“You know as soon as you enter that this is going to be something special”; Simon Martin guaranteed his place in the history books in October 2019 when this dazzling newcomer secured the city’s first Michelin star in 40 years. “In part of Ancoats which has risen from waste ground in recent years, Mana looks like an anonymous office from the outside, with double (triple?) height net curtains over the large windows, and almost imperceptible signage”. The interior itself is “beautifully designed” (by Chester design practice, James Roberts): “light and modern, with a breathtaking, completely open kitchen – you can actually walk between the work stations as the chefs are plating up”. “The chef trained with Rene Redzepi and brings back to Manchester some of his magic” – “Nordic-style” cuisine from a choice of 15-course or 18-course tasting menus that’s “challenging in parts” but little short of “exquisite”. “Contrary to fears that everything might be covered in moss, what’s striking is how many dishes seem like ‘real’ food – there’s a real flow to the menu, enhanced by excellent service, both from the actual front of house, and the chefs who come forward to serve some dishes”.