If you’re in Manchester and looking for creativity, freshness and substance with quality ingredients but without any pretence then Gorilla on Whitworth Street West may be the place for you. Underneath the railway arches a short work from Oxford Road station you’ll see the bright lights of Gorilla shining from the canopy. And it’s not just the lights brightening up the wet winter streets of Manchester that evoke a feeling of being in the West Village in New York.
Gorilla is from the same people behind Trof and the Deaf Institute. The interior of the restaurant is gleaming white tiles, stripped wooden floors and aluminium panelling reminiscent of places I’ve visited in the Big Apple. It’s a relaxed and sophisticated vibe which has stuck a cord with the diners of Manchester as whenever I’ve been it’s been busy – whether for lunch with colleagues or for that sneaky Friday after work carafe of rose. So you’d be well advised to book or arrive early.
There’s two elements to the restaurant, the cool New York downstairs area, and the shabby elegance of the Gin Parlour where you are able to sample gin in all its glorious splendour – the cocktail list is a must read! The bar stocks an impressive list of bottled and canned beers and a wide selection of wines.
The food is creative, seasonal and freshly cooked on the premises and has yet to disappoint. My personal favourite is the spicy bean burger with newly cooked fries – served on a wooden board with retro blue trimmed metal bowls, and there’s always the specials to choose from too. If you’ve still room, the sticky toffee pudding is to die for!
Breakfast is served from 11.30am until 4pm. All other food is served from 11.30am until late. Choose from award winning royal breakfasts and Sunday roasts, chargrilled burgers and fancy sandwiches. There’s a grilled selection too; choices include steak on the rib, spatch-cocked chicken with lemon and fresh herbs, halloumi and chicken kebabs. And, like all of Trof’s venues, it’s served by its own in-house bakery, which means that the sourdough, brioche and maple and pecan muffins couldn’t be any fresher.
And, if you’re not yet tempted, it’s also a 700 seater music venue with a calendar of live music and events detailed on their website www.thisisgorilla.com/