchester - overall reader reviews
food
price
service
smartness
overall:
most popular dish: Chicken Souvlaki (£13.45)
 
 
 
 
Papa G's Restaurant Manchester - our review
The Best Cypriot Lace Hidden Amongst Chains (Feb 2012)

Trusted Reviewer "After a brief flirtation with America during the Great Depression, the two grandfathers of Angelo Gabrilatsou arrived in late 1930's Manchester from Kato Drys in Cyprus, penniless and homeless but armed with a suitcase full of Cypriot lace.

Selling the lace to wealthy families all over the country earned them enough money to separately open the Olympus Grill in Bolton and the Coffee Lounge in Wilmslow, where they stayed until retirement in the early 1980s.

Papa G's - Warm Greek Flat Breads

Today, you'll find examples of the famous Cypriot lace inside The Printworks, hanging on the walls of Angelo's restaurant, which is named after his two inspirational grandfathers.

The Decor of Papa G's is very fresh and modern which, to be honest, is in stark contrast to what I believed it to be all about. A truely independent restaurant, with the tale of how the family came to be in Manchester proudly retold on the menu and elsewhere, you can't help but feel the bright red and olive decor disconnects somewhat from the historic narrative. Being located amongst the multi-national names inside the vibrant Printworks doesn't help either and adds to the feeling of eating in a chain restaurant rather than a family ran unit but you can understand why they've gone for this approach rather than theming it like a traditional Greek taverna. That said, the ambience is good and the music skips perfectly from modern to traditional Greek and Cypriot hits.

Papa G's - Fishcakes

We visted three weeks into our annual January detox probably not best prepared to eat like Greek gods... apart from the grapes obviously.

The menu is that large, we were spoilt by the choice and it took a good ten minutes trying to eliminate the dishes we wanted least, everything sounded so good.

In the end, I opted for the Mediteranean Fish Cakes (£5.95) to start and my dining partner the Dolmathes (Stuffed Vine Leaves) for £5.65.

Because of our much-needed detox, we avoided the small but nice looking wine list, which boasted 26 different Italian, Greek, French and Spanish wines, half of which are available by the glass. Ranging from the Il Banchetto Trebbiano Chardonnay at just £14.45 a bottle to the £34.95 Brunello di Montalcino Castello Banfi, everything is reasonably priced including the one Champagne, Louis Roederer Brut Premier (£44.95).

Whilst we waited, we tucked into some Warm Greek Flat Breads (£1.95) which came with olives, delicious houmous and a beautiful Aubergine & Roast Garlic dip being the favourite. We went through the flat breads in no time and ordered a couple more, this time sampling Angelo's recommendation, the Feta Chillli Dip which came with a welcome kick. With my liking of all things spicy, I finished the pot off myself.

The Fish cakes were delicious. Perfectly cooked, they were nice and golden brown on the outside and lovely, fresh and flakey in the middle. The Stuffed Vine Leaves were equally as good. Again they were very fresh and tender with the beef and rice filling being deliciously very well flavoured.

Although it was reasonably quiet when we visited, with quite a few Mediterranean-looking customers making up the numbers, the service was fantastic throughout. Angelo and his staff really went out of the way to make us feel welcome. There's a real nice family friendly feeling about the whole restaurant. It would be interesting to revisit though when the staff are more stretched as the place is huge.

Papa G's - Stuffed Vine Leaves

Now then... the main courses... This is where it all went wrong... for our detox, at least! On reflection, we should have not ordered half a dozen flat breads at the start of the meal. Like the menu itself, the portion sizes are ENORMOUS, and I can't stress the word "ENORMOUS" enough, detox or not.

Papa G's - Chicken Souvlaki

My Chicken Souvlaki (£13.45) was served on a skewer long enough to be used as a sword by Jason and the Argonauts in their fight against the skeletons. It held together eight very generous chunks of chicken, which were cooked to perfection.

Too long to fit on the plate, it rested mid-air on a tower of what was described as "fat chips" but in reality was probably three large jacket spuds worth of potato. It came with Tzatsiki, Red Pepper Salsa and another large piece of beautiful Flat Bread, which by now we were more than familiar with.

Other than the sheer size of the challenge, I wasn't complaining as, like the chicken, the "potatoes" tasted great. The side order of Green Beans (£1.95) were also very nice but certainly not required.

The Kleftiko lamb shank (£14.25) looked, smelt and tasted terrific and, like everything else, was so huge you half suspected it had been raised by scientists in a secret underground steroid testing laboratory rather than on a farm.

The meat fell away from the bone and it just melted in the mouth perfectly. Unfortunately, neither of us managed to finish the mains as we were so full (I even had to undo the buttons on my pants so that I could breathe). We were also aware that we had to leave some room spare to be able to sample the incredible looking desserts menu.

Papa G's - Lamb Kleftiko

Papa G's - Desserts

The Crepes with strawberry and vanilla ice cream (£4.65) tasted delicious and had me smiling for the rest of the evening, talking about them for days afterwards and reminiscing about the sadly missed Dutch Pancake House - oh, how I used to love going there as a child. The pancakes at Papa G's tasted equally as good and if anybody decides to fill the gap in the market with a new pancake house in Manchester, Angelo should be that man.

The more traditional Greek dish of Baklava (£4.65) was beautifully presented and perfectly made. It went down a treat, despite its massive portion size and our already full bellies.

Overall we were more than impressed with Papa G's and will certainly be returning. If it was located elsewhere in town, rather than amongst the chain bars and restaurants inside The Printworks, the food served would receive an equal, if not better, reputation than some of the multi-award winning restaurants that make up the Restaurants Of Manchester 'Best Restaurants in Manchester' Top 10. Where it's easier to compare like-for-like, we certainly can't think of many better lamb shanks than the kleftiko served here, especially for the price too.

For a better indication of Papa G's Top 10 potential, we'd have to revisit during a busier period - it certainly seems packed to the rafters at weekends whenever we've walked past on our way to the cinema opposite. With Angelo expressing his pride on creating a relaxed family-friendly service - this was certainly evident with our waitress - it would be a shock if our experience was not replicated.

Our only gripe with Papa G's - and it's a large one, quite literally - is that the portion sizes are so big it actually ruins the experience. You go away feeling so stuffed, you are almost physically sick. OK, had we known in advance, we wouldn't have ordered the flat breads to start with but with a menu that is so inviting with its huge array of salads, barbeque skewers, steaks, pizzas, burgers, pastas, crepes and traditional Greek dishes, you'd be forgiven for ordering more than you actually need. Presumably Papa G's are paying more council tax than other restaurants as, despite the beautiful food, they must have a disproportionate amount of food waste in comparison - especially those massive "fat chip" potatoes.

Overall, Papa G's is a great restaurant and the food is up there with the best Manchester has to offer, If The Printworks has never been your 'thing' in the past then this place alone could change your expectations. With Harvester and the brilliant Moby's Fish & Chips shop heralding a change in neighbouring units, the future looks bright for diners at this ten year old indoor entertainment complex." - restaurants of manchester 8/2/12 (visited on a weds evening)

food
price
service
smartness
overall
"great but huge"
"fantastic value"
"very friendly"
"modern & bright"
"surprisingly brilliant"

 
 
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Disclaimer: All information correct 1/2/2012. RestaurantsOfManchester.com and ManchesterRestaurants.com can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed. All images and information 2000-2016 Pride Of Manchester