It looks like Manchester city centre needs to brace itself for an influx of fine dining Japanese restaurants. Kitten opened earlier this year at luxury apartment complex Deansgate Square, MUSU is to open in the former Randall & Aubin site on Bridge Street in October, while Japanese Peruvian concept Chotto Matte is to occupy the rooftop of Gary Neville’s St Michael’s development in Summer 2024. And let’s not forget Peter Street Kitchen which has been knocking out its contemporary Japanese and Mexican small plates, robata grills and omakase menus since 2018.
Hot on the heels of all those, a license application has just been submitted by Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café Company to open a Manchester branch of his Lucky Cat restaurant. The application concerns the impressive Grade II listed former bank on King Street – formerly occupied by Jamie’s Italian restaurant. The outline is for a licensed premises trading on three floors describing the venue as a ‘high quality Asian style bar and restaurant with entertainment by way of recorded music and a DJ.’
Ramsay opened the original Lucky Cat in London’s Mayfair in 2019. The concept is inspired by Tokyo’s 1930s kissas, cutting edge nocturnal music clubs and Shanghai’s drinking dens. The menu offers Asian inspired small plates, Robata grilled dishes, and a raw bar offering sushi and sashimi dishes designed to be shared. Lucky Cat also offers a superb selection of Japanese gins and over 50 sakes, alongside wine, beer, whisky, and innovative cocktails.
It’s too early to confirm whether they will use the same design studio team for the Manchester restaurant, but the Mayfair venue features two Chef’s Tables – where guests can enjoy the theatre of watching expert chefs at work, as well as several private dining rooms.