I’ve moved from Belfast, Northern Ireland to Manchester originally for study, but since then I’ve found work and continued to stay here. Living in Manchester has allowed me greater access to a wide range of Asian/Oriental food compared to Belfast, not just in regard to places to eat but also places to buy ingredients which would otherwise be difficult to find.
Below is a list of places that I’d recommend going to. This list is not an exclusive list of all the places you can eat at, as that would be crazy. It does however contain places I personally like to go to. These are located around the city centre area, so useful for tourists or students.
I’ve broken the list down to the following
If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.
View Manchester’s Asian/Oriental Food Places in a larger map
Chinese Food and Cash and Carrys
W H Lung and Tai Pan (map)
Located on Upper Brooke Street near the Universities, this location is ideal for students nearby. Tai Pan is the Chinese restaurant located upstairs serving traditional Cantonese dishes and Dim Sum. Next to it is the Cash and Carry, W H Lung, which stocks an assortment of asian food and ingredients ranging from 10kg bags of rice and pig bones to dried red beans and lentils. They stock namely Chinese stuff, but also has a decent selection of Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese and Middle Eastern stuff. There’s free parking on site for customers.
Wing Yip and Glamorous (map)
Located on Oldham Road just outside the city centre area, Wing Yip is another Cash and Carry with Glamorous, a Chinese restaurant, located above. They stock similar foods in both but I tend to find the Dim Sum in Glamorous more unique than Tai Pan, for example, you can get Sui Mai with quail egg or shitake mushroom on top. Traditional Hong Kong trolley ladies serve on the weekend where Dim Sum is pushed around on steamed trolleys so you can take a look at the food before ordering.
Wing Yip also stocks Taiwanese, Japanese and Middle Eastern stuff and they also have a Chinese gift shop, fresh bakery and a fish counter on site. Parking is also free and slightly easier than in Tai Pan/W H Lung.
Hang Won Hong (map)
I personally think this is the best place for buying Oriental food inside Manchester’s China Town. I like their range of items and they are decently priced, plus they are the only place that offer student discount (I think this is.
Fu’s Chinese Restaurant Cafe (map)
Fu’s Cafe is a small place I like to visit for traditional Cantonese dishes when I’m with a small group. Their main menu is kindly displayed in both Chinese and English, so there’s no separation of food targeted towards Western or Chinese palettes. I especially recommend their crispy noodles as they’re so addictive! The hot lemon and honey tea is also good for a cold Winter’s day. The staff could be more pleasant though. Prices are about £6 – £13 for a dish.
Wasabi Sushi and Noodle Bar (map)
Wasabi is a local chain with 3 branches in Manchester located in the Printworks, China Town and just off Oxford Road. The revolving sushi is £1 per grey plate weekdays between 12 noon and 3pm, making it an excellent lunching spot. There are 3 plate colours, grey at £2, purple/yellow at £2.80 and red at £3.50. They also offer 2 set menus at £8.50 and £14.50 depending on your appetite. The sushi is supplemented by a decent a la carte menu which include starters, noodle dishes, rice dishes, hand rolls and sashimi (all at a discount of 30% off the original price aside from the eel rice). You can also order bubble tea here at £2.50 a drink.
If you can, opt for the branches in China Town and off Oxford Road to take advantage of the dessert section of the restaurant (you’ll need to switch seats from the sushi section if you’re eating there prior). Here they offer Chinese desserts ranging from snow ice (a dessert similar to ice cream), crepes, waffles, cakes and sago. The branch in China Town is the only branch which offers hot Chinese dishes, such as tofu dessert and hot sesame dessert. Dessert is around £3 – £5.
Staff varies in friendliness, there is one particular female member of staff in the China Town branch which I dislike, but the others appear to be more upbeat.
Yo! Sushi (map)
Manchester has 3 branches of Yo! Sushi in the city centre, one in Selfridges, Manchester Arndale and Manchester Piccadilly. The other is located in the Trafford Centre. They offer revolving sushi. There are several plate colours ranging from £1.80 for green and £5 for grey (£6 for yellow at Manchester Arndale and Trafford Centre). The quality of the salmon here is better than in Wasabi, so if that’s your main love I’d recommend going here instead. They also offer 25% student discount if you sign up and download a voucher from their website. The service here varies, but has been mostly pleasant.
Samsi offers authentic Japanese food served at a table, if you don’t fancy revolving sushi, though the service has varied each time I’ve been in. The lunch menu offers boxes from £7 – £15. Two sushi pieces range from about £3 – £5 and rice noodles are about £5 – £9. The banquets offer an excellent menu for anyone who plans on eating loads and doesn’t want the hassle of picking and choosing what they want. The real treasure in Samsi is the Japanese shop downstairs, just past the bar section. They sell everything you need to make sushi as well as some nice looking kitchenware (teapots, bowls etc.) and tasty Japanese snacks.
Tokyo Season (map)
The sushi and eel rice is really nice, but I don’t think the other things are quite up to standard. Two sushi pieces cost around £3 and noodles and rice range from £7 – £9.50. The largest sake is quite nice to share in groups as they heat up small amounts of it throughout the duration of the meal, and you can take the excess home if you don’t finish it. I also highly recommend the matcha latte. They offer half price sushi between 12 noon and 9pm daily which is awesome, although to take advantage of this offer you need to pay by cash only, so make sure you have enough on you (there’s an ATM nearby). Service is varied.
Yuzu is an authentic Japanese restaurant run by Japanese people. They don’t serve sushi, but they do some really nice sashimi, rice and noodle dishes. The food ranges from around £6 – £13, but their lunch menu offers a decent meal at around £6 – £8. The only disadvantage to this place is the fact that it’s small and the food can take some time to come out as everything is prepared freshly. The service is really good and the people sincere, definitely one to try.
Sapporo Teppanyaki (map)
Teppanyaki is a style of cooking where everything is cooked on a hot plate. Sapporo Teppanyaki offers just that but with extra entertainment as the chefs perform cookery tricks and attempt to toss pieces of potato into your mouth. The food is very nice but quite expensive at around £20 as you’re not just paying for the food by the entire experience as well. You also have to share a “table” with several others as the table surrounds the hot plates, unless you have a large group. A good one for taking guests and special occasions but not really one to go back to regularly.
Eat Goody (map)
Eat Goody is hidden away behind Sand Bar near the Sugden Centre on Grovenor Street. It is easily missed but its popularity has increased over the years due to word of mouth. The place is family owned which gives this place a unique charm. Their lunch specials are especially good value for money at £4, whilst regular items on the menu top £6. I really like their beef bibimbap, teriyaki ginger chicken, pepper chicken and hot chicken (very spicy!).
I’ve only been to Baekdu once and it was a pleasant enough experience. I was recommended this place by a Korean colleague a couple of years back, so I imagine the food to be authentic. The food was delicious, though the atmosphere was somewhat lacking at the time of day we went at (around 5pm) as there wasn’t many people, I’m not sure if this improves later. If anything, Baekdu suffers from being somewhat hidden away as it’s in Shudehill; it’s on the doorstep of the Northern Quarter, but not quite there. Worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.
(Removed Ban Di Bul from my recommendations as on a second trip, I found the experience quite dull. The servers were friendly but there is some underlying cultural issues when one of my Caucasian friends asked for a fork, and they then proceeded to give every Caucasian a fork despite only one being required. The prices for each dish was expensive and portions are also small for the amount you’re paying. The Korean BBQ was all done by a server, which to me defeats the point of having Korean BBQ.)
Chaophraya was highly recommended to me by two friends so I had pretty high hopes for the place. The interior is gorgeous and the service was good, however, the food varied depending on what you ordered. My friends and I tried the pork ribs, the mussels and the mushroom tom-kha soup for starters. All of these were nice, but especially the soup as it was spicy and seasoned perfectly. Two of us ordered the massaman curry, which wasn’t anything special. We had high hopes for the four seasons duck curry but this tasted bland. By far the best dish was my friend’s Weeping Tiger. Starters range from £8 – £10 and mains £9 – £16. At these prices, I was expecting something more, though maybe we were just unlucky. I probably wouldn’t come here again, but given its reputation I felt I had to mention it.
Thai Banana (map)
Located in the heart of Fallowfield, this is my favourite “Thai” place in Manchester. They do some Japanese food such as sushi and tempura and a Sunday buffet, thought I’ve never tried either. The food is nice and the staff pleasant. Price ranges from £7 – £10.
Seoul Kimchi (map)
Located on Upper Brooke Street near the Manchester Royal Infirmary and student halls, this place serves Korean food with some sushi dishes. The food and the staff are fairly nice, though the place is a bit small. Japanese and Korean dishes are around £7 – £10 and 2x sushi pieces at around £1. They also sell some Korean snacks, packaged noodles and tea.
Ideally located in the middle of student central, this asian fusion place offers an awesome rotating weekly lunch deal (12 noon – 3pm) costing £6 which includes a starter and a main. The portions are smaller than you would get outside the lunch deal, but quite decently sized. I always feel eating here outside the lunch hours is a waste of money; the only thing I would get would be the salt and pepper squid as this is never on the lunch deal menu. Examples of food include chinese noodles, thai currys and sushi. Prices of starters outside the deal is around £3 – £4, mains at £7 – £8. This place can get really busy during lunch but the time is quite fast from ordering to getting your food. The staff is mostly pleasant apart from one guy with glasses, who always seems more focused on getting people in and out than customer service.
Tampopo is a small chain in the UK which serves a range of east asian food. I quite liked their Chap Chae last time I came here, though don’t recommend the Gado Gado. Prices of the main menu range from £7 – £11, but they also do an Express menu from 12 – 7pm every day at the Albert Square branch, only Mon – Fri at the Triangle branch and 12 – 5pm Mon – Fri in Trafford Centre. For £9 from a limited menu including starter and main. The service has always been decent.
Wong Wong Chinese Bakery (map)
Wong Wong does the best Chinese bread and cakes in Manchester. If you’re looking for an asian style birthday cake, or somewhere to get your egg tart fix, this is it. Everything is decently priced at around £1 for a Chinese bread. They also serve Hong Kong style drinks like bubble tea, red bean drink, honey lemon tea etc. There’s a small eat in area but you can also take away.
I <3 BoBo Tea (map)
Located inside Manchester’s Arndale centre, this place serves delicious bubble tea. Prices are around £3 for a drink, so not as cheap as Wong Wong or Wasabi, but if you don’t want to venture too far from the city centre, this is for you. There are a small number of stools at the bar, but I tend to prefer taking mine around the Arndale as I window shop.