El Gato Negro placed at 81 in national Top 100 restaurants list

Wow! We were absolutely thrilled to pieces to be included in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100, regardless of where we actually placed. Just to be mentioned so soon after opening our doors in Manchester was a huge buzz.

As it was, when we heard we’d debuted at number 81 in last night’s awards ceremony at the Hurlington Club in London we were over the moon… what an incredible honour. We are thrilled and humbled to be flying the flag for the North, and to be placed alongside highly-respected and established restaurants in this city and further afield.

Coming just four months after we opened our doors, everyone here is incredibly grateful for such recognition from our peers – 150 industry experts from across the UK, including chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and critics – and so proud of our team for making this happen. It’s testament to their hard work and dedication that we’ve received this award: thanks to all our staff, supplier and supporters!

We’ll admit there are some slightly sore heads today after we had the chance up with old friends and make new ones at the awards ceremony, but we’ll be back to work soon to ensure we keep the standards as high ever and our customers happy as demand continues to increase at the restaurant.


El Gato Negro's El'spresso MartiniWhen our talented beverage manager Garry Foy joined us, we knew he had plenty up his sleeve. Since then he’s been in his lab, playing around with some truly spectacular Spanish-influenced cocktails for his top floor bar. So we thought it would be good to share something from him, and get everyone in the mood with some Christmas cheer!

Here’s an exclusive look at one of Garry’s cocktails… a fabulous El Gato Negro twist on an espresso martini. It was a firm favourite during our recent tastings!

Why not give Santa an extra special treat this year and give his sherry a little twist with this Christmas cracker… the El-spresso Martini

Glass: coupe
Method: shake
Garnish: coffee beans

  • 25ml El Presidente Spanish Brandy
  • 20ml Condensed Milk
  • 25ml Espresso coffee
  • 25ml Kahlua
  • 10ml Pedro Ximenez
  • 5ml Demerera Gomme (sugar syrup)
  • Spray Lagavulin (1ml)

Add all ingredients, shake hard over ice and strain. Pour into a coupe glass, garnish with coffee beans and serve immediately.



Congratulations to Keeley Buckley who has won our #HungryForTapas competition, which we launched after Simon’s Sunday Brunch appearance.
Competition winner
We had loads of fantastic, mouth-watering entries, and the team spent a long time deliberating the merits of each of them. We were particularly pleased to see several people made Simon’s Chargrilled Onglet with Patatas a lo Pobre!
In the end though, the sheer variety and confidence of Keeley’s epic tapas selection determined her win. She wins an exclusive meal for two with a bottle of wine during our opening week. Well done… we’ll look forward to seeing you in February Keeley!
There’s not just one winner though; as the standard of entries was so good, everyone who entered wins some a prize. We’ll be reaching out to the runners-up and should be seeing them at our new restaurant in King Street in the new year, when no doubt they’ll be #HungryForTapas too!

We want to take this opportunity to wish you – as well as those closest to you – a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!Christmas wreath

Thanks for all your support and patience over the past year; we can’t wait to welcome you to our new Manchester home very soon. It’s been a thrilling year… so as it draws to a close we can share a little more on what you can expect to enjoy when we open our doors in February 2016!

When you step inside from King Street you’ll see our charcuterie bar – the perfect spot for matching a brilliant drinks selection with some small dishes. On the first floor is the main restaurant dining area, centred around the open plan kitchen where you’ll be able to watch chefs at work. The seasonally-focused menu features old favourites and new dishes, including a new chargrilled section based around our Josper grill. Meanwhile the top floor cocktail bar will enable visitors to enjoy an exclusive selection of Spanish-influenced cocktails and a comprehensive array of drinks. You’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere, and even take advantage of the retractable roof we’ve installed to make the most of sunny days and starry nights. We don’t think Manchester will have seen anything quite like it before!


The building is coming together nicely: we’ve been making good progress despite some challenging weather conditions over the last couple of months which kept our talented contractors on their toes! We always knew we wanted to launch at the right time and make sure everything was just right, so we’re glad we made a conscious decision not to rush for the sake of it.

Simon says

“We were always aware moving to Manchester and bringing our ideas to life was going to be a lot of work this year! It’s certainly meant plenty of graft and long hours, but that’s been made easier working with a great team of professionals who share the same passion and drive. A big thanks to all our suppliers, contractors, partners, friends and advocates for all your support and hard work this year. It’s been incredibly exciting and it’s thanks to you we’re about to open somewhere very special. So on behalf of everyone on the management team, we’ll raise a glass and hope you all have a restful, relaxed and brilliant Christmas break!”