8 new Manchester restaurants that you should visit
PUBLISHED: 00:00 17 April 2015 | UPDATED: 12:12 19 January 2016
Toby Keane Photography
Eat drink and be merry! Manchester is cooking up a reputation as a foodie capital
Manchester is undergoing a renaissance at the moment and nowhere more than on the food and drink scene.
With 22 new restaurants expected to open in the city this year, alongside swanky new arrivals like Hotel Gotham and King Street Townhouse, the city is embracing its reinvention as the Northern Powerhouse with gusto.
Not only will this be a role that will reconfigure its status as a vibrant regional capital but it is bringing in new investment and the first signs are a proliferation of eateries that are already making their mark.
From uber chic themed restaurants to elegant rooftop terraces and cool cocktail lounges we highlight some of the new venues that have arrived in city as well as those we can look forward to in 2015 and beyond...
The Hawksmoor chain has its first restaurant outside London on Deansgate and what a beautiful place it is.
Owners Will Beckett and Huw Gott have sympathetically restored the Victorian Courthouse building on 184-186 Deansgate. This is no ‘pop up’ having already achieved an air of permanence many newcomers can only dream of. Diners can enjoy a drink in the cool clubby bar before stepping into one of the dining rooms. One has a see-through kitchen where you can watch all the culinary action, the other is spacious and elegant room with big windows looking out onto Deansgate. Food is Hawksmoor’s trademark simple mix of dictionary-thick steaks cooked over charcoal as well as treats like lobster and something inspiring for the vegetarian. Delicious puds and a wine list drawn from interesting small vineyards as well as big-name winemakers, and award-winning cocktails all served by lovely people who genuinely care about what they do.
2015 sees Living Ventures’ transformation of 81 King Street (formally Room/Reform) into Grand Pacific. Sister to popular restaurant Australasia, Grand Pacific will be known for cocktails, sushi, small plates and DJs, from brunch through to late night. ‘I have admired this space for many years and have fond memories of it as Reform in the 90s’, says Tim Bacon, CEO, Living Ventures.
‘Its history is fascinating and having been a hospitality establishment for nearly 145 years, we aim to successfully continue the tradition. To me this is a perfect layout for Grand Pacific. The existing venue has proved really popular and exceeded our expectations so I have been waiting for an appropriate site to expand this brand. It will be a sensitive and complimentary upgrade, as I’m keen not to lose any of the character which oozes through this space.’
King Street Townhouse
This summer sees the opening of King Street Townhouse within the Upper King Street conservation area of Manchester city centre.
Like its Eclectic Hotels stablemates Great John Street Hotel, Eleven Didsbury Park and Didsbury House, expect a sympathetic transformation of the Grade II 1864 listed building into an intimate and exciting location.
For diners there will be a bar and restaurant, afternoon tea room and south facing roof garden.
This former bank housed in a magnificent deco 1928 Edwin Lutyens building on King Street is now a quirky hang out, where dining and eating in style is de rigueur.
For residents of lucky enough to book into one of the 60 dazzlingly decadent rooms there are trunk-style cocktail cabinets and a Martini trolley that does the rounds of the rooms at 8pm in case you want a pre-dinner cocktail while you get ready to hit the 6th floor restaurant named Brass and Honey (one of the numerous references to the hotel’s past as a bank). Here dining is brasserie style but the emphasis is very much about carving an identity as a Manchester (meets Manhattan) hotel, so expect Lancashire hotpot, Manchester tart and even Vimto to make an appearance.
On the seventh floor is a private members bar where up to 700 guests can enjoy amazing views over Manchester while they drink specially created cocktails by a barman who is improbably named van Gotham.
Could this be Manchester’s coolest Chinese restaurant ever? This month the stylish restaurant Tattu opens on Gartside Street split over two floors and three distinct areas that draw their decorative influence from body art.
We are promised a ‘new take’ on eastern cuisine as well as customised cocktails and even a ‘food catwalk’ to conjure up a unique experience that aims to stimulate all the senses.
‘Tattu will look like nothing seen before in the food and beverage industry,’ said a spokesman.
The menu has been created by critically acclaimed executive chef Andrew Lassetter of Cocoon, Kyashii, Circus and Eight over Eight in London. It will provide guests with a choice of dim sum and small plates, created and presented by a team of highly skilled, well-trained chefs from London’s Hakkasan Group.
Ibérica is part of the reinvented Spinningfields area which has gradually switched its emphasis from fashion to food. The restaurant occupies the old All Saints building opposite the Oast House pub and it’s an impressive venue that showcases an extravaganza of Spanish cuisine.
Ibérica’s executive head chef, Nacho Manzano, who has an impressive three Michelin stars to his name; two for his celebrated restaurant Casa Marcial and a further star for La Salgar, has developed a unique à la carte menu that will offer guests a real insight into authentic Spanish gastronomy.
To add to that al fresco authenticity, there are two impressive areas at either side of the main entrance to the restaurant, bringing the atmosphere of Madrid’s famous terrace culture to Manchester.
El Gato Negro
Summer 2015 sees the arrival of El Gato Negro on King Street. The brainchild of Simon Shaw, El Gato Negro has won countless awards during its nine years in business including recognition from Hardens, Michelin, and The Good Food Guide. Last year the restaurant was awarded a prestigious Michelin Guide 2015 Bib Gourmand for the second year running.
52 King Street is a former retail space which once housed brands such as All Saints and Ted Baker. El Gato Negro Manchester will see the site transformed in coming months with a stunning conversion sympathetic to the building’s heritage and location.So why Manchester?
Manchester is such a vibrant city and boasts an incredible mix of restaurants and bars of all culinary tastes.
No doubt after nearly ten years in Ripponden, West Yorkshire, Simon seized the opportunity to take a larger and better equipped space across the Pennines that means he will be able to share his take on modern Spanish cuisine with even more people.
With El Gato Negro previously being in a provincial location, customers have often travelled from Manchester, Cheshire and other regions to enjoy El Gato Negro’s tapas offering in Ripponden. Simon’s pop-up appearances at food events such as Beat Street Manchester’s ‘Up In Your Grill’ have been hugely popular and given him a further affinity for the city.
Footballer Gary Neville and former team mate Ryan Giggs are expanding their portfolio to include a new Jackson’s Row development that will see this historic area transformed into a leisure and business quarter.
They have formed a consortium to build offices, bars, restaurants and a four or five-star hotel around the historic building, off Deansgate , in partnership with the council.
Neville has also bought the former Stock restaurant on Norfolk street and there are reports that this will also be transformed into a hotel. n