Indoor dining is back from today and we can’t wait to welcome you back inside again!

Join us from Monday 12th April with our al fresco pop-up Tapas on the Terrace in Leeds, Liverpool & Manchester!

We’re the only Manchester city centre restaurant awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2021 and to receive the accolade for 5 consecutive years.

It’s been quite a year… and not the one anyone expected. Simon says goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 in this blog

We’re delighted to announced our online shop is now open! We’ve launched it to offer a specially curated range of gift sets and hampers – featuring wonderful wines, spirits and fine foodstuffs – so you can enjoy a taste of El Gato Negro and Canto at home.

We’re taking part in the ‘Eat Out to Help Out Scheme’ in our Manchester King Street & Liverpool Exchange Flags restaurants from Mon 3 August

Ah, Creme Catalan. Such a simple, yet perfect combination of flavours and textures. Everyone seems to love shattering the topping and breaking into the delicate orange-scented delights below. I’ve always loved Crème brûlée but when I first visited Spain I had this and thought the orange zest in the Spanish version made a great thing even better. Our customers have always agreed and this has been our most popular dessert over the years.

Creme Catalan by chef Simon Shaw of El Gato Negro Tapas

Creme Catalan (Crema Catalana)

Serves 4
Ingredients

  • 5 medium egg yolks
  • 375g double cream
  • 200g full fat milk
  • 75g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • Extra caster sugar to finish

Method

Add the vanilla seeds and orange zest to the cream and in a pan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.

Mix together the egg yolks and caster sugar in a bowl. Add the milk in stages and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into 4 wide moulds or ramekins and cook in a bain-marie at 100°C until set. Refrigerate for 2 hours until chilled.

Sprinkle each with a fine, even layer of caster sugar and gently flame with a blowtorch* until golden, taking care not to burn the sugar. Return to the fridge for 5 min to set.

* If you don’t have a blowtorch you can always use a grill for the final stage, although it’s harder to get as crisp and glassy a finish on the sugar.

Shattered Creme Catalan by chef Simon Shaw of El Gato Negro Tapas

Chef Matt Healy on MasterChef: The Professionals

It’s our first Christmas in Manchester and as you’d expect, we’re really busy. The whole team has been working hard and the buzz in the building is incredible. When I’ve not been in the kitchen one thing I’ve been doing recently is catching up on MasterChef: The Professionals, and my neighbours have probably heard me shouting at the telly as I support my former colleague Matt Healy.

Matt’s a great guy… a very talented chef and I always knew he’d go far when he worked with me in our old restaurant in Yorkshire. Last time I saw him on TV was as my sous on Gordon Ramsey’s F Word back in 2009. We’re all a little bit more grey and seasoned than those days, but he was hungry and ambitious even back then and he’s worked really hard ever since to get to where he is now.

Simon Shaw and Matt Healy at the pass

Matt’s always stayed in contact, and dropped in to lend a hand just we were gearing up for opening in Manchester earlier this year. It was great to briefly share the pass with him again in a much bigger kitchen than we ever had in Ripponden!

I’m really proud of what he’s achieved in getting to the finals on MasterChef: The Professionals, and I was made up to see him acknowledge the influence I had on him… well done and thanks for the kind words chef. Watching him over the last month there’s no doubt in my mind that the pupil’s become a master in his own right.

Keep flying the flag for Yorkshire, keep championing great Spanish ingredients, and keep cooking like a champ – we’re proud of you and will all be cheering for you this week Matt!


Here’s a guest blog from Garry and Adam, highlighting the two bespoke cocktails we’re serving up for Halloween this year in our top floor bar, The Black Cat.

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Pumpkin Reviver

This is an autumnal spiced riff on the classic corpse reviver. It’s just the thing for reanimating lifeless bodies on All Hallow’s Eve!

  • Ingredients:
  • 50ml Pumpkin Bourbon
  • 15ml Maple Syrup
  • 1 Clove
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon Sugar
  • 30ml Half and half (half milk, half double cream)
  • 1 small pinch of 5 spice powder

Home Made Ingredients

To make your pumpkin bourbon, find a Tupperware, or other vessel. Take a packet of pumpkin seeds and some bourbon (although any dark spirit will do i.e. Scotch, Dark Rum, Brandy) place both in to your vessel and leave for 2 or 3 days. For added flavour, grind up the seeds.

To make cinnamon Sugar – get 3 parts sugar and mix with 1 part ground cinnamon (if you prefer to use sugar syrup, add 2 parts of the cinnamon sugar you have just made to 1 part of hot water and stir until sugar has dissolved).

Method

  1. Add all ingredients in to a Boston shaker, or coffee flask if you don’t possess bar kit
  2. Stir for about 30 seconds without ice in order to help the sugar dissolve
  3. Add as much ice as possible to your tin and give a good hard shake for about 10 seconds
  4. Strain the drink in to a stemmed glass, with a coupe being the best option (wine glass will do!)
  5. Finish off by serving it on a crisp, clean autumnal leaf that’s fallen straight off a tree, adding a minuscule pinch of cinnamon on top, accompanied by a fresh pear.
  6. This drink can also be served warm, just add all the ingredients to a pan, keep on low heat and stir until the drink is warm.  Serve in a teacup with the same garnishes.

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The Black Cat’s Eye

A distinctly dark and otherworldly-looking cocktail, this imagines our mascot as a witch’s familiar, and provides a very different take on some classic elements for Halloween!

Ingredients

  • 40ml Bushmill’s Black Bush Irish Whiskey
  • 20ml Lustau Sweet Vermouth
  • 25ml Pineapple and Fennel Shrub
  • 10ml Egg White
  • 2sp Squid Ink

Method

Dry & wet shake before fine straining into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Garnish

Garnish with blueberry powder.

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