As if ramen wasn’t good enough on its own, an award-winning hospitality team from Leeds have brought their celebrated concept to Manchester, which combines the iconic Japanese soup and other dishes from the Far East, with karaoke. A food and entertainment experience that’s hard to compare, the decor is just as unique, combining industrial North West, Asian futurism, and surrealism, with pink neon signs and projections reflecting the colour of minimalist seating, while a gold foil curtain marks out the performance area, nodding to traditional haunts back in the country that inspired this place.
It’s not all show, though. Founder Ben Iley set up House of Fu as a kind of determined protest. Upset at the lack of decent ramen in West Yorkshire’s biggest city, he headed to Tokyo for inspiration. Nine years later he was still there, having spent most of that time working in globally renowned restaurants like Aquavit, The Tokyo American Club, and Fujimamas. Returning to Leeds, he launched a pop up at the beloved Belgrave Music Hall, winning Best of the Best at the British Street Food Awards in its debut year, 2014. By 2021, it had expanded to Manchester, where it has established itself as one of the best in town.
People really come here for two things — karaoke and ramen — but there’s plenty more besides. So, on top of the great choice of ramen, which dominates the menu (there are seven to go at, from shoyu chicken to kimchi and cheese), you’ll find a range of super bowls like the California, with nori cured salmon, avocado, cucumber, tomato, edamame, and Fu pickles. Or the roast beetroot, which replaces fish with namesake vegetable. Rice bowls, such as teriyaki chicken, spicy tofu, and Fu katsu, are also available, as are a stack of sides including prawn toast, kukini pork belly, and chilli crunch rice. House of Fu’s bar offering is equally on-point, with a good selection of specialist brewery beers, short but sweet wine list, and exclusive cocktails designed to match the food. Finally, karaoke is daily, and on Sundays aimed at families.