Hello Oriental is a new bakery, restaurant, and oriental food shop that has recently opened on Oxford Road as part of the new Circle Square development.
The dancing Dragon may have graced your timelines in the past few weeks as part of the grand opening, a tradition for good luck. Arriving with a bang, Oxford Road’s newest residents seem to fit into the area. The building spirals down over three floors with different elements on each. There is a Chinese bakery at the entrance
and you then go down to the Vietnamese mezzanine: Rice Paper Pho, and down again to Downtown Oriental, serving Oriental street food. The shape of the space creates a tunnel of light shining down into the basement floor of Downtown Oriental, replicating a busy Asian metropolis with different pockets of light.
The bakery is open and bright, the mezzanine acts as an in-between and then the darker area of Downtown Oriental has neon lights and a buzzing atmosphere. This floor is the main attraction of the restaurant. Business partners, Azim and Ricky, drew inspiration from 1-800 Lucky, an Asian restaurant in Miami, aiming to create the same environment as a busy street food market in an alleyway. The Bakery sells traditional Hong Kong oriental bakes freshly made every day. Rice Paper Pho serves fresh and healthy options including summer rolls, delicious, light and fragrant with a peanut dip, and Vietnamese salads with plenty of Gluten Free and Vegan options.
Downtown Oriental serves everything from Chinese roasts and Dimsum to Malaysian wonton and curries. The menu aims to introduce the people of Manchester to Oriental food through transitional pieces. Whilst they won’t mess with the traditional Chinese roasts, Azim described it as having “a firm foot in both camps”. Their most popular dishes include a soft shell crab burger and the Downtown loaded fries.
They’ve maintained a level of authenticity with all the chefs having experience in authentic kitchens, the wok chefs having 65 years between them and both the Dimsum master and the baker have 50 years of experience each.
The Bao Buns are also worth a mention, cooked fresh every day, steamed to order ensuring light and fluffy buns every time. I tried the Crispy Chicken Bao Bun on my visit, the chicken cut from the roast topped with red cabbage, crispy onions and hoisin sauce. Crunchy and fluffy in the same bite.
The bar stays open late with a DJ on a weekend. I tried a Mandarin Martini which came in a novel little juice carton, that was the most interesting thing about it. I’d say you get your money’s worth for this slightly overpriced cocktail in that there was a lot of vodka and not a lot of Mandarin. It was an interesting cocktail choice to say the least.
To top off this multilayered Oriental experience there is also a shop selling snacks and ingredients needed to make some of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Whilst it is a great concept with a mix of new and interesting food options, it is slightly too overpriced for a student area. It feels as though it is aimed at a more professional audience which potentially may come as Circle Square fills up.
You can visit Hello Oriental Monday-Thursday 8am-10pm, Friday 8am-12am and Saturday-Sunday 10am-12am. With Live DJs on Friday and Saturday and fun challenges throughout the week like Tuesday’s all you can eat Korean Hot Wings.
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0161 275 2930 University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR