The Printworks in Manchester is undergoing a transformation, large nightclubs like Lucid and Opus (anyone remember those?) are out and are making way for new restaurants and bars like Walkabout and Prezzo.
With Corn Exchange across the road successfully bringing in the crowds with their food focused new look it was only a matter of time before other large buildings did the same.
Manchester has become quite the foodie haven in recent years and London based brands like Busaba Eathai want in!
Nobody batted an eyelid when Cafe Rouge closed in The Printworks, but everyone did ask who could possibly fill that spot? With three floors and a large outside area it would be a big gamble for an independent restaurant to take it on. So of course it was Busaba Eathai. With restaurants dotted all around the London area they have the pennies and the reputation to back them up.
Of course we started the meal off with some prawn crackers!
Sarah ordered a cocktail which had a hint or coriander in it! She was against it at first but it didn’t stop her from ordering a second and she’s probably going to putting a dash of corri in all her future drinks now on the sly.
My starter is from the ‘Busaba Specials’ section of the menu. Chicken lollipops, skewers of battered chicken with a yellow bean soy dipping sauce and to be honest these were a miss! The chicken was dry and the sauce did not compliment them so I resorted to dipping them in the sweet chilli sauce that the prawn crackers arrived with.
Sarah’s starter on the other hand was amazing and i was instantly jealous. The Thai calamari with ginger and green peppercorn is one of the best selling dishes in Busaba and rightly so. The flavour of the ginger is not overpowering and the squid was cooked to perfection. I’ll be ordering that the next time i go in!
Feeling adventurous i thought i’d try something different for my main, i’m not normally a soup person but i gravitated towards the Coconut and Vegetable Hotpot. The great thing about this dish is that it comes with Jasmine Rice whereas most soups in Asian restaurants are served with noodles. I know i’m not on a date but noodles in soups are a no-go for me, they’re so fiddly and i just can’t. This soup has no meat in it which makes it perfect for vegetarians, this was another sign that it would be full of flavour and with butternut squash and mushrooms this dish was not lacking heartiness. It took a bit of time for my taste buds to adjust but it when they did i was hooked and i will definitely be ordering this the next time i go.
We ordered roti on the side and the manager Vincent kindly let us try their red and green curry sauce. The green one won, the red was too spicy for me!
Sarah had the Char-grilled duck breast which is served with Chinese broccoli, tamarind sauce and sticky rice. If you’d like to see a closer look at that main it’s on her Instagram here.
Lemon cheesecake is exactly what i needed after a heavy and spicy meal. It is served with mango coulis and dark chocolate shavings. The dish reminded me of the classic sweet shop sweet chocolate limes and it’s amazing.
I’ve only just realised now that i didn’t manage to try Sarah’s dessert! The salted caramel chocolate slice served with strawberry coulis, fresh raspberries and blueberries. I can only imagine what this dish is like but it must be good if sharing is out of the window!
Disclaimer: The food was complimentary from the Busaba team.
All opinions are my own.