British, Modern Restaurants in Greater Manchester
1. TNQ Restaurant & Bar British, Modern restaurant in Manchester 108 High St - M4
This “excellent, reasonably priced neighbourhood spot in the Northern Quarter always delivers” with its “surprisingly affordable and beautifully presented high-end food” – “everyone should have a reliable, high-quality local like this in their area!”
2. WOOD Restaurant British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Jack Rosenthal Street - M15
MasterChef winner Simon Wood’s debut venture occupies a “loud and buzzy” modern unit, complete with open kitchen; it opened in September 2017, not far from Home Manchester. Fans “love Simon's food – especially the blind tasting menu” (all 10 courses of it), but a fair number of those drawn by his name and early hype felt that “everything was OK, but we were expecting a lot more… especially for the high prices!”
3. Adam Reid at The French British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Peter St - M60
“Adam has put his stamp on this place now, and it keeps getting better”. This grade II listed chamber – somewhat funked up, with yellow leather banquettes and massive lights, within what is, in essence, a very traditional space – has had many culinary ups and downs over the decades, but, after three years at the helm, Adam Reid is now settling into a “fabulous” stride here, with his selection of “totally desirable” four, six or nine-course menus. The cuisine is “not so challenging that you don’t want to come!” – “flowing wonderfully and generously, with notably well-executed dishes that simply delight”. And you eat to a “terrific soundtrack too (Buddy Holly to Arctic Monkeys to the Beatles)”. Until Mana triumphed at last year’s Michelin awards, The French was the only Manchester restaurant ever to have held a Michelin star (most recently in 1974) and was a hot tip to be the first to regain the prize for the city. “How other places in the region can have a Michelin star and The French doesn’t is utterly inexplicable (apart from Michelin’s pig-headedness of course)”.
4. Mana British, Modern restaurant in Manchester Sawmill Court - M4
“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 yearling 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 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 seasonal tasting menu (which could be anything from 12-22 courses – shorter at lunch) 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”.
5. Where The Light Gets In British, Modern restaurant in Stockport 7 Rostron Row - SK1
“Just phenomenal – the tasting menu is sublime and the wine pairing so well matched” at Sam Buckley’s “relaxing but luxurious” set-up in an old, Victorian brick-walled warehouse. There is the odd gripe that the hipster succession of numerous bite-sized dishes – often using produce from their own farm – is on the pricey side, but all reports acknowledge the “amazing tastes and ideas” the experience delivers, while “the service is just wonderful – you’re made to feel important as soon as you walk in the door”.
6. Hawksmoor Steaks & grills restaurant in Manchester 184-186 Deansgate - M3
“The stuff meaty dreams are made of!” – this “vibrant yet relaxed” outpost of the hipster steakhouse chain (which opened in 2015) is arguably the classiest all-rounder in Manchester. “The bar area may be a bit overwhelmingly clubby, but the main dining area is – at least at lunchtime – light and airy”, occupying an impressively converted Victorian space, and with comfortable seating. Steaks are “amazing”, “all the sides are also faultless” (not least “the best chips in the north west!”), and also “what is surprising is the quality of the seafood in what is a carnivore's delight”. “Service is always top notch and the wine list is a dream”. Sadly, though, the special offer whereby you can buy £4,500 bottles of wine for £300 has now finished!
7. Kala British, Modern restaurant in Manchester King Street - M2
“Usher’s best yet” say fans of Gary Usher’s ambitious crowd-funded opening, which opened in a prominent corner site in the city-centre in May 2019. It beamed down very late for us to receive huge volumes of survey feedback, but such reports as we have say it’s already a hit, with “friendly staff” and cranking out “fantastic” modern bistro fare in the trademark, deft ‘Elite Bistros’ style.
8. The Lime Tree British, Modern restaurant in Manchester 8 Lapwing Ln - M20
“We have been coming here for years with family members from children to 96 year olds, and have always enjoyed good food with the warmest of welcomes” – Patrick Hannity’s appealing modern brasserie in Didsbury has been one of Manchester’s top destinations since 1987, and “one word sums the place up: consistency” – “the menu appeals to all tastes”, and “the service is class”.
9. Borage British, Modern restaurant in Bowdon 7 Vale View, Vicarage Lane - WA14
This “excellent neighbourhood bistro” – “but with much better food than the ‘bistro’ moniker would lead one to expect” – is “a very good addition to the limited restaurant scene to the south of Manchester” (and so “very convenient for the airport”). Chef Mariusz Dobies was exec chef at Michael Caines Manchester.
10. James Martin British, Modern restaurant in Manchester 2 Watson St - M3
The TV host’s “quirky” flagship restaurant wins high ratings despite its “interesting” (some would say iffy) location, upstairs at the Manchester235 casino. Head chef, Doug Crampton’s cooking here is “a real pleasure” – “all dishes are prepared with great care and are a delight to eat”. “Try the afternoon tea they recently introduced, very yummy!”.
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