El Gato Negro Tapas, Manchester

Part of a small chain of award-winning tapas restaurants from chef Simon Shaw (with venues also in Leeds and Liverpool), this beautiful restaurant is based in the heart of Manchester with a fantastic lively atmosphere, serving mouth-watering tapas dishes. One of my top rated restaurants!

I booked the Chef’s Table at this impressive restaurant on a Saturday night in August for Ben’s birthday, and we enjoyed the meal immensely! The place was buzzing with diners and the open kitchen was great to watch. Book ahead to avoid disappointment!! – Saying that, we were late checking in to our hotel and the staff at El Gato were very accommodating when I called to make them aware, pushing back our booking so that we didn’t miss out. The Manchester restaurant opened in 2016, taking over a historic townhouse and utilising all floors to give customers a memorable experience. The ground floor features al fresco pavement dining, and an evocative bar and dining space. The middle floor offers a mix of restaurant table and seating options, plus the chef’s table for extra thrill and theatre by their open kitchen. The top floor features a stunning terrace with retractable roof. Definitely one to visit!

The menu here advises to order 5 or 6 dishes to share between two people, but we decided to go with 4 as we had an evening of drinking around Manchester to get to, but I could have easily had another as everything was absolutely delicious. Dishes are cooked to order and are served when ready, meaning the food is extra fresh when it lands on your table. El Gato also offers specials based on the freshest seasonal ingredients. We enjoyed the following;

Vegetable paella arancini balls with smoked aubergine purée – We do love arancini and these were super cute and really yummy. A great start.

Chargrilled lamb skewers with butter bean hummus and harissa yoghurt – we love anything lamb and anything harissa on a menu, and this did not disappoint! Juicy, rare lamb cooked to perfection and a great portion to share.

Chargrilled octopus, new potatoes, capers, shallots and aioli – The first time Ben has tried Octopus and he was pleasantly surprised. The dish was fresh and the octopus cooked well so that it was meaty, with a great tang from the capers and dressing.

Beef short rib with ginger glaze and sweet potato purée . – ONE OF THE BEST DISHES I’VE EVER TASTED!! We were both just in awe eating this with sounds of pure joy escaping uncontrollably lol. The rib meat just melted and fell off the bone, the flavours were perfect. You must try this at least once in your life in my opinion.

Tapas dishes are priced anywhere between £5 to £14 and there is a great collection of drinks to wash it all down with. The atmosphere here was really decent and the service was quick and faultless too. This soon became one of my Top Rated restaurants and I would 100% recommend El Gato to all food lovers. For more information on El Gato Negro, Manchester, check out their website here.

I hope that you enjoyed my review and it has inspired you to give this restaurant a visit. Please check out my other reviews, and my recipes too! If you have anywhere you recommend I should eat at, please leave a comment below. If you are a restaurant/food vendor and would like to collaborate with me in any way, please just email me at jensfoodblog@gmail.com!

Happy munching!




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