Award-winning foodie favourites set for new city centre project

The time has come for Peter Street to get in on the multi-kitchen action and it appears the stops have been firmly pulled out. Foodhall but make it posh. Exhibition will bring three award-winning Manchester foodie favourites to the Grade II-listed St George’s House building when it opens in November.

From the first time I heard about Exhibition, I knew it was going to be a special, one-of-a-kind venue

The three kitchens set for the project will be Prestwich’s Michelin guide Scandinavian restaurant OSMA, Great British Menu chef Caroline Martins and her fantastical Sao Paulo Project and Ramsbottom’s very own Basque Country open fire enthusiasts Baratxuri. The venue is also set to match the strong food line-up with “innovative drinks” and “boundary-pushing entertainment.”

Local suppliers are set to be at the heart of the new 400-person capacity venue, with space also set to be dedicated to showcasing local artists. St George’s House is the former home of Manchester’s Museum of Natural History (circa 1909).

Interior Of Exhibition Foodhall In Manchester
Stylish interiors making for a posher foodhall vibe Image: Exhibition

Sao Paulo goes from project to bistro

It’s a strong line-up from Exhibition. A sort of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (Them Crooked Vultures if you’re below 40, maybe? Odd Future if you're below 28?) of the Manchester food scene. Fresh from a Manchester Food and Drink Awards Chef of the Year nomination, Great British Menu chef Caroline will launch her Sao Paulo Bistro kitchen, a relaxed take on her recent fine dining residency at Blossom Street Social.

Her spot at Exhibition will continue her celebrated Brazilian-British fusion cuisine with local suppliers including Platt Fields Market Garden, fellow MFDF award winner Dormouse Chocolates, Northern Cure and The Flat Baker at the heart of her menu. Teasing the menu, Caroline told Confidentials:

“At Sao Paulo Bistro, I’ll be offering some of the signature dishes from my Sao Paulo by Caroline Martins fine dining restaurant, which combines the best of Brazilian and local British ingredients.”

Caroline Martins Who Will Be Popping Up At Blossom Street Social Ancoats
Caroline Martins will give her Sao Paulo Project the bistro treatment Image: Caroline Martins

“Signatures include hand-dived Cornish scallops in a creamy cassava sauce and the theatrical Dormouse chocolate and passion fruit dessert using liquid nitrogen. On top of that, there will be some delicious casual bar snacks, such as traditional Brazilian beef croquettes, cheese balls (pão de queijo) and a Northern Cure charcuterie board.”

“From the first time I heard about Exhibition, I knew it was going to be a special, one-of-a-kind venue. While Manchester is already an incredible culinary destination, Exhibition is set to level-up the dining options in the centre of the city and become a real hotspot for anyone looking for delicious food with plenty of high-quality drinks options and a stunning setting."

“With the dishes I’ve got planned at Sao Paulo Bistro, alongside the offerings in the other two excellent kitchens, Exhibition will be hard to beat for fans of fine food in Manchester.”

A Ghost Eye View From Exhibition Foodhall In Manchester
POV: You're a ghost in the inevitably haunted former Manchester Natural History Museum Image: Exhibition

Suburban foodie favourites complete stellar line-up

If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, two of the Manchester suburbs’ finest restaurants have been teased into the city centre for a kitchen each. Prestwich’s OSMA, which received a glowing review from us and a first-year inclusion in the Michelin Guide, will be bringing their Scandi kitchen sorcery. Local ingredients are again at the forefront.

A daytime sandwich menu will include the likes of cured Scottish salmon, golden beets, spinach and rump of beef with onion jam, rocket and parmesan as fillings. Hearty salads and soups will also be available. Evening, meanwhile, means small plates, with dishes including whole lobster with herb butter, Avruga caviar pots with toasted brioche, a sashimi plate served with caper and shallot sauce, and a dish of roasted and pickled beetroots with raspberry and rose. Danielle Heron, Chef at OSMA, said:

“We are honoured and grateful to be given the opportunity to bring OSMA to the city centre, in an incredible space with such talented people. What we find the most thrilling about Exhibition is how it combines great food and drinks with exciting art and music, all under one roof. We’re looking forward to meeting more of the people of Manchester, so pop in and say hallo.”

Wooden Benches In Exhibition Foodhall In Manchester
Diners can also expect live entertainment and dedicated art spaces Image: Exhibition

Completing the line-up will be last year’s Manchester Food and Drink Awards Restaurant of the Year winners, Baratxuri. The Basque Country-inspired open-fire cooking restaurant will be bringing its trademark big meats and whole fish to Exhibition, as well as small plates including Boquerones and Jamon Iberico de Bellota. For those, like us, working that side of town, congratulations. They’re serving pintxos daily at lunchtime. Joe Botham, owner of Baratxuri, commented:

“We’re so excited to be involved with Exhibition! This venue is shaping up to be a ‘must visit’ and we are humbled and extremely proud to be cooking alongside such incredible kitchens. I honestly believe that Exhibition will rival the great market kitchens of Bilbao and Madrid and bring to Manchester a proper grown-up, casual yet really high-quality dining experience.”

Baratxuri Food At Exhibition Manchester
Baratxuri will be bringing big meats and fish as well as small plates and pinxos Image: Confidentials

Ambitious booze plans to match the food

All that great food is going to need excellent swill and it appears that plans for the booze come with equal parts ambition. A seasonal cocktail selection, tank-fresh Manchester Union Lager, a rotating selection of Manchester breweries on tap as well as a curated selection of accessible, low-intervention wines will be available across two bars.

In keeping with the food’s seasonal ethos, the cocktail menu will spotlight a different spirit, with Autumn the month of brandy. The main bar will offer the aforementioned Manchester Union Lager, fresh from the tank (a city first), as well as the likes of Sureshot, Cloudwater and Pomona. “Verdejo on draft” is not something you hear every day but wine drinkers can expect that and then some.

Beer Tanks At Exhibition Foodhall Manchester
Fresh Manchester Union Lager in tanks is set to be a city first Image: Exhibition

Will Evans from Manchester Union Lager said: “We’ve been excited about this one for a long time. We’ve never legitimately thought about putting our beer into tanks in a bar before. A lot of people are brewing light-style lagers and they [Exhibition] really got behind the bigger flavours because of the food offering. I think our beer really works in a food environment. We’re really looking forward to it.”

A rotating roster of DJs, live singers and instrumentalists complete the Exhibition offering with an entertainment programme set for Wednesdays to Sundays.

Exhibition, St George's House, 56 Peter St, Manchester M2 3NQ

Follow Davey on Instagram and Twitter: @dbretteats

Cover image: Exhibition

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