A striking new addition to Manchester’s dining scene has opened its doors this week amidst the glass towers of Deansgate Square.
With towering eight-foot-high bamboo walls, a gleaming tan marble bar, a giant (fake) bonsai and a trio of squat stone moai stationed squarely at its door, it might be called Kitten but it’s anything but cute.
Majestic, yes, and ever so slightly imposing, the restaurant’s grand interiors set the stage for a promisingly fresh and modern take on Japanese fine dining in Manchester.
All that’s left now is to try the food – and despite initial concerns it could be all fur coat and no knickers, we’re pleased to say that is not the case, not at all.
With a focus on fireside cooking, high-end sushi and sashimi, Kitten’s striking sushi bar takes centre stage in the restaurant – offering a front-row seat to all the sushi-making action to a privilieged few.
The restaurant offers a one-of-a-kind chef’s table sushi experience with artfully constructed raw dishes overseen by Head Sushi Chef Daniel Zhou, formerly of Peter Street Kitchen.
We, however, manage to miss said sushi action – sitting away from the bar at a table overlooking a sun-lit Deansgate Square. Still, in fairness, the quality of the plates speak for themselves.
Beautiful ceramic dishes lined with snow pea and avocado maki topped with scallops and tabiko hit the table, joined by a house nigiri selection with salmon, tuna, sea bass and Japanese hamachi and squid.
Dusty pink sashimi follows, joined by lightly breaded shell-on prawns and an artfully-constructed dish of seared tuna, Kewpie, chillies and pickles – their freshness and crunch perfectly complementing the rich softness of the fish and Japanese mayo.
As well as specialist sushi, Kitten also boasts a giant Robatayak grill from which we enjoy a whole seabass rubbed in a red miso and sesame seed marinade.
Its skin is blackened from the charcoal, giving it a smoky edge and aroma, but beneath that the flesh is soft, tenderly flaking away from the vertebra.
Served solo, initially we find ourselves looking for accompanying side plates – but as we delve in, we soon realise it more than stands up on its own.
The cocktail menu is just as impressive. Midori, the luminous green melon liqueur star of many an adolescent mixer, is given a new lease of life in layered Japanese iced teas and Japanese slippers – the latter a mixture of orange Cointreau, lemon juice and melon.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a rich and satisfyingly garnishless take on an espresso martini, yuzu-laced margaritas and French 75’s, and house-infused gin made sharp and prickly with horseradish, then mellowed with cucumber.
Overall the kitchen here is led by Head Chef Josh Gabrielides, formerly of Ivy Asia, supported by a wider kitchen team that boasts experience from Copenhagen-based restaurant chain Sticks and Sushi s well as other top-ranked Pan-Asian restaurants.
Semi-open, it’s set into a fortress-like double-height wall with a second hatch overlooking the restaurant another floor above.
Further dishes from the robata menu include premium steak cuts, with veggie and vegan-friendly options available for those who prefer a plant-based diet.
Keir Starmer says Labour will ‘freeze’ council tax this year if elected
Keir Starmer has said he will “freeze” council tax in England this year if Labour triumphs in the upcoming local elections.
The Labour leader says his party will cut tax “for the many, not just for the top 1%.”
With the next local elections coming up on 4 May 2023, and Labour hoping to gain in its number of seats across England and Wales, Sir Keir Starmer appeared in Swindon today to launch his party’s election campaign, and hit out at the Conservative Party for being “nowhere near good enough” over their last 13 years of power.
Starmer notably blasted the Tories for their decision to raise tax-free pension limits in its most recent Budget announcement – which is set to benefit the most well-off in our society – and said Labour would counteract this and represent working people.
It comes after almost three in four local Councils say they are planning to increase the cost by the maximum amount allowed after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt raised the cap on council tax increases without a referendum from 3% to 5%.
Council leaders claim they have “little choice” but to increase costs as the rising cost of living crisis sadly continues to make its impact felt nationwide.
Speaking at the launch of Labour’s campaign today, Starmer stated “there is a choice on tax” for the public to make in the upcoming local elections.
He added: “A Tory choice – taxes up for working people, tax cuts for the 1% – or a Labour choice, where we cut business rates to save our high streets and where, if there was a Labour government, you could take that council tax rise you just got and rip it up.
“A Labour government would freeze your council tax this year – that’s our choice. A tax cut for the many, not just for the top 1%. So take this message to every doorstep in your community: Labour is the party of lower taxes for working people.
“That’s the difference we can make. That’s the choice in May. A better Britain.”
Starmer said he intends for the pledges he made in Labour’s local election campaign launch to “send a message to the government” after their 13 years in power.
“What they’ve delivered to our country nowhere near good enough,” he said
“We’ve got to get out there and show people the difference Labour can make. Let them see our hunger for change. We have to prove that this suffocating cost of living crisis, the path of decline the Tories have set Britain on, the endless sticking plaster politics, is not inevitable.