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The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Sam Waller •

For this landmark edition of Eatery of the Month, we’re taking a trip back to where things began…

Eagle eyed net-nerds may remember that many years ago, the first place we ever wrote about in this sporadic series was a wondrous place called Club Sandwich on Oldham Road. It was one of the only places round here that sold eggy bread, they did decent toasties and the prices were more than reasonable.

Sadly, for reasons unknown, Club Sandwich closed down around a year ago, leaving a void in many a man’s stomach. I’m not much of a fan of change, so the prospect of this little gem being turned into a nail salon or an estate agents was a bit gutting.

Luckily, I needn’t have worried—whilst doing the rounds one day I clocked the shutters were back up, the Plexiglas sneeze guards were still intact and a new sign had been placed outside... Fusion had arrived.

Whilst Club Sandwich focused solidly on hearty English fayre, Fusion combines those timeless British mainstays with Caribbean island flavour. Wash your jacket potato down with a cool can of Ting, or perhaps douse your plantain in Heinz ketchup… this place isn't called Fusion for nothing.

Like all the best take-ways, Fusion has a big television on the wall (sometimes featuring the friendly face of Peter Andre). TVs in places like this are nothing new, but how come you don’t get televisions in restaurants?

Surely the time is ripe for a ‘TV Dinners’ themed-restaurant where everyone sits on sofas watching repeats of The Simpsons with a plate of shepherd’s pie perched on a cushion on your lap. Anyway, now’s not the time to talk of possibly lucrative business ventures, let’s look at the food… 

Not a bad spread, I’m sure you’ll agree. I went for ackee and saltfish with plantain and dumplings on the side, with a canister of pineapple soda for lubrication and a Mars Bar for pudding, and it was every bit as good as it looks.

I think it maybe cost around £6, which is maybe a bit of a stretch for your everyday lunch, but for that Friday treat after a tough week’s toil, that’s definitely reasonable—especially when you’re dealing with non-standard ingredients like ackee and the like.

Could this place be even better than its predecessor, Club Sandwich? At this early stage it’s hard to say, but it’s very, very good. Could it be that there’s some sort of primordial energy in this location that means that all food made here tastes ace, sort of like when you build your house on top of a Native American burial ground…

Certainly something to think about.

RATING: Cracking location and a good mix of flavoursome flavours, I give this place five ripe plantains out of five.

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The people say...

  • Kat Towers

    YES! This is the one! We need more Caribbean vibes in the Northern Quarter. Turtle Bay DOES NOT count – the closest they have ever got to the Caribbean is when one of their chefs had a can of Lilt in a petrol station.

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