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“Need to Hire Bouncers but some of the Food is Magnificent!”
Review of El Gato Negro

El Gato Negro
Ranked #109 of 2,528 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$78
Description: Award-winning city centre tapas restaurant and bar. Serving seasonally-influenced dishes, inspired by modern Spanish cuisine.
Restaurant details
Description: Award-winning city centre tapas restaurant and bar. Serving seasonally-influenced dishes, inspired by modern Spanish cuisine.
Reviewed 24 August 2018

Visited here early August after booking a couple of weeks in advance. They were practically fully booked and offered me the chefs table but I wasn't keen on that at all, hence I accepted an early evening booking 5:45 pm. Be warned they take your card details and will take £15 per person if you are a no-show on the night.

We were seated on the second floor in front of the window overlooking King Street. On being seated our server had to ask a group of four men to remove their jackets from our chairs. Whilst looking at the wine list it became apparent that the noise level of the aforesaid men, not gentlemen I hasten to add, was becoming unacceptable. As this was meant to be a romantic meal for two I called our server and politely asked if there was anywhere else we could sit? She immediately asked if it was because of the men sat behind me so I nodded. She said it wasn't a problem and would find us another spot. A couple of minutes later two older ladies got up to leave and one of them said to the men that their meals had been ruined due to their shouting and bad language. Their response was to tell the ladies to "just f ... off!" At this point our server came to move us and I told the men they should be ashamed of the way they spoke to those ladies. Their response was just as impolite to me(!) until my partner stepped in and asked them who they were telling to f ... off and funnily enough when a man spoke to them they had nothing to say!

We were quickly moved away by very attentive staff, all women I add, while a couple of the staff attended to the distressed ladies. We were then placed upstairs on the third floor and were delighted when they opened the roof. This was much more cosy with a red velvety booth and quiet corner opposite a bar.

I think practically every member of staff personally came over to apologise for the disgusting manner of those thugs they had allowed in their restaurant. I know they can't exactly vet everyone who walks through the door but apparently those ladies were having a quiet joint birthday lunch which was completely ruined. They were so apologetic to us and even brought us some complimentary nibbles. I'm proud of sticking up for those ladies but perhaps they may need proper door staff at the weekend to avoid these sort of arrogant trouble makers. I think these men thought they were in a spit and sawdust pub in Blackpool.

Getting down to the meal..... we ordered six dishes between us. The stand out dish by far was the cod! Divine! Wish we had ordered two of those. Also the lamb skewers were very tasty and the baby pork ribs, amazing! The selection of Spanish cheeses was a slight let down due to the gigantic crisp bread that came with it and I felt the portion sizes were a little hit and miss for the price. I spotted a cauliflower and hummus dish on the next table which I really wish I had ordered - but next time I will! For dessert we shared a lemon meringue which was beautifully presented. The staff were very attentive, constantly topping up our wine glasses, and the atmosphere was so chilled, I loved it. We spent around £80 for six dishes and a bottle of wine so not too bad. There is a service charge automatically added at 10% but we were more than happy to pay this.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank RottweillerReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 August 2018 via mobile

Lovely Tapas place, wonderful customer service and a very pleasant nice waiter served us. The food and dessert was nice, highly recommend this place for Spanish Tapas. Tues to Fri and bank holidays, there is a lunch time special deal, 3 courses for 15 pounds, on selected items on the menu.

Thank Amy7Paris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2018

not often I write a review but felt compelled to after our visit yesterday - Out with my wife and son celebrating his exams results and came across El Gato when walking down king st. I had heard good stories about this restaurant from friends so decided to see if we could get a table as a walk in.
Luckily we were able to to and were seated at a lovely window seat on the second floor over looking king street which was a bonus.
Our waitress Katie was fantastic - really knowledgeable about the food explaining to us the best starters and qty of mains we should order for the 3 of us.
The starters were Delicious especially the small cheese and Jambon toasties which left us all fighting for the spare 4th one from the portion.

with regards to the mains Katie advised us to order about 11-13 small tapas for 3 of us which seems a lot but to be honest the more she explained what each dish was (plus seeing some of them being brought out to the table next to us) we could have easily ordered over 20. I was difficult to just get it down to 12.

what made the meal really special was that the dishes came out gradually 1 or 2 at a time and just at the right speed so that you had time to really enjoy each one and taste the truly wonderful sauces and garnishes they came with.

Katie was constantly on hand checking everything was ok , topping up our drinks. She recommended a white Rioja wine which again was a perfect accompaniment to the meal - light and crisp. (and a surprise as I thought the best Rioja was always red)

it was hard to say what the best tapas dish was and this is my reason for writing the review - everyone was fantastic and we all had our own favorites. I loved the lamb and beef skews, My wife loved the croquet and mini scotch eggs and my son the gambas and meat balls. It was hard to disagree with any of them

Its rare we have desserts and after eating all the above you wouldn't think you would need anything else but seeing the desserts and large Gins being brought out to other diners - we just felt compelled to try them to see if they tasted as good as they looked.

Again Katie was on hand to tell us what each of them were and she was especially knowledgeable about the gin menu and the best ones to try - She recommended 3 different ones using Manchester Gin and I only wish I had taken pictures to show the time and effort put into making a good old G&T. Definitely a recommend to anyone who likes a Gin.

All in all a fantastic dining experience that topped off a great day - its hard to find a restaurant that has everything - Amazing food , fantastic wine and gins , great service and lively atmosphere as well as being value for money but I think I found it at El Gato Negro yesterday. We will be telling all our friends about this little hidden gem and returning in the not to distant future I can guarantee that.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Scott H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2018 via mobile

This is one of my favourite my restaurants but last night the service wasn’t the best. It was my partners bday and didn’t allow a helium balloon on the table, we had to wait 20 minutes for a table despite booking a table a week before, I ordered a gin cocktail which they failed to put gin in and I asked for a deserts menu which took 15 minutes to come (I had dropped some cup cakes off earlier in the day and they brought these out) normally the service is a lot better.

Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2018 via mobile

Really enjoyed the food, wine and atmosphere at El Gato Negro.

The restaurant is split over a few floors with the main bar on the 1st floor and kitchen/dining area on the 2nd floor. It was a Sunday evening and the restaurant was busy, we sat near the open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare the food.

Between the 2 of us we ordered 6 dishes and 1 desert to share which left us full. Enjoyed all the dishes but I would have to say the cod and the lamb was my favourite. Good selection of wine to accompany the food which we took full advantage of.

Service was friendly and speedy, I would definitely return as I’d love to try more dishes on the menu.

Thank James T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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