VIVA previews MUSU the new eatery that promises ‘Infinite Possibilities’
Emma Chadwick | 8th November 2022
It’s the countdown to the opening of MUSU, with bookings now live for this hot new eatery in the heart of Manchester City Centre. VIVA got a sneak preview to try its fantastic tasting menu, our verdict? Sheer brilliance!
For those that don’t know, MUSU will be opening its doors this month (November 24 to be precise) in what was the Randall & Aubin on Bridge Street.
MUSU promises it will bring something very different to the city of Manchester, with a new breed of food & drink restaurants that offers both the pinnacle of fine dining and a totally immersive experience.
The Japanese word MUSU translates as ‘infinite possibilities’ something that encapsulates every aspect of this extraordinary venue, from its menus to its interiors.
Chef Patron Michael Shaw
Each element of MUSU has been meticulously thought through, beginning with its contemporary interpretation of Japanese dishes.
Chef Patron Michael Shaw, whose career has taken him from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons to Richard Neat’s eponymous restaurant in Cannes, has spent the last 18 months honing his passion for Japanese cuisine, with all the precision, skill and flavours that entails.
The result is an exquisite tasting menu concept designed to deliver a multi-sensory dining experience and VIVA got to taste it.
Tasting menu preview
Divided into three sections, Sentaku allows guests to choose their dishes from each section of the menu to suit their own personal taste preferences, while Kaiseki is a set menu curated by Michael that comprises seven and eleven course options which together provide the guest with a balanced choice through the seasonal menu.
We enjoyed the 11-course taster session and honestly the dishes were exceptional. Our favourite was the Sweet Red Prawn Tartare, that works so well with Granny Smith apple, Kaluga caviar and pork fat. Just a wonderful explosion of flavour in the mouth and as everything was, picture perfect.
Also spectacular was the scallop, a plump, juicy and frankly huge sensation that married beautifully with a miso soup.
Head Sushi Chef, Andre Aguiar, himself trained by renowned Japanese Sushi Master Yugo Kato (apparently he spent months making and perfecting rice), also showcased some incredible dishes including Japanese A5 Wagyu beef with a giant black truffle (brought to the table to show before being shaved) and was a velvet taste of heaven.
He will be in charge of a six seat Omakase counter, the only one outside of London. Omakase means entrusting the chef to create the perfect menu.
Presided over by The MUSU team who source and use only the very finest ingredients. The kombu and soy sauces come from the best producers in Japan, the bluefin is certified, sustainable, traceable and wild while the A5 grade wagyu beef is sourced from the top suppliers in Japan.
VIVA can attest that as well as Wagyu, the Sashimi (akami, yellowtail, salmon) and Nigiri (mackerel, madia chu toro) were other worldly.
Where possible, MUSU will be using locally sourced seasonal produce is used, be it langoustines from the Isle of Skye or salt aged free-range duck from Devon.
I’ll drink to that
This attention to detail will also be seen in the drink’s menu designed by Beverage Director Sean McGuirk.
His carefully curated cocktail collection marks an exciting new departure, with the emphasis on flavour and tasting notes. Thus, a tried and tested favourite such as the Espresso Martini is now rechristened Coffee, Vanilla, Chocolate, with its sublime blend of Portobello Road Toasted Coffee Bean Vodka, vanilla, cacao & espresso extract.
These in turn are matched by premium Japanese sake and whiskies from around the globe, whilst in-house sommelier, Ivan Milchev, is on hand to guide guests through the extensive list of fine wines in the cellar. Certainly, the pairing and cocktails at the preview were exceptional.
Pretty special venue
Salted White Chocolate Musu
VIVA also had a sneak look at the venue halfway through its transformation and it’s a great space with what MUSU’s sat will be multi-million-pound interiors. There will be bespoke Italian furniture, subtle, soft mood lighting and bespoke Geisha wall designs, all underpin the skill and creativity taking place in the kitchen.
The experience unfolds as soon as guests walk into the bar area. The bar itself is constructed from Dekton stone, brass and onyx; its fascia is layered in brass, detailed into a banana leaf pattern and softly back lit.
Equally impressive is the open kitchen, located in the centre of the restaurant and designed to look like a luxury residential kitchen, but with maximum power and technology. For smaller parties, MUSU’s private dining room accommodates up to 14 guests and can be completely separate or adjoined from the main dining room. Separated by a glazed telescopic wall, the latter can be frosted at the touch of a button to deliver total privacy.
Within the private dining room is one of MUSU’s three incredible video walls the fluid structures of which allow for perfect visuals, presentations and ambient backgrounds.
MUSU’s design also incorporates the ability to transition into a late-night experience at weekends, replicating the Japanese after-dinner tradition of ‘Nĳiki’. The fluid walls are amazing and we can’t wait to see MUSU in all its glory when it opens!