After huge success in Liverpool and their pop-up at Escape To Freight Island, a modern Mexican restaurant and bar Madre has opened its first Manchester restaurant.
The brand new ‘taqueria and mezcaleria’, has opened in Manchester’s vibrant Kampus neighbourhood, bringing adventurous flavours and a slice of Mexico City to Manchester.
We were among the first to sample their incredible menu, and it’s a culinary journey you won’t want to miss.
Manchester’s new Mexican restaurant, Madre
With a mix of authentic street food and more elevated dishes, as well as an impressive selection of over 100 tequilas and mezcals, Madre is a must-visit destination where friends can catch up over delicious Mexican cocktails and dishes made using the best local and seasonal produce.
After a stint at Escape to Freight Island, this is Madre’s first permanent restaurant and bar outside of Liverpool.
The team, who are also behind Liverpool’s Belzan and London’s Breddos Tacos, includes Chris Edwards, Sam Grainger, Owain Williams, Nud Dudhia, and Chris Witney. They describe the new Manchester venture as: “Our biggest announcement yet! Madre is a testament to our passion of showcasing Mexico’s bold culinary traditions. It’s taken inspiration from countless visits to Mexico over the last two decades.
“We’ve curated a menu that captures the essence of Mexico City’s bustling streets and combines it with the warm hospitality Manchester is known for.”
Mexican restaurant at Kampus
Located in Minshull House, part of the buzzing Kampus development, the 90-cover restaurant serves up classic Mexican dishes like birria tacos, pork carnitas, and fresh seafood cooked over a wood-fired grill. Its location among other popular independent food spots like Nell’s Pizza and Pollen Bakery only adds to its appeal.
Immediately, the sun-trap outdoor terrace beckons with its inviting tables and chairs, creating the perfect ambience for dining al fresco. As you enter, you’ll be transported to the adobe houses of Mexico – earthy tones and rustic furnishings creating an intimate and warm space.
With ample seating options, and an open kitchen and bar that offers a glimpse into the fast-paced culinary action, Madre ensures every guest can experience the true essence of Sobremesa – the joy of cherishing a meal and the company of others.
Open daily from 12pm til late, Madre at Kampus effortlessly transitions from a family-friendly lunch destination to a buzzing bar with Mexican party vibes as the sun goes down.
A tour through modern Mexico with Madre’s new food menu
Madre’s menu is a masterpiece: inspired by Mexico City’s eclectic food culture, crafted with passion and a twist of creativity.
It’s split into four sections – snacks, oysters and raw, tacos, and wood-fired – with the likes of freshly-prepared ceviche, fire-roasted Simaloan style prawns, and twice-cooked wings tossed in spicy arbol sauce all vying for attention.
We start with snacks, including guacamole y totopos (£7) where crispy corn chips mingle with creamy crushed avocado, jalapeño, and lime.
We make the most out of the salsa tray (£7), dipping our chips into five unique salsas which range from mildly spiced, tangy, to verging on eye-watering.
Also on the snacks menu are chicaron de puerco y cola (£7.50) – perfectly crispy and tender pork belly skewers in a Mexican cola BBQ sauce topped with crispy onions – and ‘elote’ corn ribs (£7.50), a street food delight smoked then drenched in chipotle mayo, zesty lime, and queso fresco.
The ensalada de sandia (£6) is the perfect summer salad: a combination of sweet watermelon, zesty lime, roasted coconut, radish, and a hint of birds-eye chilli creating a refreshing palette cleanser.
At the oyster and raw bar, you’ll find sashimi-grade tuna tostadas, cured seabass, and three different styles of oysters to choose from, with toppings including a housemade jalapeno mignonette and salsa verde.
We tuck into indulgent oysters rockefeller which come as a pair (£9), half-dozen (£35) or dozen if you really want to impress (£47). Imagine plump oysters intensified by a luscious blend of roasted bone marrow, aromatic coriander, crispy panko breadcrumbs, and hint of jalapeño for a subtle kick.
Each bite is a symphony of flavours; the richness of the bone marrow harmonising with the freshness of the oysters and the tantalising combination of herbs and spices.
Of course, you can’t miss out on Madre’s legendary tacos. Choose from a selection that includes birria beef shin, pork carnitas, fried prawns, whipped potato, and tempura avocado. We opt for Taco Pollo Milanese (£9) – two of the world’s greatest cuisines, Mexican and Italian, creating a showstopper main. Crispy and succulent fried chicken takes the spotlight, accompanied by chipotle aioli, marinated white cabbage, onion, and coriander, all nestled in a warm tortilla.
As for the wood-fired section, the cordero al carbon (£18), featuring large, tender lamb cutlets coated in a pistachio crust is magnificent, and other options like Sinaloan-style grilled prawns, or the almejas with clams and beer sound very tempting.
The sonoran carne asada con papas (£45) is visually stunning and showcases the exceptional flavours of Mexican cuisine. It soon becomes one of our favourites. Succulent aged wing rib of beef, accompanied by grilled jalapeños, masa onion rings, and beef jus potatoes.
We take a side of broccolini (£13) – a delicious charred tenderstem broccoli dish, enhanced with mole sauce, sour cream, manchego cheese, nuts, and a drizzle of avocado oil. The mole sauce offers a Mexican twist and elevates the dish with its rich and creamy combination of dried chillies, spices, nuts, and chocolate.
The flavours of Mexico
You can truly feel the flavours of Mexico come alive throughout the menu, but nowhere is that captured more than the pescado a la talla (£28): butter-fried sea bass, grilled to perfection over charcoal, served with salsa verde, salsa roja, refried beans, and tortillas.
Madre’s Drinks Menu
With over 100 tequilas and mezcals to choose from, Madre’s impressive bar is a testament to the team’s travels across Guadalajara, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. The carefully curated drinks list draws inspiration from the flavours found in these regions and includes cocktails that pay homage to Mexico’s iconic spirit, agave.
Alongside the classic margaritas, Paloma’s, and Pink Chihuaha’s, Madre’s drinks menu features an array of exciting concoctions infused with unique ingredients. The Mole Palmetto (£12.50), for example, mixes El Tarasco rum with Cochhi vermouth, Di Torino, mole spices and Cola Cherry. The after-taste is cinnamon and cacao.
Meanwhile, Death Proof (£12.50), inspired by a hilarious true story between Madre co-founder Chris Edwards and Quentin Tarantino, features patron tequila with Mexican vanilla, acid mango, and sparkling mandarin. The result is a gloriously sweet cocktail, a riff on the classic Pornstar Martini.
Whether you’re a tequila connoisseur or just dipping your toes into the world of agave spirits, Madre’s staff will guide you through their extensive selection of spirits, ensuring your glass is never empty.
You can find Madre at The Churchill, Kampus, 41 Chorlton St, M1 3HN.
Open daily from 12pm to 12am.
Stay in the loop with Madre’s latest news and updates on Instagram @ThisIsMadre.