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Manchester is a historic city incorporating eclectic architecture from across the centuries – and there’s certainly no shortage of scenic places to dine. HAUNT Manchester has already delved into the subterranean spaces and intriguing places of ‘Hidden and Alternative Places to Eat’ in the city, but now is bringing you a selection of the ‘Atmospheric and Adventurous’ variety for something extra-special. Whether you are looking for elegant eating out or fine dining amidst dark and opulent interiors, these are the choices for you, each with their own touch of Gothic inspiration…

Randall & Aubin 

Randall & Aubin is an Anglo-French brasserie known for elegant seafood and meat dishes – first established in Soho – now making an impression in Manchester, located on Bridge Street, close to Spinningfields. The black and white awning on the exterior and inviting windows brimming with the fruits of sea underline the authenticity and quality to be expected at this popular restaurant and oyster bar.

Co-owned by the acclaimed chef Ed Baines and businessman Jamie Poulton, this is the type of restaurant which actively draws the diner in, complete with atmospheric low-lighting and tasteful brickwork. The menu celebrates fresh, quality produce, with a number of popular fish dishes, a selection of seafood, rotisserie cooked meats (including beef, ideal for Sunday), salads and more. Special set menus and lunch are also available, and their fish and chips prove a particularly popular dine-in option. Accompany the meal with one of their well-matched wines, champagnes or spirits (the latter for a slightly more adventurous twist which works masterfully well with fish).

However, for the most spectacular, fresh caught and authentically wild food… tuck into Plats de Fruits de Mer; a platter of 8 rock oysters, whole Dorset crab, Atlantic shrimps, diver-picked scallops, whelks, mixed clams, native mussels, Mediterranean prawns and cockles. Think of the seascape contemplated by Captain Walton in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the novel celebrating its 200th birthday this year. This is food as fresh as can be, capturing the intense, rich flavours of the sea.

64 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BN

Hotel Gotham

Marvel at the decadent exterior of Manchester city centre’s Hotel Gotham on King Street, its Art Deco features testament to architect Edwin Lutyens – who designed the building for when it opened as a bank in 1935. Since 2015, it has boasted a beautiful hotel spreading across seven floors, with the top floor dedicated to the exclusive Club Brass, as well as a public restaurant – Honey – open on the sixth floor; so this really is a hidden gem. Make sure to reserve a table beforehand to be permitted entry. Honey restaurant really is deserving of a high-spot when it comes to atmospheric places to eat, as here diners can enjoy an elegant menu of brasserie classics given a modern twist, amidst interiors of zinc, wood and marble, complete with green glass wall lamps and Banker-style seating. Look out of the original half-moon windows over stunning views of the cityscape too. There certainly is a kind of Gothic flair about this outstanding place to eat; as Honey restaurant holds two AA Rosettes and dishes ooze culinary charm, including the likes of charred Cumbrian Charolais beef, sea trout with cucumber and salted dark chocolate tart. Delicious.

100 King St, Manchester M2 4WU

Manchester House

A unique urban style and industrial chic give the acclaimed restaurant Manchester House an edge of Gothic glamour when it comes to eating out in the city. Located at 18-22 Bridge Street in Spinningfields, Manchester House also boasts a spacious lounge and private terraces with a monochromatic design – thanks to the late designer Aidan Keane – as well as sweeping views of the city. The use of dark elegance is complemented by the menu, with Chef Patron Nathanial Tofan impressing with modern British dishes. Examples of dishes exhibiting a dark charm include the seasonal starter of Squab pigeon, pickled beetroot, fig and last year’s damsons, whilst poached chicken, wild garlic, morel mushrooms, and asparagus for main course capture intense, earthy flavours celebrating proper produce. One particular dessert – the bitter chocolate, pickled cherries, whiskey cream and cherry sorbet combination – certainly sounds like a Gothic-inspired delight. Manchester House also serves an array of cocktails, afternoon tea and a lunch menu.

18-22 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BZ

El Gato Negro

This slick restaurant at 52 King Street immediately allures the eye with its dark styling, arched window frames and even its very name – El Gato Negro (The Black Cat) – making it a slice of modern Gothic in the culinary field. Here diners can enjoy award-winning Spanish and Catalan cuisine, all part of the vision of head chef and creative director Simon Shaw. Enjoy beautiful tapas and drinks across three floors, inspired by fresh and seasonal produce. A number of dishes seem simple on the surface but incorporate a real depth of flavour. From the main menu, this includes the likes of their fiery Padrón peppers, beautiful Manchego with bittersweet green figs and popular seafood dishes like Ostra Regal oysters, yuzu juice, tobiko wasabi and pickled cucumber. Amidst the atmospherically-lit interiors, this is sure to be a special experience, and it is very popular indeed. Be sure to book in advance, as the restaurant’s award-winning status – including a Michelin Guide 2017 listing and a place in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2018 – makes it a go-to dining destination.

52 King St, Manchester M2 4LY


This inventive Asian restaurant serves acclaimed Chinese cuisine amidst opulent interiors inspired by the expressive and intricate designs of body art. Based on Gartside Street in Spinningfields, the 150-capacity restaurant spreads across two floors with decadent dark styling, including an intriguing rose garden in the bar area, which gives atmospheric open views to the restaurant above. Here diners can not only enjoy artful décor but beautifully presented dishes too including popular small plates, flavourful dim sum, BBQ options including sticky beef short rib and a number of meat and fish dishes for main course, with outstanding sauces. Their Yuzu Black Cod could be considered to have a kind of Gothic flair in itself, whilst chef’s cut Wagyu beef with a sweet soy glaze is a showstopping option. Sharing and set menus are also available, as well as an array of cocktails – including the likes ‘Skull Candy’, indicating even more Gothic inspiration. That’s Tattu’s signature serve: Vodka, Strawberry and Bubblegum. Brilliant.

3, 4 Hardman Square, Gartside Street, Manchester M3 3EB

- By Emily Oldfield




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