The food critic Grace Dent has published a rave review of one of Manchester’s new restaurant openings, Musu, bestowing national kudos on the Bridge Street eatery.
Referred to by the Guardian reviewer as ‘very possibly the most expensive restaurant in Manchester’, in a glowing write up she compares it to ‘the Starship Enterprise, albeit one with geishas on the walls and a £110 seven-course menu’.
Already a favourite of Ilkay Gundogan’s notoriously hard-to-please wife (it’s the only eatery she’s praised since famously saying that the Manchester food and drink scene was ‘horrible’), thankfully, Musu has now found a more discerning reviewer to recommend it.
Dent opens by advising ‘all who have already taken terrible umbrage that Musu even exists’ to ‘abandon reading this review here’, before going on to say she, personally, is ‘rather cheered that there are still people north of Watford who have the faith and gumption to open places as pointedly bonkers as this.’
The 55-cover restaurant is described as being ‘as dark in places as Adrian Mole’s bedroom’, with plenty of attention paid to its ‘theatrical’ detailing.
A glass-fronted private dining room that, ‘at the touch of a button, turns frosted’, gets a special mention, as does Musu’s bold ‘Japanese murals, globe lighting and […] nakedly open kitchen’.
But the real praise is reserved for the cooking of chef Michael Shaw, formerly of Gordon Ramsay Inc and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, hailed as ‘minuscule portions of exquisite pleasure that linger in your mind.’
As she reels through the seven-course tasting menu, praising each dish as she goes, things go from great to excellent.
At one point, after digging into Musu’s sashimi (described as ‘ three of the finest pieces of sashimi imaginable’) she proffers: ‘I felt like handing my badge back there and then – it’s over; I won’t ever taste better’, before moving on to another ‘outstanding’ dish.
If there is a criticism, it’s that upon finishing the seven courses she still finds herself hungry – commenting: ‘Very rarely – in fact, never – do I wish I’d chosen the longer tasting menu, though at £150 plus drinks, that would have been guaranteed to cause a reader revolt.’
This, in turn, leads to some good-natured musing on just who all these people are spending hundreds in ‘mobbed’ Musu on a Friday night, with Dent asking pointedly: ‘Where are they getting their money? None of them seemed to be the type to have Brink’s-Mat gold buried at the bottom of their garden.’
Summarising, she writes: “If you’ve already decided to boycott Musu over the sheer cost, the din and the small portions, I must at this point stress that the food is outstanding.
“Sure, Musu isn’t for everybody, but if someone else is funding your wanton extravagance, then drag them there. It’s unforgettable for many reasons: some of them are hilarious, yes, but mostly they’re just plain good.”
Read more:The best restaurants and bars to open in Manchester in 2022
Feature image – The Manc Eats
The Lawn Club closes temporarily after bar brawl at event leaves ‘trail of blood’ on floor
The Lawn Club has been temporarily instructed to close after a fight last weekend left a trail of blood on the floor outside.
The popular Spinningfields sun-trap bar has said that it’s cooperating fully with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council while the incident is investigated.
A report from GMP said that ‘a large group of people’ were fighting at the city centre bar, one of whom reportedly was seen with a gun, which was thankfully not fired.
At 10.25pm on Sunday 4 June, North West Ambulance service reported that a male had been stabbed in the leg but ‘the knife was no longer in his leg and they didn’t know where it was’.
The victim got up and walked away, and has still not been traced.
The incident happened during an event that was organised by a third party promoter.
The Lawn Club provided CCTV footage to officers, which showed two males arguing before a third appeared with a black handgun.
A spokesperson for the venue said: “On Sunday 4th June, an incident occurred at The Lawn Club, the premises operated by Hardman Bars. This was during an event organised by a third party promoter.
“As a result of this incident, we have been instructed to close the premises temporarily. We also recognise and fully comply with the request by GMP and Manchester City Council, received at a hearing on 07.06.23, for a temporary suspension of our licence while the incident is investigated and reviewed in full.
“We are cooperating entirely with GMP and Manchester City Council to provide any information they require in relation to the incident.
“We’d like to reassure our customers and the community that this is an isolated incident. But nevertheless, the safety of our team, customers and the community is of the highest importance to us. As such, during this period of closure, we will be actively working with the authorities and relevant parties to review all policies and procedures in place at the premises.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
The Stockport farm supper club where you eat outside in the fields
There’s a supper club on a community farm in Stockport where you can dine outside in the very fields where your food has grown.
Hosted by Manchester food waste cafe Open Kitchen in partnership with The Kindling Trust, the journey from plot to plate has never been shorter.
The pair have joined forces to celebrate local, seasonal and sustainably produced food in the most delicious way possible – with a three-course vegan menu designed to show off the organic produce grown at The Kindling Trust’s site in Woodbank Memorial Park.
The supper will be served outside in the fields as part of a unique ‘pop-up restaurant’ experience, accompanied by paired organic wines designed to complement each dish.
Full bar service will also be provided, with provisions made for cover from the ‘Manchester weather’ if required.
Corin Bell, Exec Director of Open Kitchen said, “Messages about sustainability can sometimes feel like they are all about going without…. Don’t fly, don’t drive, etc.
“We want to focus on positive messages about sustainability, that focus on shifts in behaviour that are kinder to planet and people.
“The event with Kindling will showcase beautiful food and drink, and also be supporting local, sustainable, independent and ethical business, all of which are really core values for both open Kitchen and Kindling”.
Chris Walsh from the Kindling Trust said: “Events like fine dining in the fields are really important to us, because they open up the farm to members of the public, and help to really bring the message home about why local and sustainable produce is so important for our planet and our local economy”.
Located just a mile east of Stockport town centre, Woodbank Community Food Hub is an urban horticulture hub co-ordinated by the Kindling Trust that joins up inclusive community gardening with commercial organic food production.
The size of one and a half football pitches, it includes several large polytunnels for under-cover veg growing as well as three field blocks, apple trees and a community garden.
As well as hosting the dinner in the fields, it is also a place to collect fresh organic veg bags delivered by the Veg Box People, who make sure farmers get regular demand and a fair price for their produce.
Taking place from 6 to 9pm on Wednesday 21 June 2023, to find out more about the dinner and purchase tickets click here.