15-06-2015-Sakana, Manchester

As I mentioned to you in a recent blog, the fish eater and I have rekindled the flickering flame of our relationship, and are slowly getting back to treading the boards of Manchester again. Whether it will ever be like Ÿ??the good old daysŸ? or not remains to be seen, but our philosophy at the moment is let’s enjoy what we can, while we can. As you can imagine, besides other things, this has involved the intake of food again. With this in mind, we decided to once again sample some of the culinary delights of Manchester the other weekend, leaving me with the unenviable task of choosing a venue. I used my favourite search engine, and after a lot of research and a couple of emails found a reply in my inbox informing me that a table for two was reserved in our name for 8-30pm the following Saturday evening. This reply came from Sakana, which is located at 23 Peter Street, Manchester M2 5QR (http://www.sakanapan-asian.co.uk ). Things were looking good! Saturday night saw me dressed in a little black strapless number with matching shoes and accessories as usual, and it also saw us both heading in to town looking forward to the evening ahead. We were a little later that sometimes setting off, and so decided to drive straight into town and park rather than hitting The Village for a drink first and then taking a cab. Couldn’t have been simpler. Could it? Well actually, yes. It could have been! I hadn’t taken into account the fact that half the centre of Manchester is closed off due to the ongoing works in connection with the Metro Link. The knock on effect of this was that the half of Manchester that isn’t closed off has had parking restrictions put in place. I must have driven down Peter Street and the surrounding area a hundred times looking for a space! OK, maybe not a hundred, but it was a lot! It was so many times in fact, that by 8-25pm we still hadn’t managed to park. My co-pilot made a quick call to the Restaurant to warn them we would be late, and in a final state of frustration, I headed back out of town to The Village, parked the car, hailed a cab, and paid ô?4-00 to be driven back to where I had just been. Not the best of starts, but I am a lot more tolerant when in the guise of Paula, so I managed to be quite philosophical about it all and certainly didn’t let it spoil the night. My male alter ego would have hit the roof, thrown his dummy out of the pram and probably sulked for the rest of the night. How different we both are! Anyway, as per usual, I have already written 472 words, and so far told you nothing, so I better shape up and tackle the job in hand Ÿ?? which is………………..? Ah, yes, I remember, Sakana. Well, here we are, at least we had finally got there. We apologised, but it wasn’t a problem to them at all. We were shown to the bar where we ordered a glass of prosecco and a diet coke, and we chilled down and managed to survey the surroundings. Very nice, and very busy! People of all ages, sizes, and types in pairs and groups, all about to eat, eating, or talking about what they had just eaten. There are some private dining areas, and a main L shaped dining area, bending off towards the kitchen servery area. We were quickly shown to our table, where our waitress introduced herself as Becki, and we were handed menus. We were also given a quick tutorial on how the menus worked and offered as much advice as we needed to be able to place an order. We perused the menus, trying to work out the different options available, whilst retaining at least some of the advice Becki had so generously offered. It wasn’t that difficult. Being the foodies that we are, it didn’t take us long to master the menus and put together an order that we could discuss further with Becki when she returned. She was very impressed with our attempt, and after a couple of tweaks, we had managed to choose a meal for two! We started off with Sushi Ÿ?? we got a portion of salmon balls (no, I didn’t know that salmon had balls either!), and a portion of soft shelled crab and mango, and then we pick and mixed! They were obviously served up with lots of little dabs of extras and sauces and rice and things Ÿ?? far too much to write about, and I’m sure you’ve got the idea anyhow. I then followed on with Teppanyaki sea bass served with ginger, spring onion and leek, and my companion tackled a portion of Teppanyaki swordfish served with champagne, yuzu, miso, and pomegranate. We also had a side order of stir-fry noodles and a side order of stir-fry greens which we duly shared out between the two of us. This was enough food to cause a silence to fall over our table, but as you can well imagine, not for long. We both had another drink each during the meal, and in little or no time at all, we were proudly sat in front of a table full of empty crockery. The food was hot, tasty, and well presented, and Becki was more than helpful without being over the top. The Restaurant was continuously busy throughout our meal, but the sight of a full blown Transvestite sitting across the table from an equally full blown Pescatarian didn’t appear to be causing any concern to Patrons and Staff alike. After a short pause in proceedings, Becki was back. She was back with the menus, to see if she could tempt us with coffee, or desserts, or indeed anything else that we may decide to partake in. We certainly didn’t fancy coffee, and cocktails were slightly off limits due to me driving later on, so that just left the question of desserts. And what a question that was! Out of politeness more than anything we agreed to at least have a look at the menus, but we both admitted to being pretty full. It did look like tonight could be the night that Paula and friend may win the battle over the desserts. Neither of us was certain we could manage one. We did at one point debate the possibility of a one dessert, two spoon situation. I, however, decided that wasn’t to be. In my mind, you either want the glory of having won the battle outright, or you want the equally glorious outcome of a sticky, calorie ridden dessert each. To be seen sharing one would be very un-cool! We went for the glorious rather than the glory. Two desserts and two spoons was the outcome. I tucked into a brown sugar tart (as only I can), whilst the pesco had a brief but passionate affair with a portion of chocolate crumble. By the end of that bit, we really were both full! Seemingly, Sakana has a bar upstairs for the use of diners, and Becki had no hesitation in inviting us to visit the said bar and partake in a few bevy’s. We declined the invitation, but I think that already answers question number one. I did take the trouble to visit the Ladies and powder my nose (think I had a wee as well Ÿ?? can’t remember!), and I’m pleased to report that all is perfectly in order in the water closet department. So, now all we had to do was pay the bill, and then find a cab to take us back to the car which was another ô?6-00. Having managed to park for free, it then cost ô?10-00 to get from the car to the Restaurant and back! I certainly didn’t win that one! Never mind, as my late Dad kept telling me Ÿ??you can’t take it with youŸ?. Now all I have to do is answer three very simple questions, and then I can finally leave you in peace: Is Sakana TV friendly? See above. No problems at all, and an invite to stay! Value for money? I didn’t pay, but For the sole purpose of compiling this report, I managed to ascertain that the cost of the above was ô?56-00 for food and ô?15-00 for drinks. A total of ô?71-00. I think we could class that as more than acceptable. Would I go again? I’m beginning to wonder how many of these places I will actually manage to revisit as my quest for somewhere new continues. Needless to say, though, if the opportunity arises I certainly won’t hesitate.