El Gato Negro chef patron and creative director Simon Shaw is opening a new Portuguese restaurant called Canto in Manchester this autumn.
Translating to ‘corner’ in Portuguese, the new restaurant will be located in the Fairbairn Building on Henry Street in Ancoats.
Shaw will be bringing current El Gato Negro head chef Carlos Gomes with him to head up the kitchen.
“I first visited Lisbon about 20 years ago and thought it a really cool place, raw but great,” says Shaw. “Seven years later I returned and there was a real movement taking place, a city with edge. When I returned in March it was like, wow, this is now a serious European city.
“The Portuguese food movement is in its infancy in the UK but it’s happening, with some really great restaurants emerging in London in the last few years.
“It would be easy for me to open another Spanish restaurant, but I wanted a fresh challenge and to take people on a journey. It’s always been on my radar to open a modern Portuguese restaurant and when Carlos joined the team with the same long-term vision, everything fell into place. It was like we were in the right place, with the right people, at the right time.
“We’re ahead of the game. A year from now we’ll all either be geniuses or have got it wrong. But we feel Manchester is ready for this, and Ancoats is the perfect location.”
The duo recently announced a new dessert menu for customers.