Feeling like the cats who got the cream, Richard Dash and Jamie Carter have nothing but good things to say about Gordon Ramsey's Manchester restaurant

Photos: Lost in Cheshire

For those of you who may be living under a rock and so remain blissfully unaware, Gordon Ramsay has opened his second (in the UK) 1930s Tokyo-inspired late-night lounge, Lucky Cat Manchester, on the city’s prestigious King Street.

The restaurant is located inside the iconic Midland Bank. Steeped in grandeur and history, this immense building is breathtaking and demands the same from its inhabitants… So, does it live up to the hype? Was it love at first bite? 

The menu is crafted by Gordon Ramsey and his executive head chef and is playful and theatrical. The dishes are made to share and intentionally created to ignite conversation. You’ll find Asian-inspired small plates and Robata grilled dishes. The sushi and sashimi are exquisitely crafted in the open kitchen and signature raw bar, but all dishes are served to the centre of the table, inviting you to tuck in together. 

Great British Life: The sushi and sashimi are exquisitely crafted in the open kitchenThe sushi and sashimi are exquisitely crafted in the open kitchen

To begin our Tokyo tasting we went straight to the Nibbles & Nigiri selection. The Kyoto Cucumbers were a delightfully sharp start to our meal, subtly spiced and drenched in a dreamy sesame dressing. Lucky Cat is famed for its fresh and vibrant sushi so as expected, the nigiri selection was standout; five bite-sized pieces of heaven. Perhaps the most surprising was A5 Wagyu with black truffle – we didn’t expect to see it on a nigiri selection, but will I be expecting it on every platter going forward? Yes. Yes I will.

Chopsticks at the ready, it was time for the next round; GFC & Gyoza. GFC, as you can probably guess, stands for Gordon’s Fried Chicken. Gordon is giving the Colonel a run for his money here with his hot Korean miso and black sesame dressing.

Great British Life: GFC - Gordon's Fried Chicken is to die forGFC - Gordon's Fried Chicken is to die for

We chose Pork and Kimchee Gyoza too, because I’m obsessed with anything kimchi. This was a deliciously delicate gyoza with a yuzu shichimi, complimented with a hint of heat from the kimchi and chilli.

Next to arrive at the table was our bao. The Bonito Fried Duck Leg was prepared tableside, with our lovely host tearing this perfectly pink meat apart for us to assemble our buns. Deliciously tender, the duck is rich, flavoursome and dangerously moreish. Thankfully we had to share; I could have easily finished the plate to myself and been rolled out the door.

Great British Life: The most exquisite beef short ribThe most exquisite beef short rib

The final dishes to hit the plate were the Egg Fried Rice and Beef Short Rib. In all honesty, I was a little curious to know what could make an egg fried rice cost £20. When our host appeared again to prepare it tableside, it all became clear. Perched on top of our rice, glistening in the table light, we saw a slow-cooked egg, ready to be popped and mixed with the other ingredients; spring onions, crispy onion and XO sauce. This is refined Japanese comfort food we could easily eat morning, noon and night.

Our Egg Fried Rice was served together with our Beef Short Rib, along with a charred pickled gem lettuce. We were close to bursting at this point, but savoured each unforgettable mouthful.

Shall we address the elephant in the room? Lucky Cat is not a cheap eat, by any means. While there are some more affordable mid-week set menus available, the a la carte menu sits comfortably among the cities more expensive dining options - but is it worth it? In our humble opinion; Absolutely. The creativity, attention to detail, the quality and the skill levels of each person involved in making Lucky Cat what it is absolutely deserve this price tag. While you’d be more inclined to visit on a special occasion, we’d also argue that you don’t need to eat quite as much as we did. The Bao & Nigiri selection alone would be plenty enough to enjoy with a few drinks before heading into Manchester for the night, and wouldn’t break the bank.

We can’t wait to come back and enjoy another dinner here. Thank you to the Lucky Cat team for a purrrrrrfect evening.