“Simply exceptional”: Jay Rayner praises Greek-Mediterranean food at Manchester restaurant in new review

While the décor at Manchester’s new Greek-Mediterranean restaurant might be over the top, the food is “simply exceptional”.

That’s according to esteemed writer Jay Rayner, who praised the eatery in a new review following his most recent visit to the city centre.

Though he compared the interior to the cantina from Star Wars and “10,000 Instagram reels just waiting to happen,” The Observer critic had nothing but positive words to say about his dishes, which included a moussaka, sea bass tartare and orzo.

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Following his trip to the restaurant, located in The Good Yard Building just outside Spinningfields, Jay wrote: “The food here, courtesy of Greek head chef Ippokratis Anagnostelis, is delightful.

“It’s all the flavours and textures of moussaka, not so much deconstructed as reupholstered. Some people object to this malarkey on principle. But when, as here, it’s done with such attention to detail, objections fall away. It works.”

Fenix is bringing contemporary Greek-Mediterranean food and culture to the city's newest neighbourhood
Manchester restaurants including Fenix have been praised for cementing the city’s status as one of the most exciting food scenes
(Image: Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News)

The writer, who has been reviewing restaurants for more than two decades, also left a glowing comment on the sea bass tartare, adding: “A sea bass tartare is both worth looking at and worth eating.”

The food enthusiast also enjoyed a “fabulous dish or orzo,” which was “cooked until soft and starchy in an anise-heavy lobster bisque and topped with three fat langoustine tails.”

Inside Manchester's new luxury Greek restaurant Fenix
Inside Manchester’s new luxury Greek restaurant Fenix
(Image: Sean Hansford | Manchester Evening News)

Finishing with the crème brûlée served with apple crumble, he said the dish was “as accomplished as any I’ve ever been served” and worth “fighting over.”

Summing up his experience, mentioning his costly meal, the writer said: “Perhaps you didn’t think this was your scene. But now you’re here it turns out to have a lot to recommend it. Yes, some of Fenix is very silly indeed…

How new Greek-Mediterranean restaurant FENIX will look, set to open in Manchester in November
How new Greek-Mediterranean restaurant FENIX will look, set to open in Manchester in November
(Image: FENIX)

“… The other customers here this lunchtime have clearly accepted the cost, for this is Manchester suited and booted and that’s a crowd that knows how to have fun. But even if none of that appeals, even if you don’t want to eat on the sunkissed set of Mamma Mia!, do come for the food. It’s terrific.”

Years in the making, Fenix, from the team behind popular city centre eatery Tattu, opened its doors to the public last November.

Food critic and journalist Jay Rayner
Food critic and journalist Jay Rayner
(Image: Vincent Cole – Manchester Evening News)

The restaurant took up residence in the new “Enterprise City” part of town – the area around the old Granada Studios now known as St John’s overseen by Allied London.

Inspired by the food scene of Mykonos and the Greek islands, Fenix’s creation was born out of the pandemic, when Tattu founders Adam and Drew Jones were forced to close their restaurants.

Just like the mythical phoenix rising, there is an element of rebirth and renewal at play, a theme that has driven forward the restaurant’s opulent design.

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