Tast Catala

When Frances and Darren suggested that for Saturday lunch on my recent visit to Manchester we should go to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s new restaurant, Tast, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

With much-celebrated Catalan chef Paco Perez at the helm, the multi level place encompasses an upstairs restaurant, private dining, plus a ground level bar and informal dining space. We took up station at the elegant bar in the latter and contemplated the cocktail and snack menus.

The place had only been open for one week, but this was already the second visit for Frances and Darren.

We settled upon opening drinks then took a moment or two before settling on what to eat.

The drinks were delivered to a really excellent standard. My clarified Manhattan was outstanding with power-packed ingredients very deftly balanced.

After trying the vermouth, Frances subsequently hit upon the outstanding drink of the day, called the Park Guell. With cucumber ice cubes and ylang ylang essential oil on the exterior of the glassware, this was splendidly refreshing stuff with satisfying aromatics.

For food, we shared a range of bites and morsels. The croquettas were excellent with the Iberian ham one outstanding.

We had some fun plates to admire with aubergine served in aubergine crockery, anchovies – with their bones poached in milk to make them safe to crunch – in a fish plate and octopus in an elaborate tentacled bowl. They were quite something.

Fresh green dishes of spinach and asparagus brought welcome balance and lightness. A mushroom filled bomba was a suitably ballish conclusion to the savoury elements.

Our friendly bartender let us try their dessert-style cocktail, the L’ou com balla, which was a riff on crema catalana. It was another belter of a drink.

So overall, we were highly impressed with Tast. The food was all delivered to a very high standard, but it was the quality of the cocktails and vermouths that shone through in particular on this visit. I can see this growing into a big favourite with locals and I look forward to returning when next I’m in town.

Scores
4.5/5 for food
4.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
4.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 17.5/20

Today’s questers were: Frances, Darren, Blythe

We ate: pa amb tomaquet, croquettas, bomba, aubergine, anchovies, octopus, spinach, asparagus

We drank: cocktails, water

We wore: no thongs

Total bill: £120.89

Address: 20-22 King Street, Manchester M2 6AG

Written by BKR