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Sakana
Tel: 0161 884 1292
23 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5QR [map]
£1million Pan Asian Restaurant & Bar from Stewart Yip, owner of restaurants Red Chilli and Ocean Treasure in Manchester.
Sakana Manchester

Sakana Restaurant Manchester ~ overall readers' reviews
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Sakana Restaurant ~ our reviews
Posh Pan Asian (March 2015)
Trusted Reviewer "Pan Asian is a concept which has been tried in the city several times over the last few years. Some have failed miserably, and some have blossomed into local success stories. Now, when the big hitting owners of places such as Red Chilli and Ocean Treasure 235 have a crack at the concept, you can feel pretty confident that they will give it more than a good shake. Their establishments are polished, well run, and the staff really know what they are doing. Add to that the financial backing which is given to their ventures and it all stacks up to being a formidable force in the restaurant game.

Set in the old Chicago Rock unit, which has been left dilapidated and run down following the demise of the general area a while ago, Sakana caused a lot of buzz before it even opened. The time seemed right to launch near the Great Northern Warehouse, following a sudden regeneration in the area over recent years, so up popped Sakana back in October hot on the heels of a multi-million quid fit out.

You can certainly see where that money has gone when you arrive, with a slick entry process, complete with the often nowadays forgotten cloak room service, along with a charming and glamorous hostess, set next to a great looking bar area. A great start and we were led though to the dining room to take our seats. Once seated in one of the comfy booths, you could see that no expense had been spare here either, whether it be the booths, the mid-room tables and chairs, or at Teppanyaki style seating which surrounds the cooking areas. Tables were lovely, with bright white décor giving the space a really open and vibrant feel. So, it was a visual success, and we were keen to see if the important bit, the food and drink, could back up the great first impression.

Sakana Review
Food wise, we opted for several dishes, as the menu is tapas-esque in format; several small dishes to share amongst yourself, or the general table. We love the format, and often wonder why it's taken so long for it to catch on amongst other cuisines. Its sociable, fun, involving, you can just keep grazing until you're full, and it lets you try more dishes. That's the main reason we like it in honesty!
Sakana Review
Sakana Review
Sakana Review

Anyway, we started with an impressive looking sushi platter of a dozen Maki Rolls (£14). It came on a lovely platter and was expertly laid out. The sushi itself was decent and enjoyable, but sadly a touch loosely wrapped and dry in some parts, but still a very good platter.

Beef Teriyaki (£8) was simply superb, coming with soft, fluffy, scented rice, and the beef was so incredibly flavourful and tender. It’s the best teriyaki dish that we've had in some time to be frank.

Our Hirata Steamed Roast Pork Buns (£7) were outstanding. The dough was substantial yet still as light as a feather, with pork belly which was prepared sous vides, and then finished on a hot plate to crisp the skin, was excellent. The apple garnish looked a little out of place on the plate at first, but it made perfect sense when paired with the roll and pork, giving acidity and bite to the rich, porky, soft bun.

The Tempura Soft Shell Crab (£9.50) was another hit, albeit the batter was a bit heavy for the delicate crab within, but it looked fantastic on the plate, garnished with noodles.

Next up was the Chicken and Spring Onion skewers (£7), which were perfectly cooked, with an excellent charcoal flavour. A simple, old school, traditional dish, which can be a real benchmark of any Asian restaurant's wares.

Sakana Review
Sakana Review
Sakana Review

We finished the dinner with an absolutely mammoth pudding platter. You could feel half the dining room gazing as it approached our table and was a mixture of cheesecakes, macaroons, sauces and gels, set over 3 levels via afternoon tea stand. It was a real treat for the eyes, an absolute bargain at only £14, and it pleased the taste buds too. Wasabi and green tea macaroons, mango cheese cake were highlights of the platter, as well as the fantastic chocolate ganache which garnished the platter. A fantastic spectacle and very impressive looking way to end the meal.

The wine list and general bar offerings are worth a mention too. There's lots of accessible numbers as well as the fashionable heavyweights such as Cloudy Bay, a vast Champagne list, again laden with class, and a very impressive cocktail list which is filled with Asian/Oriental inspired ideas and themes.

Our 'One Inch Punch' cocktail, lived up to its name, and was as rock solid as Bruce Lee himself. The Mango Colada was as you'd expect; an exotically Pan Asian twist on a Pina Colada, and it was a triumph.

Rumour has it that they also have a super prestige wine list, available on request, containing the big budget Bourdaux Chateau's, but we didn’t see these on this occasion, so perhaps it is indeed a myth. We didn’t request it though, as to avoid looking like fools, so who knows? Still, what we saw was impressive enough to warrant a visit to Sakana for the bar alone.

Sakana Review

So, Sakana looks set to be a success and can easily hold its own again other Pan Asian destinations in the city, without question. The dining room is suitably glamorous, the food offering's tapas format is kind of unique and yet still offers something for all tastes and budgets, and the service is slick and friendly. It’s without question a new fashionista, city centre hotspot, with food and drink credentials to back up this status. - Restaurant Of Manchester (13/05/14 - visited on a Friday evening)

food
price
service
smartness
overall
"asian tapas"
"affordable"
"warm & friendly"
"glam asian"
"fashionista hotspot"

Sakana Japanese Restaurant ~ members' reviews
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Disclaimer: All information correct 06/11/2014. RestaurantsOfManchester.com and ManchesterRestaurants.com can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed. All images and information 2002-16 Pride Of Manchester & Sakana.