This Sushi Secret Is Out

By Lovell, Lucy | Manchester Evening News, March 31, 2017 | Go to article overview

This Sushi Secret Is Out


Lovell, Lucy, Manchester Evening News


IT used to be that Umezushi was a well-kept secret among those in the know - now it seems like everyone's aware of this secluded sushi joint.

Many big names have traversed the underbelly of Victoria Station to the secluded city centre arch way, and with good reason.

Jay Rayner recently described the independent eatery as a 'hidden gem' (his dining companion was our What's On editor Simon Binns that day, who has raved about it since), and Umezushi was recently revealed as the first choice for many of Manchester's top chefs.

Incoming enfant terrible-with-astar Michael O'Hare even said they were worthy of a Michelin accolade.

So are we a little late to jump on the sushi bandwagon? Actually, the M.E.N published its first review of the place back in 2013. It warranted a four-star rating back then, but some things fell short - notably the service. "Casual, friendly but not expert, none of the waiting staff had heard of unagi when I asked if eel appeared on the menu any time," wrote CityLife reviewer Paul Ogden.

Flash forward four years to a Tuesday lunchtime, and not only do the staff now know exactly what unagi is, it's literally the restaurant's speciality.

Umezushi is one of a handful of restaurants in the UK - and almost certainly the only place in Manchester - which is preparing fresh eel from scratch. Talk about turning the tables.

But inside there hasn't been much change; the living room-sized restaurant keeps its serenity and minimal style. Chefs work silently in the open kitchen.

A gnarled wooden bar with thick lacquer is set for solo diners, presenting a display cabinet of today's catch. Small groups huddle around tables buckling with sushi. …

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