Manchester is in for a huge treat in June when brand new steakhouse Ribeye opens its door at popular city centre business and retail hub First Street.
Ribeye is promising an eclectic menu featuring legendary meats including Wagyu beef and Aberdeen Angus steaks.
Taking the reins in the Ribeye kitchen when it opens will be Djafar Yousfi, currently head chef at Gran Cafe in Selfridges Exchange Square.
He came to the UK from the south of France in 2001, planning to spend six months in London working on his English before moving to Paris.
But it didn’t quite work out that way. Starting out as a commis chef at Richard Branson’s legendary Babylon restaurant, he worked his way up through some of London’s finest restaurants before joining the San Carlo Group as head chef at its restaurant in Leicester about eight years ago.
He worked there for about two-and-a-half-years before becoming head chef at Bottega when it opened in Selfridges in Manchester in 2013.
“It wasn’t easy to leave San Carlo. It was very exciting working for them for so long, but I needed a new challenge. This is a completely different approach for me, starting the whole project from the beginning.”
Bringing an authentic grill-style eatery to the expanding First Street development, Ribeye Steakhouse will feature a spacious bright interior with an open kitchen and mezzanine. The restaurant is being designed by Raj Haider, the man behind new crowdfunded restaurant KALA.
“What we’re going to produce with Ribeye is something completely different,” says Djafar.
“I know there is a big competition in Manchester with a lot of restaurants but we’re going for simplicity to perfection. It has to be that what you order is exactly what you get on your plate.
“There are a lot of people who have gone vegetarian and vegan, but there are so many people who like their meat as well which is becoming a little bit forgotten.
“The idea is to go for the best of the best quality of meat and use the best cut and most popular beef. We want to give customers the experience of a nice steak without messing around with it too much.
“We’re going to be using the three most top quality meats – Wagyu, Creekstone and Aberdeen Angus – so we’re really excited about it.
“For the desserts I’m bringing onboard an Italian pastry chef from Sicily and we’re hoping to try to get the best desserts. For me a meal is an experience and it’s not complete without the final touch.
“If you’re going to have a starter and main course cooked to your specific liking, it’s important to get the full rounded experience for the customers.”
There will also be vegetarian and vegan offerings as well as plenty of choice for those with specific dietary requirements.
The 140 cover restaurant will feature an outdoor area with seating for up to 40 people, the ideal suntrap to catch some Manchester rays this summer.
“I’m starting everything from scratch with the menu, designing the kitchen and menu.
“I’ll be 100% involved in creating the menu with the help of the Ribeye owners and we’re all very excited and optimistic about the launch.”