An 'immersive' omakase dining experience is on the cards from a top local chef
Manchester is having a Japanese food moment. With a flurry of high-profile new openings like swanky influencer playground Kitten and fast fusion all-you-can-eat Brazilian/Japanese Sakku Samba, as well as a constant flow of sushi for days from the likes of Zumuku, Unagi, Sushi Marvel, Codi’s Kitchen, Yours, Sushi Mami and an endlessly unfurling bamboo rolling mat of others. You could say there is plenty to be going on with in that particular culinary corner. And yet, the latest Japanese place to announce its opening has piqued the interest of team Confidentials.
After hours, the venue will flip to a cocktail bar, embodying the Japanese nijikai or afterparty vibe for a classy drinking crowd
Why? Because MUSU Manchester (not to be confused with the students' union) talks a strong talk and if it walks the walk too, it could be a very exciting one. Our very own OG restaurant reviewer Neil Sowerby gushed this week on his blog that Musu will be “the most striking new addition to the Manchester restaurant scene since Mana”. That’s some claim, Neil.
The restaurant, set to open in the old Randall and Aubin spot (right next to Neon Tiger) on 6 October, promises in the press release to be “the pinnacle of fine dining and a totally immersive experience”. Please god, let this mean rolling ourselves up in a human-sized nori sheet or jumping head first into a bath of chawanmushi. It probably doesn’t though.
The Japanese word MUSU translates to “infinite possibilities” and the approach to everything from menu to interiors is very highfalutin indeed. Local lad, Chef Patron Michael Shaw has brandished his bunka-bōcho at Le Manior aux Quat’Saisons and Pied a Terre's Richard Neat in Cannes as well as the more close-to-home but very highly acclaimed White Hart at Lydgate. We’re told chef Shaw has spent the last 18 months “honing his passion for Japanese cuisine, with all the precision, skill and flavours that entails”.
The menu will be divvied up into three sections all built on a foundation of impeccable souring from the expert team. The kombu and soy sauces come from "the best producers in Japan"; the wild bluefin is "certified, sustainable and traceable", and the A5 grade wagyu beef is sourced from the top suppliers in Japan. Where possible locally sourced seasonal produce is used, think langoustines from the Isle of Skye or salt-aged free-range duck from Devon
Sentaku is the a la carte version where you can pick and choose dishes.
Kaiseki is a set menu with seven and 11-course options.
And Omakase is the chef’s chance to really show you what they've got - you may recall Terry Huang's version, the definition of exclusive to the point of tantrums. MUSU’s omakase promises “a theatrical and educational sushi experience, currently the only true one of its kind outside London”. With only six seats at the Omakase counter, Head Sushi Chef, Brazilian Andre Aguiar, trained by "renowned Japanese Sushi Master" Yugo Kato, will be in charge of this unique experience.
The space has had a multi-million-pound makeover with interiors boasting “bespoke Italian furniture and video walls that “create fluid structures” showing visuals, presentations and “ambient backgrounds”. The bar is made from Dekton stone, brass and onyx and has a banana leaf pattern imprinted into the brass. There will also be depictions of Geishas. Blimey.
After hours, the venue will flip to a cocktail bar, embodying the Japanese nijikai or afterparty vibe for a classy drinking crowd. Beverage Director Sean McGuirk is formerly of the sadly short-lived Superstition, amongst others, and will be shaking up a fine espresso martini alongside, sake, whisky and fine wine.
This certainly looks like a new restaurant to get your nigiri in a twist about.
MUSU, 64 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BN
Main image of CGI interiors via MUSU
Get the latest news to your inbox
Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!