Plans unveiled for new Simon Shaw restaurant in Ancoats

Simon Shaw, left, and Carlos Gomes

Simon Shaw, chef patron and creative director of El Gato Negro, in Manchester, has revealed plans for Canto, his new restaurant in Ancoats.

Meaning ‘corner’ in Portuguese, the restaurant, located in the Fairbairn Building on Henry Street, says it will bring modern Portuguese cuisine to Manchester.

The restaurant will be headed up by Porto-born Carlos Gomes – current head chef at El Gato Negro with previous experience at Michelin-starred Barrafina and Koya – and will open this autumn.

The new venture will, like its award-winning sibling King Street restaurant, focus on simple, modern, authentic Portuguese dishes.

Mr Shaw said everything will be cooked fresh using the finest ingredients.

It will see social dining in a relaxed, casual neighbourhood setting, which he says is an ideal fit for Ancoats.

He said: “I first visited Lisbon about 20 years ago and thought it a really cool place, raw, but great.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

Mr Gomes added: “Canto will be adventurous, simple and exciting. I’m looking forward to introducing Manchester to authentic Portuguese cuisine with a modern touch.”

Upon launch Canto will be the second restaurant from Simon Shaw, with his first restaurant El Gato Negro having earned the reputation as one of the UK’s most celebrated modern Spanish restaurants and achieving multiple awards including, most recently, a 2018 Michelin Bib Gourmand.