Oh, Manchester. So much to answer for…
It had been a few months since my previous trip to the northwest cottonopolis so I was glad to renew acquaintances and once again spend time with my pals Frances and Darren, along with our friends from Birmingham Katy and Luke.
Our first culinary stop was at local Japanese favourite Umezushi. Our initial party featured Frances, Katy and I along with Luke who arrived mid-feast.
Frances had visited many times before so knew the score. Essentially it was just a case of asking the splendid waiter to ‘bring food’ with the only real direction to make sure there was a good range of options to cater for Katy’s general indifference to raw and fishy fish.
The place has a comfortable and informal feel to it. Quite unusually it had a very strong wine list from which we lightly sampled from the bubbles and white selection.
The food kicked off with some excellent kimchi accompanied by lightly seared salmon and delicious cured mackerel. This was a very promising opening salvo.
Next up was probably the highlight of the meal, minced fatty tuna roll topped with a quail egg yolk. This was simply splendid.
We then moved to a selection of rolls and sushi which included more of the highly prized tuna belly along with seared beef and outstanding smoked eel.
We were then given a little bonus treat in the shape of a grilled mackerel roll with bonito flakes. Again this was first-rate stuff.
We rounded things out with two pieces of highly theatrical seafood. First up was a fish head from which picked the flesh from the neck collar, cheeks and other facey morsels. Then we had a salt baked prawn that Frances expertly peeled then poured the prawn brains all over. Again, this was wonderful.
After this dazzling array we were left to reflect on a meal packed with real spectacle and showmanship blended deftly with the Japanese love of accurate and neat presentation. It was a sushi experience like no other that I’ve had.
So overall, I was entirely beguiled by Umezushi. It served us absolutely outstanding dishes that will live long in the memory. Next time you’re in Manchester make sure to add it to your list for a visit. I’m confident you’ll be impressed.
Blythe scores Umezushi
4.5/5 for food
4.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4.5/5 for service
giving an overall 17.5/20
Today’s questers were: Frances, Katy, Luke, Blythe
We ate: a selection of greatness
We drank: wines
We wore: traditional Japanese feasting robes
Total bill: £263
Address: 4 Mirabel Street, Manchester M3 1PJ