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First look at Exhibition: ‘You would be hard pushed to find a more interesting selection of food and drink in Manchester’

An exciting new space for food, drinks and 'boundary pushing entertainment' called Exhibition is set to open next week - and we got a sneak peak

The new venue is set to open on Saturday 12th November following a grand launch party.

And we got a sneak peak of some of the amazing food on offer at a press preview this week.

All I can say is, wow.

The main bar is a beautiful open area surrounded by secluded booths for quiet conversations over a unique cocktail.

They will focus on the ‘spirit of the season’ for their first cocktail menus, and season one will focus on brandy, a spirit category defined as being distilled from fermented fruit, with beautiful drinks created with everything from Cognac and Calvados, to Pisco and Eaux De Vie – perfect for Winter.


There is a secondary bar, offering a variety of local beers including Sureshot, Cloudwater, Pomona, and MCR Union Lager.

And of course, a ginormous disco ball with ambient coloured lights providing a relaxed temperate light that reverbs around the high, industrial open ceilings.

The main ‘food square’ is occupied by three independent retails – who offer plates from varying regions around the world.

There are 6 long tables where you can dine side by side, which double as a dance-floor as one too many cocktail gets consumed and the DJ’s spark up the tunes.

High square windows provide a lovely light atmosphere while people can enjoy their food.

So, on to the three independent restaurants.

The first of which is Baratxuri, offering Basque cuisine.

One of the highlights of the plates was not only the infectious attitude of Baratxuri head chef, who talked us through their food, but the Caprichio De Oro Txuleton (£70) which is 1kg bone in rib steak from Galician dairy cattle, aged over 50 years.

It is served blue with fire roasted new potatoes and a tomato salad. Sensational. 

The second is a mixture of Brazilian and British cuisine, called the Sao Paulo Bistro, bossed by Caroline Martins of the Sao Paulo Project. They offer a fantastic range of produce, highlights of which for me were the Northern Cure charcuterie board (£7.50) and the hand-dived scallops which were covered in a divine casssava mousseline with heart-of-palms (£9.50)

Finally, and by no means the least is Prestwich favourite and Michelin guide named Osma, (a play on the words Oslo and Manchester, where the two head chefs are from), serving their fresh take on Scandinavian cuisine.

Highlights from the OSMA menu include the whole baked lobster with herb butter (£55), the Sashimi plate with Hamachi, tuna and salmon (£14) and Beef filet Tataki with truffle Ponzu, crispy capers, anchovy mayo, shallot rings and rocket cress (£14).

All in all, you’d be hard pushed to fine more interesting selection of food in Manchester. As varied as it was, every thing we tried was excellent.

We spoke to General Manager Gethin Jones, who told us about the project and their aims as Exhibition is set to open on November 12th.

He said: “So here we have three kitchens, but treating them as one restaurant.

“They are resident kitchens but unlike a food hall concept we are encouraging guests to have a little bit from everyone, food from all dishes will be put on the same menu.

“One bill, one table service for everything.

“We’re also putting our a really innovative cocktail menu, an absolutely banging wine list.

“Entertainment at the weekends and a DJ every night.

“It’s going to be a really nice immersive space with hopefully, something for everyone.

“Everything from small plates and beer, and some nibbles from Baratxuri, maybe some cheese rolls from Sao Paulo or something tasty from Osma.”

Gethin went on to talk about the unique nature of the drinks.

“We are aiming for a seasonal menu, drinks wise. So when the menus change in the kitchen for summer, autumn and winter the drinks will follow.

“In the winter we’re looking at brandies, everything distilled from fruit. We want to curate an interesting list.

“We are hoping the brands we use will set us apart. That being said, these are approachable drinks – but they are definitely on the more innovative side.”

Press at the screening tried Exhibitions own Black Negroni, bottled negroni with white grapefruit infused house gin, which was can confirm was excellent.

In a nod to Exhibition’s namesake, there are a number of spots in the venue for local artists to showcase their work, with a new artist being handpicked to show every season.

The first exhibiting artist is Manchester’s Mark Jermyn, AKA Moderate Realism, whose multicoloured patterns work to change spatial perceptions and cast the familiar in a new light.

All in all, exhibition is definitely a place to look out for.

They open on November 12th and bookings are open. You can book a table by clicking here. 

Opening hours Wed-Thurs-Sunday till 12pm.

Friday and Saturday till 1pm.

1am on Friday and Saturday.

Kitchens are open 12-9pm everyday and there will be a lunch menu on Wednesday to Friday.


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