A feast of football (with fine Reds) at Gary and Giggsy’s Westfield café
MANY have been derided as the prawn sandwich eaters, but now Manchester United’s legion of southern fans can enjoy a whole new range of culinary delights at a restaurant being opened by two of their heroes — Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
In December the pair will launch Café Football, a 140-seat venue at Westfield Stratford.
They say it will be “inspired by the game” and “capture that authentic football culture” through its food, cocktails and decor. Highlights of the menu, created by two Michelin-starred Michael Wignall and executive chef Brendan Fyldes, include the Café Football burger and a gourmet chicken and mushroom “pot noodle”.
Desserts include Half-time Orange (parfait and cream with orange cocoa butter and green marzipan, giving the appearance of a real citrus fruit), Pistachio Turf (pistachio sponge and chocolate in the form of a football pitch), and Melting Chocolate Football.
Staples include fish pie, lamb kebab, and sausage roll, and drinkers can enjoy a Red Devil cocktail. Prices range from about £5.95 for a starter to £20 for a sirloin steak. There will also be dishes created by other big names in the sport — including West Ham vicechairman Karren Brady.
Neville and Giggs are understood to have been “seriously involved” in the creation of the restaurant, attending tastings. Giggs, 39, is now a player/ coach with United, having made a record-breaking 969 appearances and scored 168 goals.
He said: “The food at Café Football will be a unique take on all of the traditional match day favourites. We want it to be the place where guests can enjoy themselves while eating classic football dishes with a modern twist. There is a real sense of community within fans and we want that fun atmosphere to spread to Café Football — it will be a place that reflects the spirit of fans coming together after a match.”
Former club captain Neville, 38, now a commentator and England coach, added: “Opening a restaurant is a huge step away from our lives on the pitch, but we are going to apply the same levels of enthusiasm and passion to try and make Café Football a success.
“We have a team of industry experts working with us, whose knowledge and skill-set will make sure every element is a fun experience.” Fyldes said the interior would be “very smart, sleek and sexy” and aimed at fans. He added: “The idea behind it is traditional food from a football match, sharing food, we want everybody to share it and enjoy eating all together.”
The players’ former teammate David Beckham already has a restaurant, Union Street Café in Southwark, which he opened with Gordon Ramsay this year. Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is planning to open a Caribbean restaurant with his mother in Birmingham.