Food of the world on a Preston

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Following the opening of Preston’s first sushi bar last year, Sarah Fielden explores some of the more unusual cuisines on offer across the city.

From cocoa pasta to Peruvian stew, there’s no need to go far from the city to discover an array of world foods.

Choice cuisine: Slice of Siciliy. From left, catering assistants, Michel Coswarem and Jonathan Slater, owner Etty Criscenti and manager Tim Murtagh

Choice cuisine: Slice of Siciliy. From left, catering assistants, Michel Coswarem and Jonathan Slater, owner Etty Criscenti and manager Tim Murtagh

Preston is home to cuisines from across the globe, catering for all tastes and lifestyles.

The city’s first sushi bar opened its doors in 2013, and it isn’t alone in offering something different for hungry diners.

Margaret Greenhalgh of the Sushi Salad Noodle Bar said all the food was made freshly in the shop, and there was nothing like it on offer anywhere else in town.

She added: “We are unique to the area.”

While the Guildhall Street bar may be one of a kind, it is not the only eatery offering unusual cuisine in Preston.

MoMo’s Mediterranean and Moroccan cafe opened in October, and is already pulling in the crowds.

Manager Medi Boulal said: “Our first catchment is students, but we have found many other people are coming. Our main theme is Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine, and we do Arabian dishes.”

He said the Friargate cafe and bistro offered different tagines, as well as falafel, hummus and Lebanese dishes.

Medi, who is Moroccan himself said he was exploring Preston with his family when he decided to set up MoMo’s.

He said: “I walked down Friargate and I saw the shop was to let - I just made inquiries and that’s how it all started. I thought I could bring something new to the area, and we class ourselves as unique or different.”

Preston’s Duk Pond restaurants offer world tapas style dining, and owner Andrea Mellon said the most popular dish was the Peruvian stew.

She said: “It is actually quite famous now. It’s been on stage with Gino D’Acampo and on the radio.”

Andrea said the stew was also the most unusual dish offered in the restaurants.

She said: “It is made with fruits and vegetables and chilled. It is a highly spiced dish, and it’s also a vegan dish. It’s very unusual with the fruits and vegetables in the same dish, and not many places do it. Everything is hand prepared and we cook everything fresh to order.”

“Soul food” can be found in Coco’s Mediterranean restaurant on Friargate, while across town, Royal Piri Piri offers both Portuguese and Indian cuisine.

Manager Azad Miah said the restaurant and takeaway had been running about seven years, with Frango being the most popular dish. He said: “It’s like barbecue chicken. We also do platters, we do sizzlers, noodles, pastas and curries.”

Deli and bistro Slice of Sicily opened in Penwortham about nine years ago, with a new branch opening its doors in Fulwood in November. Owner Etty Criscenti said the most unusual dish on offer was cocoa ravioli. He said: “It is made from fresh ravioli made with cocoa powder and stuffed with ricotta and orange zest.

“We don’t have it on the menu all the time, it’s just a special that we do. But we serve it as a savoury version served with lamb shoulder casserole slow cooked for four hours. It’s a little bit sweet and sour.

“Or we do a sweet version. We deep fry the ravioli very quickly, drizzle it with warm orange marmalade and finish with icing sugar.

“The ravioli looks brown in colour kind of like the black pasta that’s made with squid ink. It’s quite typical in Sicily but unusual in England so people call it weird because they’ve never seen it before.”