The past few years have seen an explosion of restaurants in Manchester, taking in cuisine from all over the world. Japanese restaurants have proved particularly popular, with sushi and teppanyaki-style food available in all corners of the city. The only problem is choosing where to go first. Fear not, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the best five Japanese restaurants in Manchester.
Here are our top 5 picks
Manchester has its fair share of sushi restaurants, but not many have a following like Umezushi. Tucked away under an old railway arch behind Victoria Station on the edges of the city centre, it’s hard to find but well worth the hunt. Despite having just sixteen covers, this bright minimalist space never feels pokey. The vibe is relaxed, with a laid-back jazz soundtrack, and efficient staff who are more than willing to recommend courses and explain dishes in mouth-watering detail, like a food lover’s ultimate Jackanory.
The teppanyaki style of Japanese cooking has a chef using an iron griddle in front of diners, often performing theatrics to entertain the diners. This can be entertaining at times but runs the risk of detracting from the food itself. Teppanyaki’s aim is to bring this long-established style of cooking back to its more credible and sophisticated roots. And it works. The atmosphere is electric, every seat full of delighted diners. It’s far and away one of the most upbeat places in Manchester, with everyone full of the high spirits that only comes from being part of something special.
Owned and designed by architect Nick Muir, Cottonopolis is a handsomely designed bar and restaurant with a loose Japanese theme. The menu is divided into four different elements based on the cooking method for each item: ice, fire, steam and oil. It’s a gimmick but an inventive one, catering for a variety of palates whether they be healthy eaters, grazers or plain old gluttons.
Shoryu are clearly doing something right. It’s by far the busiest space in Piccadilly Gardens’ new restaurant sector, with delightfully helpful staff and some of the most well-made, eye-rollingly good Japanese dishes in the city.
Yuzu don’t do sushi but they do raw fish and rice, just not wrapped up for you – here they serve sashimi donburi-style, with the seafood fanned out over a bowl of lightly dressed rice and shaved radish. The rest of the small menu focuses on simple Japanese classics – fried tofu, udon noodles, rice bowls – executed well, with minimum fuss and one or two specials to keep things interesting.