Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Ian Jones

Vermilion is a stunning Indian restaurant, just a short drive out from Ancoats. With colourful lights, water features and eye-catching sculptures, it feels like a little piece of Dubai plucked from the UAE and deposited just outside Manchester. Every element is a treat to the eye, including a red-lit lift upstairs to the main dining area. Tonight, we’re here to sample the dazzling new menu, courtesy of the new consultant chef, Bobby Retnakumar Geetha.

You might know that name – in 2016 he became the only South Indian chef to make the final 10 in BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals, so this is something of a coup for the Vermillion team. He introduces each dish, explaining the reasons behind them and what the consist of.

Advance warning, a lot of food was served up here. About halfway through, I loosened a belt notch and soon started to wish I’d worn tracksuit pants. There’s almost too much to get through, so let’s focus on the highlights.

First up, a wonderful chaat. This street food classic combines a host of perfectly-balanced flavours and textures, delivering a pleasing amount of heat. There are crunchy cross-sections of fried lotus, teamed with pomegranate, vermicelli and enough surprises to make it one of Manchester’s better chaat options.

The black bomb, edamame samosa is another eye-catching winner. Charcoal great, it’s a beautiful mini-globe of cheesy goodness, mingled in with gentle sweetcorn and edamame beans. It’s the perfect course for a place as dazzling as Vermillion.

Again, the lamb rib-lets are superb. Slow-cooked and seared chunks of soft, salty lamb meat, flavoured with subtle hints of star anise and scattered with edamame beans lay in a rich, moreish gravy. You’d be hard pushed to find something as carefully-crafted at this anywhere else in Manchester.

Prefer seafood? The scallop dish is a triumph. A cute bowl of fresh king scallops teamed with harissa-infused lamb Merguez sausage, tomato masala, plus a gloriously bright turmeric cauliflower puree. It’s a fascinating mini-mountain of food, with every bite delivering a completely different sensation in terms of texture and taste.

The crispy butter chicken kofta bonbons are bite-size morsels consisting of cheddar and butter chicken, coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, lay on a delicious disc of turmeric-tempered mayonnaise. They’re devoured in a heartbeat, and rightly so.

When it comes to the large plates, the sea bass is the standout dish, and arguably the most traditional item on the menu so far. An expertly-cooked fillet, with that all-important crispy skin, resting on an exceptional Kerala sauce, made with plenty of coconut and cherry tomatoes. It’s a worthy choice for the most must-try dish, particularly if you’re going for the usual starter-then-main type meal.

The cute-looking dessert option rounds things off wonderfully. A little ice lolly on a stick, which turns out to be a classic Indian kulfi, creamy and sweet, with an unusual but excellent dark rock of Mancunian bee honey crumble on top. At the side, a tangle of red that tastes like sweetshop red shoelaces elevated to new heights (actually made with vermicelli). It’s laugh-out-loud brilliant, a treat for the eyes and absolutely delicious.

It’s a bold move to bring such an esteemed chef to Manchester, particularly considering the current climate, but on tonight’s showing it’s certainly paid off. The new menu at Vermillion is a boundary-pushing but ultimately exciting and successful introduction of all-new dishes to the city.

Lord N St, Hulme Hall LaneManchesterM40 8AD View map
Telephone: 01612020055 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Tuesday3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Wednesday3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Thursday3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Friday3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Saturday3:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Sunday3:00pm - 10:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Vermilion

Illustration of people sitting at a table, eating, talking, smiling and sharing food.
Food and DrinkManchester
Hallé Supper Club

A unique dining experience at the beautiful and historic Hallé St Peters, inspired by dinner parties hosted by founder Charles Hallé and his many successors.

from £20.00
Un-Convention Manchester 2024

Un-Convention is the ultimate independent music industry conference and showcase taking place at Band on the Wall in Manchester this November.

Blondshell at Band on the Wall

“An alt-rock star is born” said The Guardian upon the release of Blondshell’s debut album last year, which she’s bringing to Manchester this summer.

Where to go near Vermilion

Phillips Park

Phillips park is was one of the first municipal parks in the UK. It has a combination of woodland, fields and is home to extensive wildlife.

HSBC UK National Cycling Centre

The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre was Britain’s first indoor Olympic cycling track, and since it opened in 1994, has become one of the World’s finest and fastest board tracks.

Bar or Pub
Le Social Wine Bar

Le Social is a stylish wine bar and tasting room, focusing on exhibitions by local artists as well as natural wines, deli boards and continental plates.

Parade ensemble
Hope Mill Theatre

Sitting in a Grade II-listed former Mill on Pollard Street, Hope Mill brings exciting fringe theatre productions to Manchester’s thriving live theatre scene.

Co-op Live

Accommodating 23,500 people, Manchester’s Co-op Live is the UK’s biggest indoor arena, complete with an innovative smart bowl design.

Bar or Pub

Flawd is a neighbourhood wine bar based in Ancoats, from the team behind the wonderful Higher Ground dining experience.

Stacks of croissants
Café or Coffee Shop
Café Cotton

This café in Ancoats is locally famed for its lunchtime deals and sandwiches

Café or Coffee Shop
Companio Bakery

Started by artisan baker Russell Goodwin, Companio Bakery sells freshly-baked bread from a small unit in Manchester’s Ancoats.

Bar or Pub
Finders Keepers

Welcoming waterside bar in New Islington Marina, serving a wide array of carefully-curated cocktails.

Culture Guides