El Gato Negro’s new Sunday brunch and roast menu aims to “fuse classic flavours with Spanish flair”. And, having tried as many of the new dishes as seemed polite, I can confirm that they have well and truly nailed it. For those unfamiliar with the brand, El Gato is one of Manchester’s most popular upmarket tapas restaurant and bars. It’s owned by Simon Shaw, who also runs Canto in Ancoats, and it’s famous for being really, really good… and fairly expensive. Order sensibly, however, and you’ve got a meal that won’t break the bank. To make the most of the experience, I recommend going for a few of the new smaller plates such as wild mushrooms on toasted Catalan bread with truffle butter (£7.50), Tombet (Majorcan ratatouille with poached egg, Manchego, oregano and basil, £6) and char-grilled broccoli with ajo blanco dressing, grapes and toasted almonds (£6.50) before a roast dinner to share. Our sirloin (£18.50) was unfeasibly tender – to the extent that my twins eat all the beef, even though they “don’t like meat”. Quince-glazed carrots, a wodge of Manchego cauliflower cheese and potatoes roasted with jamón serrano butter are excellent companions. We order a couple of favourites from the weekday menu on the side; jamon iberico croquetas (£6.50) and roast beetroot and whipped Monte Enebro goats cheese (which has won best cheese in the WORLD several times over at the World Cheese Awards) with orange, dill and toasted hazelnuts (£8.50). No complaints here. Nor in the pudding department. Sugar-dusty mini doughnuts with hot chocolate sauce (£6.50), homemade salted pistachio and coconut ice cream and zingy Creme Catalan (£6) are as good as they sound (pictured). Wines, meanwhile, are largely Spanish; a regional red Floris Legere Alaviana 2015, Calatayud (£37) is great – as is the Altolandon Mil Historias Bobal (also £37, ideal for Malbec lovers and available by the glass). In terms of seating, go for the ground floor if you in the mood for sherry and dark polished wood, or choose the first floor for views of the open kitchen and banquette seating. You’re in for a treat, no matter where they squeeze you in.

52 King Street, Manchester M2 4LY. Tel: 0161 694 8585 www.elgatonegrotapas.com

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Thu 7 Mar
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Thu 7 Mar 2019