On Wednesday 19th September, we celebrated the launch of Simon Shaw’s second restaurant, Canto in Ancoats, Manchester.
Shaw’s first restaurant, El Gato Negro on King Street offers a hideaway from the city conundrum as a multi floored, Spanish inspired nook. Named the best local Spanish restaurant by Gordon Ramsey, the restaurant has a sun terrace with a removable roof, and the kind of drinks menu that causes you to forget for a moment that you’re in England at all.
So of course, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening of Canto, and its addition to the up-and-coming Ancoats. On the evening we sampled canapes from the modern Portuguese menu, including delightful bites of salt cod, 30 months cured bísaro DOP ham and pollen sourdough with butter. It was all truly delicious and epitomised the intricate and subtle blend of flavours typical of Shaw’s restaurants.
Innovatively, we were offered boneless spicy chicken wings which eliminated the messy aspects of one of our favourite treats, allowing us to savour only the infusion of spices that made for one of the best chicken seasonings that we’ve tried.
Shaw’s ambition was to open ‘a real neighbourhood restaurant’, so Ancoats seemed like the natural choice of locations – encapsulating the hustle and bustle of the city, but with a more community led familiarity. Situated in Cutting Room Square, Canto is slightly out of the way for city centre worker bees – but certainly worth the walk for a more thrilling lunch experience or after work get together with friends.
Canto embodies the essence of Portuguese cuisine – both in its aromatic menu and in the atmosphere of the restaurant. With an open kitchen which runs into the bar area, we were delighted to watch the masterful chefs at work whilst we waited for our drinks at the bar. Bustle, joviality and flavour is injected into the décor, the food and the drinks selection.
We were offered a glass of sparkling red wine to sample – a tipple that really wouldn’t usually be our go to from the menu. At One-M, our taste palates work seasonally – especially when it comes to drinks. With zeal we enjoy sangria, gin and cocktails in the sunshine; a full bodied primitivo or cabernet sauvignon with our roast dinners as autumn sets in, and mulled wine in abundance come December.
However, the fizz that we sampled at Canto thoroughly undermined our logic. Full bodied, but somehow light, the integrity of the red was not lost in the fizz, making for a drink that we can see ourselves enjoying through winter, with friends and tables overflowing with small dishes, and through spring and summer on sun terraces.
It’s open six days a week, serving brunch, lunch and dinner, as well as take out and the opportunity to come in for a drink, sitting at their window and watching the world go by with a glass of wine chosen geographically for flavour.
Click here to make a reservation.