“Doing lots of little things right” is a definition of perfection – and this simple seafood restaurant in Chorlton is just that. The kitchen’s Essa grill is masterfully handled by co-owner (and former Lead Station chef) Recep Canliisik, who churns out char-grilled whole squid and seabream, Thai-spiced monkfish tail and possibly the best calamari in the UK. But the starters, desserts and wines are worth every penny too. Tenderstem broccoli leaves it’s Meal Deal affiliations behind, with dollops of just-blended romesco, while perfect puds could include raspberry brûlée or nutty espresso affogato with hazelnut liqueur.
Quiet sophistication and affordability typify the drinks menu; think Negronis, British sparkling wines and Portuguese whites. Regular visitors to this part of town will note that little about the interior has changed from its days as Gray’s Larder restaurant. The brown leather effect booths and low-slung lighting looked good then and still does now. Undeniably casual, this is the kind of place you could easily visit twice a week – and many do.