Spooky late-night eats at Cottonopolis, Manchester

Trick or treat? A bit of both, really.

Last week I went to a very Secret Supper at Cottonopolis in the Northern Quarter. Have you eaten here yet? Their food is fantastic and they know how to put on a good show too…

We were greeted by a mesmerising, doll-faced fire breather and gathered outside whilst we waited to be taken into the dining room.

Then ushered through a secret passage by a ghastly, green-haired witch, who all the while was telling us of spooky Japanese folklore.

The tables were decorated beautifully. With branches and twigs and greenery, and the entire evening was lit only by candlelight.

Mesmerised by trickery

As well as being treated to some excellent dishes and paired-wines, the evening contained a lot of trickery too.

To my horror (and amazement), my favourite silver dolphin ring from India ended up inside a Kinder egg. Thankfully, I got it back. And the magician even let us eat the egg afterwards. It’s was a real, unopened and completely sealed Kinder egg too. Mind, blown.

Exceptional midnight snacks

So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. The food!

Versions of these luscious dishes (and others) are gonna be available at Cottonopolis on their new late-night menu, 7 days a week. Served until midnight every night. They can even be packaged up to enjoy at home. Perfect if you’re working late in the city? Or after a night out on the tiles? Or if you just want exceptional-quality midnight snacks.

Here are some highlights we got to try on the night:

We had to think outside the box and solve a riddle before we could dig in. But the treat was worth the wait. This little beauty-in-a-box was a wagyu beef tartare, served on a super crunchy rice cracker with a hint of wasabi. It was delicious and I ate the whole thing in one bite.

After we were suitably appetised, next up was a stunning oyster concoction to whet our appetites for the feast ahead. An oyster shell, containing an oyster emulsion and puffed rice. A lovely taste of the sea with a crispy texture from the rice puffs.

Excellent fish and seafood

I’m a big fan of dim sum. It’s always something my mum and I order when we eat Chinese food, and the shu mai from Cottonopolis didn’t disappoint.  The langoustine chive shu mai came served with the head and pincers intact, which did put a few guests off the dish. But that aside, the dim sum itself was moist, succulent and salty as it should be. I can’t wait to try more of their dim sum offerings from the late night menu.

To follow, was smoked octopus, ink noodles and mussels. A gorgeous mini feast where the octopus and noodles came served on a plate and were smoked at the table. And the mussels came served in a dashi broth on the side.

A stunning main course dish

Well, this was incredible. Roasted pork on a bed of truffle, mushroom and miso barley. With a huge piece of pork crackling on top. The textures and flavours of this dish were just a match made in heaven, and the pork was so juicy and succulent. Mmmm mm mmm.

To round things off, a bowl of sweet treats. Fresh cherries with a sweet and zingy ‘yuzu orchard’ and sumptuous dark chocolate. It was sensational. And the perfect end to a wonderful feast.

I hope that’s given you some idea as to what to expect from the new late-night menu? I’m hoping things won’t be as extravagant but still full of flavours and textures like this delicious lot are.  When I think of late-night eats it’s usually a slice of pizza or a soggy kebab. So I’m hoping this menu will be next-level satisfying after a night on the tiles in the Northern Quarter! Can’t wait to try it.

All images in this blog post are credited to Manchester food and drink photographer Lucas Smith Photography. I was invited to attend the event as Lucas’s guest and as such received the meal with compliments. All opinions, however, are my own 🖤

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