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AddressTib Street, Manchester, M4 1SH
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Dive x Zumu New Menu Preview
Restaurants Of Manchester (Saturday 20th July 2019)
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

It's not every day that you get the chance to sample some of the region's best Western influenced Japanese food, in the comfort of one of the city's best dive bars.  But that's exactly what you can do, thanks to a rather interesting collab that's taking place between Hale based Zumu and Dive NQ, down on Tib Street.

Usually famous for their dive bar themed flavours; Dive NQ have enlisted Zumu to run their kitchen in a takeover for the Summer, adding a bit of Japanese flare, over their usual comforting offerings.  We were invited down as guests to take a closer look at what at first glance, might have been a slightly unlikely emulsion of styles and flavours.

The menu is split into sections all containing different approaches, so small plates, sushi, and just good old fashioned main courses, building up to those all-important puds.  Our charming hosts Romi and Ajah guided us through things perfectly.  Here's a play by play guide to what we sampled;
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Kamikaze Wings (£6.25) were the closest dish to what you'd expect from a menu at Dive, and who doesn't love a good wing? Kamikaze sauce was a good indication of spice levels to come, and this didn't disappoint, with perfectly cooked chicken leaving its bones with zero resistance. The enamel bowl soon emptied, so onto our next plate.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

NQ Roll (£7.50), a play on a California Roll, was reminiscent of something from another California mention/infamous sushi spot; Guy Fieri's Tex Wasabi in Santa Rosa.  A prawn and avocado roll, with truffle mayo, topped with seared beef and a ring of fresh chilli. Fiery.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Pork Bau (£9) with bulldog sauce were a bit of a novelty in Manchester, as whilst we are currently seeing the end of a long bao trend in other cities, we sadly lack quality bao options here in the capital.  These were very decent, with well cooked pork, apt bite from that bulldog sauce, on a steamed bao which was perhaps overly thick but still enjoyable and didn't drown out that juicy pork.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Next up was a Beef Yakiniku Stick (£5), aka skewer, which was simple, tender, well glazed and seasoned via that punchy garlic Yakiniku sauce.  Perhaps a bit small for a fiver, but you couldn't question the flavour.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Duck Gyoza (£5.50) came novelly presented in a copper pan, tying in to them being pan fried, with a side dip.  The duck filling was rich and well scented with Oriental flavours, with the casing being well cooked with just the right texture.  A real crowd pleaser.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Tuna Tataki (£12) was fantastic, with levels of refinement and quality that you'd never expect to find in such humble and homely surroundings.  Quality tuna, bathed and slightly cooked in lovely salty ponzu dressing, which perhaps lacked some acidic yuzu-zing. But it still seasoned the lean tuna to perfection, with a dab of truffle mayo adding presentation and also scent.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Chicken Katsu Curry (£12) was the inevitable option to order, and we weren't disappointed. I'm a bit of a Katsu junkie, and it's definitely one of my go-to comfort foods.  This one boasted well cooked rice which had been treated with Japanese-like care, with a sizable slab of panko-ed and shallow fried poultry goodness, topped with that famous curry sauce.  There was also a fresh salad with some kimchi on the side, just as token nod to clean eating.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

Chocolate Mochi Balls (£4) are another novel rarity in Manchester city centre, despite being a Japanese/American sweet tooth favourite.  Smooth ice cream, wrapped in a soft rice flour based coating, which is safe to say divides textural opinions.  I however love it, and the presentation of this course was arguably the best of the day.  Definitely order these if you've never tried mochi balls before.
Dive NQ X Zumu -  Manchester Preview

And whilst getting carried away with the food offering, don't forget that there's the usual wide range of quality drinks on offer, such as the two cocktail beauties above, which are classics for a reason. Tommys Margarita and a Manhattan always go down well (both £6.50). And if you're no good with chopsticks, then don't worry about it! Knives and forks are also provided.

So, there's no question that the food is a hit, and it's easy to see why the food lovers of Hale are so enamored with Zumu.  Be sure to dive in for yourself, and pay a visit to Dive NQ before the collaboration ends.

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