Shining a light on Arabia
Bringing all the rich and exotic flavours and atmosphere of Arabia to a colourful brand new venue in Manchester, Bakchich is a Lebanese restaurant which recently opened on Chester Street, opposite the MMU campus.
Set to become Manchester’s next big food trend, ‘Bakchich’ means ‘Loose Change’ – reflecting the restaurant’s ethos of providing fresh & healthy food at affordable prices – which is one of the reasons for the brand’s ongoing success and growth.
The Bakchich concept started out on the Christmas Markets of Liverpool, where its fresh ingredients, new and unique flavours and zesty juices quickly became a major hit.
This inspired owners Otto Mellouki and Amine El Gueddar to open their first site in Liverpool in August 2013.
This was followed by their Chester Street site, which was designed by Andrew Taylor of Think Design, with Caterfab delivering a truly excellent fit-out.
Located in the former Rice unit next to Nando’s, the new 180-cover restaurant features a colourful, contemporary design which draws on Otto and Amine’s travels to Beirut, as well as their childhood homes in Morocco, with hints of French colonial influence. For example, the open kitchen features a charcoal spit and huge Arabic calligraphy decorates the walls.
“Our mission is to create an environment that brings people of different backgrounds and beliefs together – celebrating the food we love,” said Otto.
He added: “Manchester is already such a fantastic melting pot, so we are really excited to add Lebanese cooking and the Bakchich concept to the mix.
“Street food concept has been part of Lebanese culture for a long time and our main reason for launching the restaurant was to educate people about Lebanese cooking. We spotted a major gap in the market that Liverpool and Manchester were lacking in Lebanese restaurants.”
Amine has lived in Liverpool for some considerable time, but was born in the city of Sale, Morocco. He has a long history of food and beverage experience throughout the sector. Tireless when it comes to detail, organisation, planning and evaluation, Amine employs all the fine professional skill he learned with various hotel chains at many important levels. His commitment to fresh, healthy, fast food at affordable prices has always been his key driver.
Emma Jane Preston of Bakchich said: “The whole site is beautifully appointed and the décor was designed to appeal to all, while at the same time embodying the true spirit of Arabia.
“The lighting is set to add an intimate feel to the dining experience, whilst the authentic Arabic/Lebanese background music adds yet more intimacy and ambience to the overall experience.
“Tables are spacious and accommodating and the interior is very airy. The cooking and preparation area is located toward the rear and visible to all, so customers can see their meals being cooked.
“The dining experience is relaxed and informal and our team is more than happy to accommodate all requests. Each dish has been created to reflect the culture and ethos of Lebanese cuisine.”
The menu features such exotic delights as Fatat Hommos (steamed chickpeas soaked in garlic yoghurt, toasted Lebanese bread and pine nuts); Hommos Beiruty (chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, green chilli and herbs); Batata Harra (spicy sautéed potato with red pepper, coriander, garlic, cumin and fresh red chilli); Hommos Shawarma (chicken shawarma served on a bed of hommos); Sawda Djej (sautéed chicken liver with onions, garlic, paprika with a touch of pomegranate molasses, sautéed with olive oil, flat parsley and Lebanese spices); Shish Taouk Salad (1 skewer of charcoaled grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, olives, radish, lemon juice & olive oil) and Chicken or Lamb Shawarma Wrap (with pickles & garlic sauce).
There is also a range of dishes designed for children.
A wide selection of non-alcoholic drinks is also available, such as coffees and various teas, including Moroccan mint tea. Juices include fresh banana, strawberry, pomegranate, orange, carrot, lime and lemon, with added ingredients such as pistachio, honey, date, yogurt, mint and ginger.
Otto Mellouki and Amine El Gueddar are also involved in other ventures and currently own Kasbah (an authentic Moroccan restaurant), Otto’s (a pizza parlour) and Chez Le Coq (a rotisserie chicken diner) – all in Liverpool.
Supplier Focus: Industville
Industville had the great pleasure of providing all the lighting for Bakchich’s newest venture. A rapidly expanding company, Industville specialise in producing unique industrial reproduction vintage lighting and furniture. Industville pride themselves on a constantly evolving cache of products in conjunction with supplying an ever growing number of both national and international clients. Using handcrafted materials, Industville have created a diverse range of authentic and unique products whilst also working closely with clients to produce bespoke lighting and furniture in line with their personal design concepts. This has included a variety of distinguished retail, leisure and hospitality companies in addition to smaller scale interior projects.
The beauty of Industville, is that, as a company they offer the look and style of vintage industrial lighting without the hassle and additional cost of sourcing originals.
Industville worked with Bakchich to provide all the light fittings for the newest member to the incredibly popular café/restaurant opening in Manchester early this month. Like Industville, Bakchich are committed to delivering only the highest quality products, illustrated in the expert care taken to ensure that each and every detail of both its food and restaurants itself have been carefully considered. This unique attention to detail extends to the interior design of their restaurants, from the floors, inspired by their Grandfather’s house in Marrakesh, Morocco to indeed the ceiling where you will see a fantastic and varied selection of lighting from Industville’s ever expanding range of pendant lighting. A combination of different styles and finishes has helped create a fantastic multi-sensory environment in which to enjoy the fabulous menu at Bakchich.
All Industville products are hand finished by skilled craftsman ensuring each item remains truly individual. In this way, it is easy to see how Bakchich and Industville are in many ways a natural fit, with Industville’s lighting illuminating both the food and interior which has helped create a unique and memorable look for this new and expanding restaurant empire!
P: 020 7971 7871
Showroom: Industville Ltd, Studio 34, Unit 10, Elizabeth Industrial Estate, Juno Way, South Bermondsey, London, SE14 5RW