Introducing my latest continental pasta & spatzle restaurant find nestled in the backstreets of Manchester, The Sparrows.
Hidden under Mirabel Street Arch, The Sparrows is located on a quiet court-yard type area near Victoria Station.
Serving spatzle as a restaurant speciality, I thought it’d be important to quote for you an early reveal of the ‘Spatzle’ meaning and reasoning of the restaurant name as a little context before reading on;
Spatzle, translating from the Swabian as “a little Sparrows” spätzle are irregular shape, fresh egg pasta popular across Central Europe.
So the restaurant meaning is basically pasta related – I think we know we’re on to a good thing at this eatery…
Having opened earlier this year (February 2019), The Sparrows sure is maintaining its newly renovated and fresh as ever interior vibe since opening a few months ago.
Pictured below, The Sparrows’ warm & cosy decor is particularly inviting with its ‘at-home’ feel and small seating area providing an intimate dining out experience.
The modern continental cafe hosts a great variety of hand-made dumplings & pasta of the European origin; the menu also consists of other European classics, offering the likes of Russian Pelimeni, Polish Pierogi, Italian ravioli, fresh rolled pasta and many, many more.
As a little background to the owner/chef at The Sparrows, the North Italian and South Tyrolian style cookery is mastered by Franco Concli (originally from Trentinio) and the drinks & spirits are served by a Japanese Sake expert, Kasia Hitchcock. A unique mix of cuisine & drink which the owners have accomplished very well.
With a stylish concoction of international drink & cuisine, I felt inclined to order a Japanese Sake to accompany my pasta dish to follow. As I’m only 5ft tall, fairly petite and it was only lunch time, I thought it was for the best for myself and company (my other half, Nick and my brother, John) to keep the drinking PG and go for a mix of ginger ale to wash down my recommended Hinomaru sake; a highly refreshing and tasty beverage.
Now on to the food orders – good old PIEROGI. The Polish style hand-made dumplings are a must in your life; in general, Polish food tends to be under appreciated and under-represented, so it’s pleasing to have this dish on the menu – Pierogi served at its best.
Priced at an affordable £7, I went for the Pierogi with cottage cheese & potato – a carb overload I was very much looking forward to. There’s of course a selection of toppings for the dumplings so there should be an option for the majority of customers.
It was that kind of lunch where we ordered a few small to medium style dishes to all go in and share between the three of us. The Grilled Smoked Sausage was the next dish on our radar, which consisted of a grilled Polish smoked sausage with sauerkraut, pickles and home baked focaccia. Again, fairly priced at just £6.
Now on to my favourite dish and most relevant for ordering at the restaurant – the famous Spatzle. As previously touched on at the start of this blog post, the Spatzle derives from the Swabian word: spätzen, meaning ‘little sparrows’.
Spatzle consists of a Hungarian dumpling made from pasta dough, and it’s believed that the dumplings inherited their ‘Spatzle’ name from the original method of cooking the ingredients with two spoons, which created a small dumpling that appeared like a sparrow.
Again, there’s an option to order this dish with different toppings but I decided to go with the classic dish to really appreciate the stand alone texture of the pasta type. As one of the customer favourites, the Spatzle I went for was the Butter dish with Sage and Parmesan; topped with a classic Italian & elegant savoury sauce (£5.50).
The classic meatier Spatzle option consists of Chorizo, cherry tomato, spinach & cream – an order I’ll most definitely be trying out soon.
After my recent trip to the food capital of Italy & surrounding Northern areas, it’s fair to say I’ve tried out my fair share of freshly cooked pasta, and this Spatzle is most definitely up there with feeling that authentic taste of Italian cuisine. The fresh egg pasta dish is also popular across across Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland, Alsace & Hungary, as well as South Tyrol.
For the next visit to The Sparrows, I’ll make sure to dive in to the Gnocci section – light and fluffy Italian dumplings made of potato, flour and egg. What else would you want?
TUESDAY – FRIDAY 12.00 – 22.00
SATURDAY 10.00- 22.00
SUNDAY 10- 16.00