It’s just been announced that Michelin star chef, Michael O’Hare, is stepping down from his role as Culinary Creative Director of GG Hospitality Group. The company runs Hotel Football and counts Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs among its founders. GG’s flagship restaurant is The Rabbit in the Moon at the top of the Urbis building. And, recent announcements aside, it was business as usual on a recent visit. John Granaghan, former senior chef at O’Hare’s Man Behind The Curtain restaurant in Leeds, is staying on to run the kitchen where the tasting menu is £70 for around 10 courses. Highlights include spoonfuls of salty lobster, and a fresh oyster with a shimmering pickled ginger pearl. Fish is a thing; little bites of smoked eel in oyster sauce, for example, and striking hand-dived scallops with XO sauce and blood-hued duck tongues. More shock tactics (typical of O’Hare and Granaghan) include sticky, black fillet steak and petit fours which resemble astro turf (see pic). Yet for all the bells and whistles, there’s something about the menu that teeters less on the edge of disgust than O’Hare’s Leeds’ outfit. After I ate there, I was plagued by dreams of spider crabs and blood-splattered clothing. Two diners fell off their chairs during the course of our meal too, which was weird to say the least. The Rabbit in the Moon feels elegant and classy by comparison – and no one falls anywhere this time around. They’re making the most of the skyscraping space; it’s worth coming here for the sunset alone and the hip hop soundtrack and black loo roll have given way to crisp cloths and excellent service -although it’s always been  excellent. Wines include a salty white Argentine Torrontes (Pasarisa, 2016) and rich Spanish Garnacha (Navaherreros, 2015). The show must go on, no matter who’s behind the curtain – and the Rabbit’s a good ‘un.

The Rabbit in the Moon, Urbis Building, Corporation Street, Manchester M4 3BG. Tel: 0161 804 8560,

Tue 5 Jun
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Tue 5 Jun 2018