Even in the deepest, darkest depths of lockdown, when the streets of Manchester were eerily empty and still, one new opening was quickly building something of a cult following.

In the most unlikely of times, 3Hands Deli and their insane toasties were a constant across Mancunian Instagram feeds, and (socially distanced) queues winding back from their front door and along the Great Northern Mews were a regular scene.

You can imagine then, that news of 3Hands wrapping up what was their current iteration was met with understandable dismay. Thankfully, news soon followed that the team would be back, albeit with a more refined setup, going by the name Another Hand.

With a team that boasts 30 years’ worth of combined culinary experience (Max Yorke, formally Edinburgh Castle/Hispi, Julian Pizer, 3hands deli and Danny Foggo, Holy Grain sourdough/3hands deli), there was plenty of reasons to be excited about the new project.

With that being said, there’s simply no way anyone could have imagined this transformation into a 24-seat restaurant serving up some of the most innovative, exciting and best dishes Manchester has to offer.

Recently named in the Michelin Guide, the cosy, stylish dining area, laden with exposed brickwork and splashes of retro orange upholstery, is a stunning place to pull up a chair. Moody lighting illuminates a low-rise work surface at the back of the room, where the chef’s expert craftsmanship is on show for all to see, the intimate setting and sense of theatre only adding to the experience.

The menu is split into two offerings, daytime and evening. Nice and straightforward. During the day, you can still grab those incredible toasties that deserve their own devoted corner of Mancunian folklore, along with a series of breakfast and brunch favourites.

In the evening, though, things get very special, and it’s here where that Michelin spot is earned and then some. A series of small plates make up the menu, each progressively becoming more substantial as you work your way down.

Lighter options include a simple Whipped Cod’s Roe, with a sharp spring onion relish that works impeccably in tandem with the creaminess of the fish, and a Chalkstream Trout with smoked turnip and burnt apple dashi, a dish that almost seemed a shame to eat after being presented so beautifully.

Likewise, the Atlantic Cod and Barbequed Squid is a showstopper aesthetically, and the substance more than matches up to the show.

With only a handful of ingredients featured on each plate, everything is meticulously considered, and of the typical premium quality we’ve come to expect from the team. Contrasts in flavour are measured to absolute perfection, colliding and complementing one another to wondrously delicious effect.

That continues into the next dish, sumptuous Beef Tartare with a citrusy kick that works incredibly well against the barbecued celeriac, which essentially plays the welcome role of a big, fancy nacho on this occasion, ideal for scooping up every last remanence of tartare from the plate.

The Hasselback Potato is something else, and probably deserves a write-up all by itself. Topped with black garlic and sat atop a smearing of buttermilk, it’s decadent comfort food at its very best.

Finally, the Rare breed Pork Chop, a behemoth that is just so staggeringly good, accompanied by a gorgeous burnt apple sauce and pumpkin puree.

Manchester has been blessed with some serious openings over the past year, but the transition from lockdown bakery saviours to not just one of the best restaurants in the city, but, we reckon, the entire country, is no doubt one of the stand-out stories.

Fri 16 Dec, Another Hand,
Unit F, 253 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Brad Lengden
Published on:
Mon 26 Dec 2022