As the Manchester restaurant scene continues apace with lots of new openings every week, we give you the run-down of the hottest properties in town right now.
RANDALL & AUBIN – Bridge Street
Restauranteur and housewife’s favourite celebrity chef Ed Baines has opened his first site outside of the original Soho branch to great applause. As with many operators these days, it seems that developing a business up north can mean only one place – Manchester! Although we had to wait 20 years…
Head here for an incredibly good, fish-centric menu. Stylish and laid-back during the day and one of the hippest dining spots in the city in the evenings, the restaurant straddles the Deansgate and Spinningfields areas nicely catering to a very wide demographic. A definite hospitality consultant’s favourite, and one to watch!
RUDY’S PIZZA – NUMBER 2 – Cotton Street
Now a firmly-ensconced Manchester favourite, and one of the top pizza joints in the world. This writer used to park his car above their first restaurant in the city’s Ancoats area when he was cool enough to live there and was lucky enough to meet the guys behind it before the site was launched. “It may sound like it’s only pizza, but we’re going to do it EXTREMELY well…” they said. And they definitely delivered. Neopolitan-style, hand-stretched pizzas made with a huge amount of love (and a geek-level attention to detail) sit well within the Northern Quarter offshoot of Ancoats and was one of the Latter-day originals. Stripped-back ambience and some truly wonderful specials now make this place a destination restaurant for the wider Greater Manchester populace.
Now in the pipeline – Rudy’s Number Two, alongside Manchester / UK hospitality pioneers Mission Mars, with hopefully lots more to follow.
WEST CORNER – Hilton Street
A newcomer, but already becoming recognised as one of the best performers in the recent glut of ‘neighbourhood diner’-style operators city-wide. Taking over a site previously occupied by Manchester stalwarts The Koffee Pot (they have haggis on the menu) was always going to be a tough ask, but West Corner has pulled this off with aplomb. Thanks -in no small part- to the chefs behind the opening menu – They’ve quietly side-stepped the easy ‘dirty-breakfast’ Americana trope and gone with a deceptively small-but-perfectly-formed list. You’ll want to try everything on there, so the risk of running out of options on your third visit is fairly non-existent. Plus the décor is fab.
BUNDOBUST – Piccadilly
This writer will be open and admit he’s never actually eaten here but may have stumbled in one night for a beverage…
However, he has a lot of pals (actually his wife’s pals) who are self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ and keep raving about it. He also knows a lot of chefs in the city who list this in their top 5 places to eat, so it must be good. It’s a melting pot of craft ale and Indian street food, so they’re certainly unique as far as their mission goes…
ONE88, Whitefield – Bury New Road
A long-awaited labour of love for one of Manchester’s (and Berkeley Scott’s) favourite chefs, Dave Gale, this restaurant has opened in the quiet(ish) suburb of Whitefield, meaning that lower rent paired with similarly high expectations from punters enables The Don to offer relaxed fine dining at ridiculously reasonable prices.
Gale has contributed immensely to the Manchester dining scene, having consulted on a rather large number of restaurant openings, and now – finally – he has his very own! Our second visit was timed to coincide with Steak Night when we were accosted in the car park by two sets of diners raving about it before we even got inside… If Gale is involved, it will be great, mark our words… Worth travelling out of the city!
BARAXTURI – Smithy Street
The exceptional North Spanish pintxo (peen-cho) joint in the small-town-meets-incredible-dining-choice location of Ramsbottom. Baraxturi has recently had a well-needed extension to the bar and snack space it was originally. This restaurant is exceptionally authentic, the food is flawlessly executed and matched with a brilliantly chosen wine selection – Brought to you by the people behind Levanter, the tapas to Baraxturi’s pintxo. Both offer a vibrant extension to the hotbed of eating spaces for which Rammy is rightly famous – That and the increasing property prices. Hell, they even have a Bang & Olufsen shop now…
If you do one thing this year – Take a drive out and pay ‘em a visit, you will not be disappointed…