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The interior of District, a new-wave Thai restaurant in Manchester city centre.
The interior of District, a new-wave Thai restaurant in Manchester city centre.
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Northern Quarter


Restaurant - Thai

The ring-road end of Oldham Street seems an odd location for a hyper-stylised nouveau-Asian restaurant where your only options are two budget-pushing tasting menus. But ‘odd’ is District all over – deliberately so, and with varying results.

The CV of head chef Ben Humphreys includes Australasia, Tattu, and Rabbit In The Moon. The latter’s disruptive, arty plates are the closest comparison to the ’new wave Thai’ experience you’ll find here. 

Choose from a ten-course tasting menu for £50, an extended 15-course version for £100 or a four-course “Development Lunch” for £20 per person. Dishes common to both could include raw wild bass in nam jim topped with shards of purple yam, or a postbox-red Angus beef short rib curry with a bbq-smoked coconut (smokonut) base, or a fudgy, oblong dessert featuring Rice Krispies, mango and caramelised coconut. 

The interior is raw concrete and metal with harsh purple lighting and matt black cutlery. It’s Bangkok meets Blade Runner. And to think this place used to be a newsagents.   

Below ground is a dim-lit, post-apocalyptic cocktail bar serving drinks with names like Robot’s Blood over ice cubes imprinted with the District logo. The perfect place to toast to the end of the world, while the buses rumble by above. 

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