Anyone who says that Paris is the real city of love has clearly never skipped across First Street at twilight after one or two cold ones.
Romance is alive and well within these Uber laden streets, and we’re here to inform you as to where is the most romantic spot in town.
The beautifully intimate little nook that is Gorilla is the perfect first date spot for several reasons.
Let’s start with their food.
Serving a mix of British and Indonesian cuisine, Gorilla specialises in innovative, slightly quirky food and cocktails and the gaff pride themselves, on sourcing all of their ingredients in the most sustainable way. All of their meat is free range and the pork from proper Cheshire pigs!
Their menu manages to be extensive and intimate all at the same time and boasts attention to detail like no other, allowing for for the perfect amount of giddy small talk, and letting your nerves shift to excitement with the confirmation that you’re about to have an incredible evening.
The menu caters to all tastes, palates and expectations – as dishes throughout the menu vary in price, flavour and size massively.
Vegetarian, gluten free, you name it – this place suits absolutely everyone.
As for their drinks menu – this covers everything from concentrated reds to fruit-driven whites, original eccentric cocktails and underneath the heady golden lights you can feel rather than hear the low rumble of the trains above and as gaze out of the window, seated at one of the plushy booths – you’ll find that it’s near impossible to not fall for the surroundings.
Everything – from some pastes to desserts – is made from scratch in their little kitchen, it’s exactly the sort of place which makes me proud to call Manchester my home.
The servers are also phenomenal – armed with information on each and every meal, you can rely on the safe hands of Gorilla’s own to guide you down the right path to having one of the best meals of your Manc life.
The halloumi fries with za’atar, red chilli, pomegranate molasses and greek yoghurt are part of the new menu and full of flavour and deliciously moreish – a really unusual dish and a good example of the kind of food that showcases the place at its very best.
The salt and pepper chicken tenders gave as good as they got too – topped with coriander, sesame, red chilli and spring onion – it’s all of my favourite flavours combined and served in the cutest little dishes.
I fancied something a little lighter for my main after the cheese so opted for one of the recommendations – the pan-fried seabass – which arrived served with ricotta gnocchi, tomato, butternut squash, lemon oil and green herbs.
While the fish was beautiful and very fancifully served, I couldn’t help but sneak a taster of the other meal – he opted for the Gochujang Chicken with fried egg which came burger style with gochujang sauce, furikake, ponzu dressed slaw, pickled cucumber, brioche bun and seasoned fries.
What I like about this place is its ability to be so dynamic and varied in its offering while keeping its down-to-earth roots. The prices are more than reasonable considering its city centre location just off First Street (a main will set you back no more than £13 and the portions are extremely generous.)
Gorilla also takes great pride in its broad and unusual bottled beer, draught and cider offering which includes Kona Big Wave, Goose Island IPA and This Must Be The Lager – but these guys are serving up some of the best, heady cocktails I’ve ever tasted in and around Manchester too…
The Boots of Spanish leather makes for a delicious aperitif – featuring Gin Mare, Campari, red wine and sweet sherry vermouth – but it was the popcorn-topped Coney Island baby which really won my heart.
So do yourself a favour – ask them out, take the chance and book a table at the cosiest and most beautiful spot in town.
Trust us, you’ll be kicking yourself for not becoming a regular before…
Gorilla is located at 54-56 Whitworth Street, Manchester, M1 5WW.