With seemingly every single venue in the city offering some form of Roast Dinner on a Sunday, I wanted to check out somewhere that’s offering something different, a welcome change from the usual meat, veg and gravy.
It’s not that I don’t particularly enjoy Sunday Dinners, I do – but I don’t really get the hype around them. Something I get in a restaurant will never beat my mum’s (or mine for that matter).
Looking around the city for something different on a Sunday and you’ll quickly fall upon Cottonopolis and their exceedingly popular ‘Yum Cha‘ offering – a chance to eat as much Dim Sum as you like for £26 per person.
Staring at 4pm every week, the idea is nice and simple. You sit down and an array of Dim Sum dishes are brought right to your table on dedicated trolleys – you pick off what you want and then eat it. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, nothing. For two hours from your booking time (which is certainly necessary), you will be presented with a vast array of treats, from gyoza, spring rolls, noodles, ribs and even desserts – there’s something for every taste and mood.
So, is the food actually any good or would you be better just nipping down to Buffet City and getting your head in a trough?
As you’d expect from Cottonopolis, this isn’t just any old deep-fried Dim Sum rubbish – this is high-quality, top-end grub – traditional in many senses but with a welcome Mancunian twist.
We devoured some outstanding Spring Rolls (with a thick katsu dip), sublime Duck Gyoza and a Mushroom Congee that might not look too appealing but was excellent – garnering a scramble for a few more bowls when the trolley reappeared later.
Another stand out was the Beef Sesame Short Ribs, which were sticky, smoky and cooked to perfection. Similarly a surprise hit, especially from a person who eats around 3 vegetables a month, was the Veg Tempura – a huge skewer of aubergine, broccoli and other greens, all coated in a crispy salt and pepper batter.
With a menu featuring over 19 different items I suppose this article could just end up being a big long list of everything that I enjoyed eating; The Chicken Katsu (crispy and complex), Salt & Pepper Tofu (surprisingly flavoursome), Edamame Beans (always a favourite – bring me another 3 bowls please). But I suppose that’s a little bit boring for you and it’ll just make me sound like a big fat pig.
Of course, not everything was a big hit. I thought the Chicken Wings were tasty but too small (although I could have just grabbed some more off the trolley) and I wasn’t enthralled by the bowls of Pak Choi (3 vegetables a month remember) but with so many dishes on offer – they’re never going to satisfy every person every time.
Finally, as the desserts came around, I’d had enough to eat and was in a semi-vegative state of food-related delirium. A quick nibble of some Chocolate Brownies and I was done. Completed it.
Was it worth £26?
Absolutely and the thing I always enjoy about a visit to Cottonopolis is that the general vibe and atmosphere is always spot on.
Sitting there in a buzzing venue, people enjoying themselves and having a laugh over great food and cocktails – that’s what Sundays are all about for me.
Yum Cha at Cottonopolis
Eat as much Dim Sum as you want
Date: Every Sunday
Time: 4pm – 10pm
Cost: £26pp (+ 15% off bottles of wine)
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
0161 236 5144