Iconic seafood restaurant selects Spinningfields
Lavish Mayfair restaurant Sexy Fish is looking to take over the Emporio Armani site in Spinningfields.
The fashion brand will leave the unit on August 15, leaving the way open for the high-end Asian restaurant, according to property publication Place North West.
While the Manchester venue may not be quite so stuffed with art, this indicates the level of aquatic-themed opulence we can expect
Sexy Fish originally opened in London's Berkeley Square in 2015 to immediate acclaim and quickly became a celebrity favourite. The Spinningfields venture will be the brand's second site. The unit is part of No1 The Avenue and will be housed above Australasia.
Sexy Fish is owned by Richard Caring, who also owns The Ivy group of restaurants. The much-hyped Ivy Spinningfields opened on Hardman Square on 27 November 2018 claiming, with over 530 covers, to be the largest restaurant opening of 2018. It was damaged by fire in early 2019 but came back strongly with a "post-pandemic party" that celebrated the lifting of restrictions last month.
What will it look like?
Sexy Fish is renowned for its luxurious, art-filled interior. The restaurant itself is named after a pair of Damien Hirst sculptures of mermaids that bookend the bar. A patinated relief of a mermaid and a shark, also by Hirst, dominates the dining room while a glittering black crocodile by Frank Gehry crawls along one wall. The designer, who was behind the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, also created several fish lamps to hang above the bar in front of a huge internal waterwall.
While the Manchester venue may not be quite so stuffed with art, this indicates the level of aquatic-themed opulence we can expect.
The room in the London venue was designed by Martin Brudnizki, with carpet and ceiling mural by Michael Roberts and floors of rare Esmeralda onyx marble. The seating is in coral-coloured leather and the bar itself is fashioned in crackled, glazed strawberry-coloured Pyrolave lava stone, extracted from the Nugere crater at the heart of Auvergne’s volcanoes.
Sexy Fish is under the care of German-Swedish chef Bjoern Weissgerber. The chef was brought up in Lauf, Germany, where his parents owned a restaurant and whom he has credited as his first influence. He earned his first Michelin star at the age of 27 when he was running Ca's Puers in Mallorca and has trained with Alfons Schuhbeck, famed chef Eckart Witzigmanna and Rainer Becker, with stints at French Laundry and El Bulli.
Richard Caring is the owner of Caprice Holdings, which controls The Ivy group of restaurants, Annabel's, Scott's, Balthazar and J Sheekey. He also owns around 30% of shares of the Soho House group, which has plans to float on the New York Stock Exchange.
What's on the menu?
A big draw at Sexy Fish is of course seafood - with fruits de mer, oysters and caviar naturally featuring up top. The Asian influence makes itself felt with a strong selection of sashimi, nigiri and maki. Signature dishes include kobo-cured tuna belly, king crab and bone marrow, caramelised black cod and wagyu gyoza.
Sexy Fish is also famous for its extensive menu of Japanese whiskies. Each whisky was tasted by a panel headed by the brand's whisky ambassador Colin Dunn. One look at the London list shows that a Japanese whisky fan will have many happy months if not years exploring all the distilleries on offer.
Many of the cocktails on the menu also display a Japanese influence, with Roku gin, yuzu, shiso and Mt Fuji bitters all featuring on the ingredients list.
There has also been reports that Sexy Fish has been looking at sites in Miami and New York. The restaurant will join Rendition in recent openings that aim to provide an "aspirational" luxury experience for Manchester diners.
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