Skof by Tom Barnes

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Skof by Tom Barnes
Skof by Tom Barnes

One of the year’s biggest restaurant launches, Skof, is coming to Manchester’s NOMA district. It is headed up by chef Tom Barnes, star of Simon Rogan’s restaurants. It will open on Wednesday, May 29th, with bookings available until Saturday, September 14th.

Ahead of the opening, Tom has also revealed a taste of what’s to come with the release of a sample menu. At both lunch (Thursday to Saturday) and dinner (Wednesday to Saturday), he will serve two variations of his tasting menu, one 12-course and one 15-course which will be priced at £120 and £165 respectively. At lunch, Skof will also serve a four-course offering, priced at £50 per head.

The first set of menus includes dishes such as “Roasted Sladesdown duck, peach leaf, Ibis celeriac, wholemeal bread” and “Berkswell cheese sable biscuit, crushed broad beans, whipped roe, bronze fennel.”

In the lead-up to Skof’s opening, Tom has been working on preserving ingredients to add depth of flavour to his dishes, also allowing them to be used all year round. As a continuation of this mindset, the team at Skof will create their own miso, used to flavour a “lightly set custard” served with Hen-of-the-Woods mushrooms, truffle, mushroom dashi and their own “Amasake sorbet” flavoured with milk Oolong tea.

To Manchester, Tom brings the farm-to-table ethos so crucial at Simon Rogan’s Lake District restaurants, weaving in new suppliers as he tailors the offering to a new market in the vibrant Northern city.  The sourcing for the menu reflects both his experience and background working with some of the best chefs in the world and the new path he has taken at Skof. So, alongside daily deliveries of produce grown specifically for him from Simon Rogan’s Our Farm in the Cartmel Valley, Tom will work with small-scale suppliers such as Cinderwood Market Garden in Nantwich and Lake District Farmers.

A lot of thought has gone into preparing different drinks pairings at Skof. Tom, alongside his restaurant manager Sean Oakford and assistant restaurant manager Max Lawrence (both ex-L’Enclume), has created a range of drink options to include alcohol-free or mixed-alcohol pairings or matching wines to go with the menu. The small but well-rounded wine list aims to give a variety of exciting options, spotlighting small-scale producers and the team’s personal recommendations. In addition, Tom has also collaborated with Manchester brewery, Track to create Sidney, a light and refreshing beer intended as an alternative to kick off the meal.

Tom Barnes commented: “It’s been a long time coming, so I’m excited to be able to finally release our reservations. I can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on and to return some of the incredible hospitality I’ve received from the people of Manchester. With Skof, my purpose is to create an incredible experience that focuses on great quality ingredients but, above all, puts a smile on people’s faces.”

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