A Fine Dining Feast At Manchester's Mana, Ancoats
If there's one thing Manchester's always lacked it's fine dining, we're not saying it's completely non existent because there's The French and a couple of others but the offering has never been brilliant. The moment we heard ex Noma chef Simon Martin was planning on setting up shop in Manchester's up and coming Ancoats (is it cooler than NQ yet?) we just had to get booked in! The launch month actually coincided with our wedding anniversary so if there's ever a time to splash the cash that's it right?
Mana is an elegant space with floor to ceiling windows, beautiful hanging light features and the star of the show - the completely open kitchen. The menu is ever changing - if you head there now you can expect their Winter menu full of shellfish, fish & winter greens, we went in October so we experienced the Autumn menu full of game, seafood and Autumnal veg. They only ever use British produce in the dishes and each goes under an extensive testing and development process to make sure every element delivers the way it should.
It's the only place in Manchester (that we're aware of) where you can find reindeer moss (which could easily be our new favourite thing), raw live scallops opened moments before you eat them and cucumber fudge (a reduction of 400 litres of cucumber juice into just 1 litre of fudge).
So the highlights? One has to be the fried reindeer moss dipped in smoked cured egg yolk. Oh and succulent eel brushed in a blueberry vinaigrette and roasted yeast glaze cooked on a yakitori barbecue was exceptional, a dish cooked completely from British produce which couldn't of tasted more Japanese if it tried, rich, sticky and sweet - if this was on an a la carte menu we'd order it again and again. We also loved the hands on build-your-own cabbage duck tacos served with pickled mushrooms and seaweed.
The accompanying wine flight is made up of exceptional wines but it does come with a very hefty price tag so we'd only recommend doing that if you really love your wines. We tried a couple that we adored which we will repurchase and found our sommelier extremely helpful so we're glad we tried it but next time we'd probably just order a bottle or two.
If fine dining is your thing, Mana is for you. End of.
Now for the photos.