Hakkapo – Inside the beautiful new Japanese restaurant opening in Manchester this week

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 4th March 2024

A brand new Japanese restaurant is opening in Manchester city centre this weekend, with stunning interiors and affordable prices.

Hakkapo is ready to welcome its first diners this week to the bright and airy restaurant down on First Street.

They’ve taken on the old The Laundrette site (it was also, briefly, School For Scandal) and turned it into a modern dining space.

The unit on Jack Rosenthal Street is blessed with plenty of natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides.

They’ve embraced that by decorating the space with rattan, light wood, wicker, and white marble throughout.


And Hakkapo will be a haven when summer finally rolls around, with a large weather-proof terrace out the front (it’s covered and heated, because we all know Manchester summers are a smidge temperamental).

As for the menu, Hakkapo is keeping things much more affordable than a lot of other Japanese restaurants that have opened in Manchester lately.


You’ll find delicious dishes including ramen, donburi, bao and Japanese small plates, all at a similar price point to Wagamama’s.

Many of the ramens begin with a traditional tonkotsu base, a creamy pork broth, which is then jazzed up with ingredients like black garlic ketchup, chashu pork, smoked pork belly, and slow-cooked bbq pork.

There’s also a tori chintan shoyu, a ramen made with clear chicken broth, braised chicken thigh, and naruto fish cake.


Hakkapo stuffs fluffy bao with fillings like kaarage chicken, smoked sausage, and ebi katsu (or crispy squid).

Traditional Japanese donburi rice bowls come with toppings like salmon sashimi, chicken katsu, salt-aged sirloin and miso aubergine.

And on the small plates side of things, there are pickles, salads, yakitori skewers, and sweet-and-salty fries.

The desserts include a miso and vanilla fried bao, and a beautiful matcha affogato with red bean paste.

And as well as sake and Japanese soft drinks, there’s a menu packed with wines from central Europe.


Hakkapo will officially open its doors on Tuesday 5 March.

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Featured image: The Manc Group