I was expecting amazing...Mana went far beyond expectation.
Although we were greeted with the news that James, the sommelier, wasn't in and we wouldn't be able to have the wine flight, the experience wasn't affected at all. We went with manzanilla sherry with the first two dishes (I won't mention the exact food - the surprise part of the experience), a bottle of muscadet and a red later on (which we switched to when advised).
If I had to name a favourite dish I'd really struggle but there were 4 which I'm still dreaming about (langoustine, queenie scallop, brassicas, mushroom on toast....oh and the roast yeast on the eel AKA posh marmite). Only the beef tartare was a tad disappointing (nice although I couldn't taste the principle ingredient, just mustard), even that was memorable for the butterfly sorrel that seamed to flutter!
The venue has a remarkable atmosphere I have never experienced before. Chilled, warm and unpretentious...just like the staff. Anna (chef-de-partie according to Facebook) in particular was lovely, even sharing how to make lacto fermented tomatoes. I must make an effort to follow her career! With a young crew I can understand why some seamed nervous introducing their dish. Guys - you know what you are on about, are in the zone doing what you do and seam to genuinely love creating magic.
As for Simon Martin, again I've never experienced someone who is 'on it' completely, all the time. Just checking things over, watching the patrons and taking mental note. He's created something very very special in Ancoats. The food, the staff, the venue and the vibe were on point.
Looking forward to visiting again.
The only thing is, I was baffled how other tables could have normal conversations that weren't about the food.
PS it's OK to use you finger to get every last morsel!
Booked for 6 gents several weeks earlier as our annual luncheon treat, having noted the booking instructions we turned up bang on time as there is only a small area for pre-dinner drinks but as we were the first guests it worked well as we effectively had two chefs per head! We chose the tasting menu and the wine flight which at £120 per head isn't cheap but considering the quality and presentation of the food was good value IMO. The wine selection was fabulous and well-chosen too. Praise should go to James as his explanations and delivery was excellent. Slight negative was we felt slightly forgotten once the service was over and had to request coffees and the bill which slightly took the shine off the afternoon. I hope this comment is constructive as its attention to detail that matters at these prices. I would also recommend booking later in the day than we did (noon) as the atmosphere picked up as the restaurant filled up. A nice touch was been given a copy of the menu and wines as a memento.
In summary, would I go again - yes, absolutely as a treat or for a special occasion, its worth it IMO.
I had a wonderful meal at Mana. My partner and I enjoyed every mouthful. Service was fantastic..staff gave very detailed explanation describing all ingredients. I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone in Manchester.
I could not believe the bad reviews after visiting. We received first class service and food.
Will go back again should I visit Manchester. Not to be missed. You'll leave full.
I booked a meal here on Wed 26th Feb as a 28th birthday present for my other half as we’ve been wanting to go for ages. Obviously it’s a lot more than we would normally spend on a meal so I was a little apprehensive as to whether it would live up to the hype, but it certainly did!
When I booked the table (late November time) the only slot available was 9pm which is a bit later than we would have liked but as it was all that was free we went for it. Was really pleasantly surprised to get a call on the day to ask if we’d like to come in at 8.30pm instead (I presume due to a cancellation). It’s just a small thing but I thought it was a nice touch and we gratefully accepted!
From arriving at Mana until leaving, we were made to feel so welcome and the staff couldn’t do enough for us. As a younger couple, in places such as these we are often made to feel a little out of place but this couldn’t have been further from the case in Mana.
We were seated in the “lounge” to begin with and both opted for a negroni (my favourite cocktail) and they were stunning. The details really matter in places like this and everything from the ice to the glassware to the garnish was so sophisticated. (In fact all the glassware throughout was gorgeous and I want to buy some!)
Whilst sat in the lounge we were served our first four courses:
Mushroom & kelp broth
Winter leaves, cultured cream, thyme
Cured and dried meats
Mangalitza pudding, black apple, samphire
These were all presented so beautifully and each was so different but so delicious.
We were then moved to be seated in the restaurant. We decided to have the wine pairing - because why not? - and I’m so glad we did. Each wine paired so perfectly with the courses and the amount of detail we were provided with passionately from the sommelier was fantastic. My favourite two of the wines were the “stand alone” Pinot noir and the “chapter 1 the shiner” - I am more of a red drinker after all, but the whites were all sublime, too.
We then sat and enjoyed the best food and wine we have ever had, courses as follows:
imperial caviar, steamed chicken, hazelnut
Served with: lustau los arcos amontillado
blue mussel, inoculated grains, elderflower
langoustine tail, cured egg yolk, grand fir
poached oyster, english wasabi, dill
Served with: vasco and the explorers alvarinho
aged eel, roast yeast, blueberry
Served with: stand alone Pinot noir
hand-dived scallop, preserved tomato
Served with: cornarea enritard arneis
beef tartare that tastes like beef
mushrooms on toast, langoustine head, truffle
Served with: chapter 1 the shiner
spring leaves, dehydrated scallops, beeswax
sour dough bread & homemade butter from guernsey cows
salt aged duck
Served with: pittnauer st Laurent
pear, sheep’s yoghurt, sorrel
Served with: ali boit boit
woodruff ice cream, caramelised barley, milk chocolate
Served with: moulin touchais
I didn’t have one complaint, everything was amazing. Our wine and water glasses were never empty and we got detailed explanations of each course that was placed in front of us. It was an incredible evening we will remember for a long time!
Food excellent, staff excellent, atmosphere excellent, presentation excellent, wine flight excellent. It is great to see so many young people making great food.
Small detail that let it down. 1 The door handle fell off the toilet door when I closed it. 2 Crumbs of food were left on the table from one course while we ate the next. 3 They got the bill wrong. As I said small details but need to eradicate if wanting to keep their star.
We had lunch, as the waiting time for an evening reservation is quite long, and didn't regret it. The service and food were excellent. We have eaten in loads of Michelin starred places and this is up with them. Yes the food is a bit wacky in these places, but thats what we go for. It's food AND entertainment! The wine was superb too - a Sonoma Pinot Noir at a reasonable £36 a bottle. Will be back !!
In spite of being asked to arrive 10-15 minutes early, when we did we were asked if we could leave and come back a bit later. We obviously refused and were then reluctantly accommodated. Not a good start to a Michelin experience. All dishes were innovative and full of flavour and character. On reading the souvenir menu card ( which I had to ask for ) we had one dish omitted - poached oyster, English wasabi, dill - no explanation why ! My son later comented on the bill as we were incorrectly charged for drinks which were expensive anyway and he was charged 12 1/2 % service automatically. this was both unnecessary and unwarranted. Had we been settling ourselves on the night I would have not agreed to that and it was not written anywhere in the literature. All in all, nice food but greedy patron and sub standard service. Will not return.
I wish I could give this whole experience a 10. We went for the lunch time experience on a Friday. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel very welcome and at ease by very friendly staff. The restaurant is very modern and clean with only a few tables and small bar/waiting area but that makes it intimate and special. There is plenty of space between tables, so you feel like you have your own space. We were shown to the bar area where we ordered some drinks and were served with our first 3 courses which were presented beautifully and each course explained as to what it was and where the food was sourced. A lot of the ingredients are locally sourced which we loved being proud to be from this area. After we were taken to our table which was positioned directly in front of the kitchen area. All the chefs are in an open area so you can view all of the preparation and care they take in every dish, making sure each are served immaculately. We loved watching them with all the attention to detail they have and they work amazingly as a calm team. There was music playing, not too loud, but loud enough to make the restaurant have a great atmosphere. The chefs also serve the food to your table (including chef patron himself) and again explain all about the dishes and are more than happy to answer any questions you have. They also bring any plates, cutlery you need for your courses and clear your table after each dish which is a lovely idea as you can let them know how much you enjoyed their food. We didn’t have the wine paring but did have a lovely bottle of Pinot noir, which was delicious and refreshing accompaniment to our lunch. My husband has a fish and shell fish allergy, so a couple of the dishes were changed for him but made with equal attention to detail and flavour. I personally do not really like mushrooms but would eat them every day if they were prepared by the chefs at Mana, the mushroom and kelp broth and the mushrooms on toast with truffle were absolutely delicious. It was also the first time I had ever eaten eel and would be more than happy to choose this dish again and again as it was deliciously charred and sweet. My husband especially like the beef tartare with sorrel leaves and we both agreed that the duck dish was outstanding. All of the staff were very professional and add to the whole ambience but would like to make a special mention to the the maitre d’ and the young female chef for making our experience exceptional. Her dessert of woodruff ice cream with the caramelised barley was to die for. We loved the whole experience and the food was amazing, we just wish that we booked for the evening to experience even more.
Our 1st ever fine dining experience. We were made to feel comfortable & welcome from the outset. We went for Saturday lunch & chose the the pairing wine option. James knowledge & explanation of the wines along with the young chefs description of each dish made the afternoon an absolute delight. It’s expensive but we both thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious treat
The food was very nice. I came with my friends and they all enjoyed it and the service from the staff was good too
This was our fifth visit to Mana and the award of the Michelin star appears to have spurred them on to even greater heights. The quality of the ingredients and the seasonings were spot on with every single course. The kitchen is a riot of imagination.
It is difficult to single out a favourite course as each one was perfect. I will though give a special mention to the mushrooms on toast with langoustine head and truffle - fantastic.
The service, as ever, was attentive and friendly without being overbearing. James, the sommelier was helpful and highly knowledgeable. We chose an old vine chenin blanc which he suggested he decanted to fully open the wine - good call James !
A truly memorable evening.
This was a new experience for me and my family - a restaurant with a Michelin Star; just imagine! Well, I couldn't have imagined what was to come. On arrival, you are greeted most courteously, but not unctuously, by the friendly Maitre D (or whatever he calls himself), and made to feel at home from the outset. There is an air of calm excellence, in which you can have a drink and contemplate what is about to take place. Most interesting of all, in my opinion, is that where the food is prepared is open to view, but it looks like they're all finished for the day! Most restaurants don't look this clean and neat and tidy until after closing time. You'd never know the chefs were cooking your food, unless you look very closely. Chef Simon Martin has created an environment in which the very act of cooking appears to be carried out 'en passant', almost imperceptibly. And yet, from that 'hive of inactivity' emerges some of the most amazing food I've ever had the pleasure of eating. The tasting menu gives you the opportunity to experience some of the most surprising food - unfamiliar names, unexpected combinations, and just one epiphany after another. For some, like me, this is a rare occurrence, but really - one not to be missed if you can do it. I cannot recommend Mana highly enough, even if you think your palate may not be sophisticated enough to do justice to these creations.
A special occasion perhaps? Don't miss the chance to savour what the experts eat. It's expensive, but well worth a treat.
Firstly I was disappointed to read the negative reviews posted and in our experience non of it applied. I took my family for lunch. The room was modern and the staff were warm, attentive and friendly. The food was small portions but what we tasted was beautiful, I have never had eel before and now I’m a fan! The imagination and thought behind the menu and presentation was inspiring. I would definitely go back and enjoy the experience again. Some people, like me go out to enjoy themselves and that’s what we did at Mana, thank you.
This was an experience. Right from walking in the front door when we were greeted enthusiastically with a wonderful setting.
The staff are all amazing. Very knowledgeable. Very friendly. Very hard working and they make the atmosphere so pleasurable.
Food is outstanding. So much attention to detail. Love how Simon’s passion for Japanese cooking and amazing ingredients really comes through.
Some wonderful dishes in there. Eel, duck, mushrooms were particular stand out dishes,
The mushrooms are prepared with such care and taste, but it’s hard to narrow it down.
Sommelier was so helpful. I let him choose the wine and they were 10/10.
Lunch menu is great value. Why would you ever go to a chain or manufactured restaurant when this is not much more.
All in all, a restaurant which Manchester can be very proud of.
We can’t wait to go again!!
I was very excited about visiting Mana given the flurry of attention and praise which it has received. The staff and service were impeccable. The venue design and decor follows a modern, neutral and minimal template, you could be in a building anywhere in the world. The food was nice, but a bit overly technical and stiff. I found the taste combinations a bit dull and repetitive, heavy earthy mushroom and miso flavours accompanied with twig garnish. I get the concept of locally foraged and sourced produce but this just felt like a poor man's Maaemo. Mana serves lovely wine from the around the world but I would like to see it import some other exotic influences. I have eaten in many Michelin star restaurants, mostly on the continent, and on most occasions I been transported somewhere remarkable by the overall the experience. Mana was a disappointingly empty experience - the price implies brilliance and enchantment - neither of which I experienced.
So much about Mana is remarkable and deserves credit. The level of service and attention to detail is flawless from start to finish, the fact that they don’t cram in tables helps maintain a sense of exclusivity. The transparency of the kitchen, the number of young employees. This is clearly a forward thinking, innovative restaurant and I admire the ethos.
Our main issue was the food. We had the vegetarian menu and the flavours were at times unique but also the highly technical prowess that went into the courses lacked soul, generosity and flavour. For 500 quid for 2 (1 bottle of wine and 2 glasses of red) I expected more. I have had meals with much more love and flavour for far less. Won’t be going back.
The earliest booking we could get for our party of four was a for a Saturday lunchtime a couple of months ahead, and it was well worth the wait. Service was great from the start, and our sommelier James was super helpful and clearly very knowledgeable. Two of us had the wine flight, and the wines selected were all excellent. As you`d expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant, the courses were superb, and the main problem was trying to eat each one mindfully rather than wolfing each plate down. There is always a risk with this kind of high-end cooking that the end results can be too clever, but although there were a lot of unusual ingredients, the flavours all worked beautifully. The quantities were just right, and we never felt over-faced with food, and could even enjoy the extra cheese course at the end. Two of our party are keen amateur cooks, and it is great to come to a restaurant where the food is far advanced from anything we could try at home, despite our various fancy cooking gadgets. We have agreed to put ourselves on the reserve waiting list to try and return asap, at the expense of the kids inheritance, poor little mites!
Amazing experience, the sommelier was fantastic, great wine pairing throughout. Incredible food - really cool to see the team prep the food for each course. Loved it
Fantastic to see that Manchester has a Michelin star restaurant again after so many years and the star is well deserved here. the staff are attentive, friendly and knowledgeable at the level that you would expect for Michelin. the food is adventurous, innovative, attractive and of course tasty. A great simple restaurant design with great taster food.
Address 42 Blossom Street, Manchester (Greater Manchester) - Click to open the map
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Our aggregate rating, “Sluurpometro”, is 70 based on 426 parameters and reviews
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