The award-winning chef is bringing modern Portugese cuisine to Henry Street
Simon Shaw, the chef patron behind El Gato Negro, the Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning tapas restaurant on King Street, has fleshed out plans for his new project in Ancoats.
Confidential revealed back in January that Shaw (main image, right) was on the lookout for a spot in Manchester's burgeoning former industrial heartland, and now he's found one in the Fairbairn Building on Henry Street - next door to Ancoats pizza pioneers Rudy's.
Aiming to launch this Autumn, Shaw says his new restaurant, Canto (meaning 'corner' in Portuguese), will be a 'relaxed, casual, neighbourhood' affair serving 'simple, modern and authentic' Portuguese food. The Canto kitchen will be headed-up by El Gato's Porto-born head chef, Carlos Gomes (main image, left).
Shaw said: “I first visited Lisbon about twenty years ago and thought it a really cool place, raw but great. Seven years later I returned and there was a real movement taking place, a city with edge. When I returned again in March it was like, wow, this is now a serious European city.
“The Portuguese food movement is in its infancy in the UK but it’s happening, with some really great restaurants emerging in London in the last few years."
A year from now we’ll all either be geniuses or have got it wrong...
“It would be easy for me to open another Spanish restaurant," he continued, "but I wanted a fresh challenge and to take people on a journey.
It’s always been on my radar to open a modern Portuguese restaurant and when Carlos joined the team with the same long-term vision, everything fell into place. It was like we were in the right place, with the right people, at the right time.
“We’re ahead of the game. A year from now we’ll all either be geniuses or have got it wrong. But we feel Manchester is ready for this, and Ancoats is the perfect location.”
Shaw is just one of a new batch of popular food and drink operators moving into the area, including Sugo, Pollen, Trove and the Hip Hop Chip Shop.
Read 'Ancoats: who's opening what, where and when' to find out who else is moving in.