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With the recent spell of sunshine and warm weather, a profusion of flowers and leaves everywhere, and the very welcome return of longer evenings, it’s definitely springtime in the city. Spring always brings new growth and change, and we’re delighted to announce the introduction of new menus for spring 2017 at El Gato Negro.

Simon and Richard have refreshed the restaurant menu, adding an array of delicious new dishes celebrating seasonal produce and flavours. Regular customers may spot dishes which proved so popular as specials they’ve been included on the regular menu. These include the spectacular Pig cheeks with parsley root and apple purée, and morcilla; and LED tomato, Monte Enebro goats cheese and watermelon salad, with mint and basil.

A couple of our modern classics have also made it back onto the menu by popular demand: the chargrilled onglet steak with patatas a lo pobre, as well as Gillardeau oysters, yuzu juice, wasabi tobiko and pickled cucumber.

With a comprehensive selection of options for diners who require gluten free or vegetarian dishes, we’re sure the menu will delight everyone who dines at El Gato Negro.

In response to customer feedback we’ve also introduced a brand new lunch option to complement our main menu – the ‘Menú Rápido’. This menu has been developed to offer customers a curated range of dishes that can be enjoyed when there’s less time to enjoy a leisurely lunchtime dining experience. Perfect when you’re limited for time, and speedy service is as important as quality of the dishes you know and love. The ‘Menú Rápido’ is available during lunch service from Tuesday to Friday, alongside our main menu.

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!


New expanded upstairs dining at El Gato NegroWe’re pleased to announce that, in order to meet incredible customer demand, we’ve now extended restaurant seating onto the top floor of our historic building, creating an additional forty covers. This expansion, coupled with an updated booking process and a refreshed autumn menu, means El Gato Negro will be enjoyed by more diners than ever before in the months ahead.

Chef patron Simon Shaw says

“Since opening we have been blown away by the response. Such has been the demand that we’ve made the decision to extend our food offer into The Black Cat, so our guests can enjoy the dining experience across all floors.”

The increased number of tables now provides the ability to accommodate parties of up to sixteen, in time for the Christmas season. The venue is also now available for private booking. Interested parties can book by calling our expanded host team on 0161 694 8585 or make a reservation online.

We’ve taken the opportunity to update the food offering on all three floors. The ground floor bar sees a newly expanded menu, ranging from ‘para picar’ bar snacks and charcuterie through to some of our classic dishes, as well as daily soups and sandwiches. No reservations are required for the bar.

Grilled mackerel fillet with beetroot salad, horseradish dressingOur restaurant on the middle floor has introduced an autumnal menu refresh, with a range of appealing new dishes already proving a hit with diners.

“Autumn nights are drawing in and we’re looking forward to sharing the seasonal additions to our menu. As time has gone on I’ve wanted to experiment and to introduce new and exciting dishes. I’m really pleased with the additions we have on offer and look forward to hearing people’s reactions to them.”

We also now offer an express lunch option in the restaurant, based around six of our signature dishes. Whether you’re looking for a quick working lunch, or you’d like an introduction to some of our classics, the set lunch is perfect. Choose three dishes from the selection of favourites for just £15.

The top floor, with its signature retractable roof which is unique to Manchester, has been been a talking point since we opened in February. Our iconic bar, The Black Cat, will continue to create a cornucopia of incredible cocktails, and diners on this floor will be able to enjoy the incredible aspect and al fresco experience when weather permits.

With these developments coming in the same month as El Gato Negro picking up three notable industry awards, November’s proving to an incredibly exciting time. We hope you can join us to experience the expanded range of dining options and menus soon.

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El Gato Negro awarded a prestigious Bib Gourmand by Michelin Guides

We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded a prestigious Bib Gourmand in the 2017 edition of the Michelin Guide. This year’s ratings were announced today in London and the news came out of the blue for us. El Gato Negro was honoured to have been awarded a Bib Gourmand– recognising establishments serving exceptionally good food at moderate prices – in 2014 and 2015 in our previous restaurant in Ripponden, so receiving the same accolade so soon after opening our new Manchester restaurant is hugely rewarding. We’re even more thrilled to find out El Gato Negro is the only restaurant in the city of Manchester to have been recognised with a Bib Gourmand this year.

Our chef patron Simon Shaw reacted by saying “We’re absolutely bowled over by this, and so pleased to have been awarded a Bib again. It’s a fantastic achievement for us having only been open nine months.”

Securing a Bib Gourmand, plus our debut at number 81 in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 has added to the excitement of our opening in the heart of Manchester city centre and has made 2016 an incredibly memorable year.

We would like to thank all our wonderful staff and suppliers, as well as our loyal and ever-growing customer base, for all their vocal support and hard work… without you we wouldn’t be celebrating this recognition today. Congratulations to all the establishments who have also retained or gained awards and accolades in today’s Michelin Guide announcement: we’re proud and honoured to be in such good company.

Chef Simon Shaw portrait

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.