Manchester is considered to be one of the trendiest cities in the United Kingdom. This stature has been enhanced by a huge improvement in the standard of restaurants over the past decade. Here are the best spots on Manchester’s culinary scene.
Courtesy Michael Caines at ABode Manchester
Michael Caines at ABode Manchester
Michael Caines MBE is arguably one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs with two Michelin-stars to his name. Therefore, it would be an erroneous not to visit Manchester’s own Michael Caines Restaurant, located in the Grade II listed ABode Hotel. It has won a host of awards including ‘Manchester Restaurant of the Year’ 2008 and 2009 and boasts an elegant design that exudes a sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. The kitchen, headed up by Executive Chef Robert Cox serves innovative European cuisine, inspired by Michael’s tutelage. With main courses priced from £18.00, you can marvel at the creativity on show such as the roasted Isle of Mull scallops with pork crackling and wild garlic. Michael Caines at ABode Manchester – with a champagne bar located within the environs – is undoubtedly a premier fine dining institution with the city.
Much loved by the Mancunian locals, the Aumbry is an intimate restaurant set in a small converted cottage in the suburbs of Manchester. Mary-Ellen McTague was awarded Chef of the Year at the 2013 Manchester Food and Drink Festival. Furthermore, you can find Aumbry in this year’s list of the top 100 restaurants in the UK, as compiled by National Restaurant Awards. It is undergoing refurbishment from 30 August, so there will be a pop-up restaurant from 42-44 Edge St in the Northern Quarter of Manchester City Centre. However when Aumbry in Prestwich village reopens, towards the end of the year, it will no doubt continue to attract customers for its top-quality cooking. The kitchen uses seasonal and local produce to create innovative twists on classic British food. A brief glance at the lunch menu reveals a rich diversity of fragrant ingredients such as home-smoked mackerel with poached rhubarb and mustard cream along with the vegetarian roast garlic pearl barley with Old Winchester and curly kale. A particular highlight of Aumbry’s portfolio is the special five course tasting menu for just £25 per person – available normally every Tuesday evening.
As the restaurants name suggests, Australasia offers a culinary exploration into contemporary Australian cuisine, fusing European traditions with gastronomic influences from Indonesia, Southeast Asia and Japan. Chef David Spanner has made a huge impact since he joined last year, creating waves within Manchester’s culinary scene. Visitors can enjoy his enthralling mixture of dishes including potato and wild mushroom wonton with pea purée, sweet soy and saki broth. Also you can select something cooked on Australasia’s robata grill such as BBQ lamb cutlets with soured cabbage. In addition to this delicious range, the restaurant’s interior is absolutely stunning, combining modern design trends with rustic and natural touches, such as the beautifully white tree decorations reminiscent of Australia’s gum trees. Overall, Australasia provides an outstanding dining experience.
Greens is regarded as Manchester’s flagship vegetarian eatery, winning multiple awards such as Manchester Food and Drink Awards (2000, 2003, 2006, 2008) and the prestigious title of AA Rosette in 2000. The restaurant was created by Simon Connolly and Simon Rimmer – who is now a very popular TV celebrity chef – and was founded to be a vegetarian venue with ‘scrumptious dishes and exciting ingredients that aren’t 10 years behind the best restaurants in town’. Now one of the highlights of Manchester’s culinary landscape, the restaurant serves imaginative plates bursting with flavour that are made using fresh local ingredients. So make sure you come along and try the Persian spiced aubergine koftas with tomato sauce and tabboulleh salad. A particular favourite is the Lancashire cheese and basil sausages with grain mustard mash, beer gravy and tomato ketchup chutney, satisfying both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Ultimately, Greens proves that you don’t need meat for a top quality meal.
Teacup Kitchen on Thomas Street was awarded the Casual Dining of the Year at Manchester’s Food and Drink Awards 2012. More recently, it features in the prestigious Waitrose Good Food Guide 2014. It is a charming restaurant and cafe that combines two of Britain’s great loves: tea and cake. Tea is the main focus here and the cafe offers a refreshing and warming list of loose leaf teas, from ‘vanilla cacao’ to the organic ‘hibiscus flowers’, while their ever changing delectable cake options are a constant temptation for regulars. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed at Teacup Kitchen, with the restaurant serving quality meals such as as Moroccan couscous and chargrilled chicken accompanied with raisins & leafy garden salad. For those who prefer coffee, the cafe’s baristas boast of expertly pulled shots of Atkinson’s hand-roasted coffee.
The French at The Midland Hotel was once a hugely opulent place to dine, yet as time passed it lost its lustre. What the hotel needed was someone with a stardust quality to revive the restaurant. In 2013, Rogan took over and was able to completely re-energise The French, to such an extent that it is now the most decorated restaurant in Manchester with three AA rosettes. This is no fluke for his other restaurant L’Enclume, situated in Cumbria, was very recently ranked the best restaurant in the country for the second successive year by the 2014 Good Food Guide. So The French is thriving once again, serving the most outstanding modern British cuisine, and it surely is only a matter of time before it acquires the much coveted Michelin star.
Aiden Byrne is noteworthy for being the youngest ever Michelin-starred chef. Emboldened by his success, he decided to open an ambitious and dazzling fine dining restaurant in Manchester. The restaurant and lounge is situated on two floors of Tower 12 in Spinningfields. The former is situated on floor two where you’ll be greeted with a minimalist room with an open kitchen at the epicentre. Byrne’s establishment excels at delivering modern and awe-inspiring British cuisine. There is an impressive vegetarian menu as a well as an mouthwatering a la carte menu for the carnivores. Importantly the famous chef is often present, making sure that his kitchen meets the extremely high standards that he has set himself. There is a great theatricality to the proceedings – with the aforementioned open kitchen – yet this is place where there is substance as well as style.
This is an extremely popular restaurant and bar that has done well to establish itself amidst some stiff competition. 47 King Street West serves breakfast as well as afternoon tea, yet what it really specialises in is French and British cuisine. Local chef Rod Francis is immersed in French cuisine, having worked at the internationally renowned Blaneys Restaurant. In the a la carte menu there are enticing dishes such as Goosenargh duck breast with confit rattle potatoes, French beans, sun-blush tomatoes and strawberry jus, which you can follow with a raspberry crème brulee and wash down with a dessert wine from Chile. It also caters for those desiring the traditional British Sunday lunch. So 47 King Street West is a trendy area fitting for modern cuisine and additional entertainment.
Ning is the place to go for sumptuous Malaysian food. It was established in 2006 and has since grown a mini-empire encompassing a cookery school as well as supper clubs and other events in London. Ning, based in the Northern Quarter, was awarded Best Malaysian Restaurant at the Asian Curry Awards 2012. Furthermore, this stylish restaurant is armed with an extremely talented chef in Norman Musa, who was the recipient of the Asian and Oriental Young Chef of the Year award in 2012. Customers are attracted to Ning because of its authentic curries and fresh Malaysian specialities that are served within a chic and welcoming setting. Also Ning has a tempting special offer: a two course deal for £15.50 per person everyday excluding Friday and Saturday night. Therefore you have no excuse not to visit and discover an innovative type of cuisine.
This sushi bar is relatively new in Manchester, yet it is had made a considerable impression in a short space of time. This is because Umezushi has proven itself to be very imaginative with its cooking. The bar offers a reliable express lunch menu from Tuesday to Friday at 12-2pm. Yet it is Umezushi’s a la carte menu that catches the eye, as it is extremely detailed and will certainly provide an education about the rich diversity of Japanese cuisine. Food such as sea urchin sushi, Japanese Wagyu Nigiri beef, Wagyu steak and an authentic kushiyaki/yakitori grill are meticulously prepared using the freshest of ingredients. Additionally, Umezushi aims to introduce Japanese Koshu wines to Mancunians – a drink that has never been served before in the city.