To Sushi or Not to Sushi? Hopefully, following a run-down of Manchester’s best sushi offerings you’ll be able to answer that question with ease.
Samsi – Come and see
First on our list is Samsi. This is your best option for getting some sushi goodness at a decent price without having to sit at a cliché conveyor belt. Everything is traditionally prepared by an in-house chef who doesn’t mind an onlooker or two while he is in his own world.
With its soft back-lighting, cultural style choices and gentle background music, Samsi is a great place to go whether you want some delicious bites on your own or to impress without breaking the bank. You are sorted regardless of the situation – banquet set menu options are available if you feel like going all out, or if you’re in search of a lunch to have on the go you can get a balanced little bento box.
As if all that wasn’t enough, they also have a great sake selection to pair with your sushi feasts! If you have never tried Japanese rice wine but are feeling adventurous, a cup of house sake is only £3 – a small price to pay for an experience you never knew you wanted. Find them on the corner of Whitworth Street just across from the Sackville Street Building; you won’t be able to miss their huge red signs and curtains, and you definitely won’t forget where they are once you’ve tried them.
Yuzu – A slice of Japan in Chinatown
While Yuzu definitely does offer some tasty sushi, it is their sashimi which is mouth-wateringly good. Sashimi is essentially sushi minus the rice, meaning that every nuance of the fish can be tasted. The ability of a sashimi chef can be judged simply by the appearance of the dish that is put in front of the customer, and it goes without saying that Yuzu has a very capable chef in their hands.
When done properly, as it is here, each plate should be a work of art that has had true effort put into it. The level of sashimi you get here is far more than the price you pay for; a price which is definitely on the affordable side of a student’s budget as an occasional indulgence.
Yuzu’s wooden aesthetic and top notch food make it one of the top places in Chinatown, and a gem you have to visit at some point or another. As a heads up, you may want to reserve a seat, since they are only open from 12-2pm for lunch and then again at 5:30pm, at which point dinner is available till 10pm. (Photo: Facebook, Yuzu Manchester)
Sushi Marvel – Still better than DC
Sushi Marvel is the definition of “you get what you pay for”. Despite having only recently arrived on the Manchester scene and being on the pricier side of the spectrum, Sushi Marvel is rapidly making itself known as an amazing stop for any sushi-lover.
You will need to make a bit of an effort to getting there, they are located in Ancoats, but it is a journey worth making. What it lacks in size (there’s only enough seating for ten people) it makes up for in quality.
Their standard menu offers all three types of tuna – akami, chutoro and otoro. For those that aren’t aware, these are the three main cuts of tuna based on the fattiness. You may have tried akami in the likes of Yo! and Wasabi chains. If you like tuna sushi there, then prepare yourself for the wonders of chutoro and otoro, which are increasingly fattier cuts of the fish’s flesh.
While the price increases proportionally to the value of the cuts, it is worth every penny. Having tried all three I can confidently confirm that once you’ve tasted the richness of proper otoro, there is no going back. You will never be able to have sushi again without thinking of the moment you experienced true tuna.
Umezushi – The Hidden Gem
Your student loan has dropped and you want to treat yourself. You could go to Spoons and get a round for everyone… or you could have fish so fresh you can say that you’ve found Nemo. While on the pricier side, Umezushi is the best sushi you will find in Manchester.
Found in a small room under a bridge just around the corner from Victoria station, this is the last thing you’d expect to find in an alleyway. Umezushi has everything the other restaurants on our list have to offer and more. Knowing this, they offer an “Umezushi Taster Menu”, including a selection of freshly received sashimi from a multitude of suppliers. One exciting ingredient on the Umezushi menu is the Japanese wagyu beef, undoubtedly a rarity in Manchester.
In addition to this and their a la carte menu, they also have rotating specials which change based on whatever delicacy they can get their hands on, from sea bream to hand-dived scallops. Words do not do this place justice and I would strongly advise anyone who truly loves a seafood experience to make a reservation here ASAP.