The New Zealand eatery is serving pretty plates from am to pm
Since opening in August last year, Tahi has become a hot prospect on Manchester’s brunch scene. The glass-walled eatery, also home to an in-house bakery, has brought Kiwi-inspired breakfast lunch and dinner to the city with a side of Maori hospitality.
Founded by former Barnsley and New Zealand international footballer Jonathan Perry, Tahi, has added a tantalising option for not just the residents of the above Circle Square development, but also Oxford Road’s pavement-stomping commuters.
Don’t be fooled though, Tahi is not just a brunch spot. The eatery is serving the same delicate, well-sourced, flavour-led food as part of its evening offering too.
Breakfast, brunch and dinner
Manchester loves its antipodean brunch, which means Tahi was always going to hit the ground running.
The restaurant, which sits next to new development Circle Square’s Symphony Park, fills up quickly of a morning, with enough space inside the restaurant to avoid any theatrical outdoor queueing.
Everything is palette driven at Tahi. New Zealand might be far away but there’s ingredients Kiwis will recognise.
For brunch there’s familiarity and flourishes. The Big Tahi, the full English equivalent has all of your favourites with venison sausage and potato hash. A Kiwi favourite, mince on toast, is actually beef cheek braised overnight in beef stock with vegetables. Reduced, seasoned and served on toast. A technique-driven reinvention of what would usually be bolognaise.
Chips are kūmara (sweet potato) and manuka, indigenous to New Zealand, features in honey and wood chip form. Manuka-smoked salmon and trout. The ingredient reminds some of the Kiwi staff of home, growing up with smoked fish in the garden. The bakery and sweets in the restaurant meanwhile are examples of the eatery’s “Kiwiana”.
Doing the wine justice
Brunch is cool and stuff but evening is when Tahi is going to turn some heads. This is where the kitchen is able to flex its culinary muscles alongside owner Jonathan Perry’s penchant (and presumably golden phonebook) for New Zealand wines. Whilst the evening menu remains fluid, early signs are promising.
Small plates include market fish ceviche with apple, cucumber, avocado, charred grapefruit and squid ink tapioca crisps or grilled courgette with tomato, cucumber and strawberry. Pressed lamb shoulder with sheep’s milk ricotta, nasturtium and lamb jus or grilled eggplant, kūmara, courgette, tomato and coconut butter sauce are two examples of the large sharer options.
It all looks the part too. Pretty as possible. There are some impressive wineries in New Zealand and the team at Tahi will tell you they think they can be undervalued at times. Tahi wants to do them justice with the food. That might be a glass and a canapé-like snack or sharing plates and a bottle.
If you think Tahi is just about brunch. Think again.
Tahi, No. 1, Circle Square, Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7FS
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