With Manchester quickly encouraging the rest of the country to stand up and pay attention when it comes to its foodie offering, we’ve decided to get up close and personal with some of the established and renowned eateries in and around this amazing city.
We also want to have our finger on the pulse when it comes to new movers and shakers on the scene, we want to bring you the most up to date information on what’s coming, and more importantly what’s worth keeping an eye out for in our Northern home.
We’ve heard many a whisper about a new eatery that is set for opening in May 2016.
Its hotly anticipated menu is still somewhat of a mystery. We’ve done some digging, you know, because we’re really nice like that, and have got some exclusive information on what to expect, right from the owner’s mouth.
We caught up with Anthony Barnes to get the down low on Manchester’s imminent must-visit restaurant: Squid Ink:
What can customers expect from Squid Ink?
The customers can expect a comfortable, airy restaurant full of natural light, that has been meticulously put together to maximise the guest’s enjoyment whether coming in for a coffee with a book, holding a meeting with clients or dining in the evening with family or friends.
We’ve designed the menu to change every week so that we can take full advantage of our love of food and push our creativity. We’re working with a number of independent suppliers to support other local businesses in addition to making sure our offerings are as fresh as possible with fruit and vegetables delivered to the restaurant within 24 hoursof being harvested. Looking forward, we also have plans in the future for an afternoon tea offering that will be fairly novel in it’s execution, as well as a Sunday dinner session for the weekend day times.
What are the influences?
The idea is based on a trip to Japan where they have small restaurants and bars that, through their design, allow the chefs and front of house team to interact with guests and give the customer the best possible quality service, which isn’t always possible in a large 150 cover restaurant.
The interior design is probably closer to Scandinavian in look where I’ve worked with a local designer named Jon Male to create large tables that give the guest plenty of room. In addition, we’ve opted to keep some of the rear wall block work exposed to give texture and also to give a nod to the industrial heritage of the area.
Food wise we have the entire world to play with! We’ve been working on this project for over 4 years and have an immense amount of research and development material that we have accumulated over the years to work from. From Ramen to Spanakopita. From Laal Maas to Escovitch Fish. Everything will be made fresh by us, which not only gives us complete control of quality, it also lets us add creative twists.
Will there be a stand out dish? If so, what?
It’s hard to say what the stand out dish will be as they will be changing constantly, however I’d say the pork fillet tonkatsu with shredded hokusai and a Szechuan pepper & pickled apple puree is up there as my favourite! It’s a simple starter but it’s got everything…spice, texture, acidity, sweetness, and it sets up the palate very well for the rest of your meal. While that may be my favourite dish, we’re hoping to re-create my experiences whilst in Japan and have an open dialogue with customers, taking their feedback as we develop our menus each week.
When do you expect to open?
We are aiming for our taster evening to take place the last week of April and open to the public early May.
What’s the address?
67 Great Ancoats Street
Is there anywhere similar in Manchester you can compare your venue to?
I think we’re fairly unique in that we have a constantly changing menu where you can come every week and try something new, not just with food but also refreshments. I’d say Chefs Table in Chester and The White Swan in Fence (An area of Burnley in Lancashire – not a swan stuck in a fence!) are close and both are great!
You can stay tuned for all up-to-date announcements on Squid Ink here: https://twitter.com/squidinkmcr
We certainly can’t wait!