Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“The hype is justified!” – This “dazzling addition to the Manchester restaurant scene” (which moved into town last year) is THE destination in the city-centre right now (and Manc’s most commented-on venue in this year’s survey). A three-floor operation incorporating bar and rooftop level, it serves Simon Shaw’s “creative small plates, in Spanish style and with Moorish influences” and despite the odd quibble that “it’s not as good as the smaller, tighter set-up it was in Ripponden” most reporters feel its tapas is “some of the best ever”. All this popularity also brings a few negatives though – at peak times service can become “disorganised”, you run the gauntlet of “inhospitable door nazis”, and “some diners have a touch of the Harry Enfields about them: ‘I am considerably richer than yow’!”
“Manchester’s gain is Ripponden’s loss” and after less than a year, Simon Shaw is already looking to expand his “slick, very large city centre operation” (adding 50 covers in the rooftop level), as it proves “a fantastic addition” and one “offering a different experience on each of its three floors”. “It being Manchester, there is a serious bar-element to the business”, and “it’s a great place to eat or just enjoy a glass of wine and nibbles”. “Scaling up the food production from Ripponden to King Street does not seem to have been a problem” – “the majority of the tapas are not merely correct, but excellent” – and overall this is “a successful transfer to a cracking new site”.
Simon Shaw is relocating his “splendid” Hispanic venture to Manchester, opening in February 2016. Our review when it was in Ripponden said it was in “the last location you would expect” – hopefully it will repeat its success and more so in this new home.
El Gato Negro Restaurant Diner Reviews
"A good stable offering with a great vibe, always busy"
52 King Street, Manchester, M2 4LY
Last orders: Mon - Thur 10 pm, Fri & Sat 11 pm, Sun 9.30 pm