Yuzu, Manchester

16 Sep

As a Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2013 ‘Restaurant of the Year’ nominee, Yuzu will be pitting itself against five other Manchester restaurants (63 Degrees, Michael Caines Restaurant, Cicchetti, Damson, The French at The Midland); the winner being revealed at a Gala Dinner on the 7th of October. As the vote is up to us – the public – all of those involved should be ‘upping the ante’ in terms of quality and service in the attempt to secure themselves that winning spot.

So, my thoughts…? I like Yuzu. I like it a lot. (Saying this, I have yet to find a Japanese restaurant that I don’t like.) It is clean and elegant in its simplicity. Yuzu was brought about because, according to the owners, there were no ‘real’ Japanese eateries to be found in Manchester; so with Yuzu now being an established restaurant in Chinatown, we went in the hope of finding some authenticity…

Unfortunately it took us a while to find. We managed, somehow, to walk around twice without seeing a thing (and of course, Google Maps was once again of zero help). What finally pulled my eye to the large ‘YUZU’ sign had something to do with the tattoo parlour to the left… Inside, the walls are all pleasant shades of paneled beige – caramel, tan, oatmeal – with a darkly tiled floor on which stand the tables and Yuzu’s characteristically low benches.

Yuzu, Manchester

Yuzu, Manchester

I felt slightly bitter that, in a Japanese restaurant, there were no sushi options on the menu. However, I found out this was because (in the words of Yuzu themselves), “We do not sell sushi, as sushi has to be made by a properly trained sushi master, which we are not.” Fine with me. I’ve recently gained a seriously deep amount of respect for sushi masters after watching Jiro Dreams Of Sushi; stunning – find it and be in awe.

The drinks we ordered were simple; it was a wee too early for sake drinking (Yuzu’s selection is extensive) so I chose the refillable Barley Tea. I had this over the Green Tea, as it was new to me – I chose well! My friend had the Kirin Ichiban, and guzzled it down with relish (I’m assuming this was positive…).

Yuzu, Manchester

Yuzu, Manchester

I’ll be frank – when it comes to food, I truly am a glutton. I wasn’t fully enlightened to this fact until I began to realise that normal people are able to choose their meals delicately, deliberately, precisely; I instead just order all that firmly takes my fancy, in case I miss out the ‘star of the show’. This method of attack does often work out well for me; instead of sticking to known favourites, I am able to branch out into the world of the unknown. A prime example being the daikon and wakame salad. I’d heard it was delicious (holy cow)  but would I have chosen it over the chicken kara-age if I’d been forced to side with one? I dare not answer. Don’t miss this one out guys, here uncomplicated does not equate to mundane. It was quite possibly the highlight of my meal.

Daikon and Wakame Salad; Yuzu, Manchester

Daikon and Wakame Salad; Yuzu, Manchester

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Chicken Kara-age; Yuzu, Manchester

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Chicken Kara-age & Agedashi Tofu; Yuzu, Manchester

After the light salad came out starters: Jay Rayner said that Yuzu’s chicken kara-age “makes all other fried chicken look like a first draft”. I can, hands down and without guilt, admit to being an all-round fried chicken enthusiast, but this… I probably did let out an audible squeal of delight to the surrounding diners as I popped the kara-age into my mouth. The sweet and citrusy ponzu dipping sauce helped keep the dish from becoming too much of a savoury overload. I enjoyed the agedashi tofu very much; tofu is the creamy carrier for many strong flavours, and it held up against the ginger-infused broth. Yum!

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House Prawn Gyoza; Yuzu, Manchester

The house prawn gyoza came served with a bowl of rice and miso (with lots of spring onion, wakame and tofu…). The gyoza themselves were impeccable – soft yet crisp, with large pieces of chopped prawn. The ravings from other reviews lived up in this one.

Scallop, tuna, organic salmon sashimi; Yuzu, Manchester

Scallop, tuna, organic salmon sashimi; Yuzu, Manchester

Lastly, we shared a platter of the sashimi. Sadly, the sweet prawns were missing off of the dish but we assumed that, because all of the fish was so fresh, the prawns simply could not be obtained that day. Never shy with silky and sumptuous raw fish, it was devoured in seconds of lip-smacking triumph.

What a fantastic evening!  Will be looking forwards to seeing how they fare in the Manchester Food and Drink Festival…

Yours,

Joss

P.S. Having been to Yuzu (and tried my best to peer over those sake bottles into the kitchen –  alas, I am a shorty and cannot stretch high enough), I found this youtube video of behind that sake-wall very interesting… if a tad slow. It also made me giggle a bit.

Yuzu on Urbanspoon

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11 Responses to “Yuzu, Manchester”

  1. MeKo September 16, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Awesome blog Joss 😀 I want some chicken kara age! x

    • jossk1993 September 16, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Thank you! It was fantastic 😉

  2. Month Hacker September 16, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    You are so lucky to have Japanese restaurants around. There aren’t any good ones in my town! People often cook fake Japanese stuff here on the streets; full of spices and all. I say what the heck? Who puts so many spices in Japanese food! 😀

    • jossk1993 September 16, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      What city are you? It was beautifully clean and simple, adored it 🙂 nothing was over-done, everything mastered!

      • Month Hacker September 16, 2013 at 10:28 am #

        This is Hyderabad in India. Not a big place like Manchester 😦

      • jossk1993 September 16, 2013 at 10:43 am #

        Oooo fantastic! I see from your blog that you’re learning Japanese – are you intending to visit or is it a hobby?

      • Month Hacker September 16, 2013 at 10:49 am #

        I wish I could visit. Maybe some time in the future I will. I love Japanese culture. Hence I decided to learn it. See my about page. I’ve written why…

      • jossk1993 September 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

        As do I, would be such a great place to go and learn as much as I could…
        Will pop over to your blog! 🙂

  3. greg@urbanspoon September 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Thanks, Joss! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you’ve reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/br/341/11883/Manchester/topnotchfodder.html

    Best,
    Greg

    http://www.urbanspoon.com


    greg(at)urbanspoon(dot)com

    • MeKo November 26, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      happy days 😀

  4. Mark November 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Welcome back, monkey 🙂

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