Manchester has more than enough restaurants for you to go to a new one every night – despite our recent closures, new ones are still opening, or on their way. And every so often you revisit one you haven’t been to in… Let’s say a while, and save my blushes, and wonder why the fuck you haven’t been back.
Evuna is one of those.
I know part of it will be because even on a Tuesday evening, the place is busy. Couples pop in and dine and go, a big group table sits at the back of us, steadily working their way through the tapas menu. So perhaps not getting the first reservation I maybe wanted, or trying randomly in an evening and not being able to dine might have had an impact. But still… It’s quite clear as we wander into the warm welcome, surrounded by soft bare brickwork, and banks of wine, that it’s the kind of place I could, and should, almost live.
As we settle in with the menu, it’s pretty clear that the service is fabulous. We’re asked about wine, but the list is not just full of pretty things, most of them I’ve not heard of, or come across, because Evuna select their wines in a way that means that nobody else has them. And if they do, then they quietly take it off the wine list and find an alternative. As someone who deliberately doesn’t do the same as everyone else, I feel seen.
Putting ourselves in the hands of Amanda, who was looking after us, was quite possibly the best thing we could do. We could suggest our likes and dislikes, and throughout the evening, she would whisk away and find a wine she wanted us to try.
From the softly oaked and approachable Garnacha, through to the intriguing blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc that she matched with our fish dishes, there wasn’t one I wouldn’t happily pop back and grab a bottle of – I mean after all, they do sell them to take away too.
Onto the food, and we had already heard about the pig’s cheeks – slow cooked and tender, and as good as their reputation, so they were a must. After that the tapas menu is varied, yet familiar. The oxtail was delicious, the Pardon peppers that lovely balance of crunch, soft and salt, that I find rather addictive.
The hake with chickpeas was creamy, rich and moreish – this and the chickpea croquettes are possibly one of the only times me and Mr GFB have squabbled over chickpeas. But we did.
Despite over ordering (always) we both dove in and enjoyed every mouthful, but it did mean that when it came to dessert, we were somewhat glad of elasticated waists (and a brief break).
Thankfully Evuna have you covered here too – if you overdid it, but still need a bite of something sweet, order a smaller version of the dessert. You get a tasty mouthful (or two) of pud, and your pants button stays intact.
So that’s exactly what we did. Paired with both a Sherry and a dessert rose wine, it gave us the opportunity to experiment with the flavours of both, whilst not wondering if we needed to roll each other home somehow.
Lesson learned Evuna. I’ll be back in soon.
This meal and accompanying drinks were supplied for free by Evuna. As ever, this doesn’t guarantee a positive review (if anything, I tend to be a harsher critic).
There’s a reason this place is still here, it’s fabulous service, great food, and great wine. Go.