Strange, this looks like a fully formed website of a Spanish restaurant in Manchester that I'd never heard of. There's no menu up yet but the food looks pretty good from the photos. I went onto twitter to ask those in the know. Those in the know didn't know anything about it. This is not how it normally works. We can't have a fully functioning restaurant just open without anyone hearing on the grapevine. We know about Hawksmoor, Wahaca, Ibérica and the rest opening in 2015, months, sometimes years ahead of time. The website mentions 'executive chef Josetxo Arrieta'. I google him. An impressive CV, he was educated at Akelarre a three Michelin star restaurant in San Sebastian. (See my review here). And he's done a course with Ferran Adrià. With over 20 years experience (including a 2 star in France), what's he doing coming to Manchester without anyone knowing about it?
Curiouser and curiouser, surely this was too good to be true. It crossed my mind that this was an elaborate joke. Then someone said they'd heard that it's "owned by two Spanish Manchester footballers..spending a lot of cash, they've imported a great chef." This maybe just rumour though, I never found out for sure. I went along to investigate anyway.
This is a very good sign. I tell him I'll eat anything and everything he and the chef recommend. I can't abide fussy eaters, to me they're just children who've not grown up yet.
béchamel sauce, I'd have preferred a slightly a thinner breadcrumb crust. I give all my feedback at the time to Yashin at the time which he's very happy to take in.
Having said all that, this is a country mile away from the clichéd, crap chain, pre-packaged tapas hung over from the 90's when British people knew no better.
La Bandera is in fact very promising indeed, even accounting for the teething problems and natural tweaks that always occur. It's still (for the main part) easily the best tapas I've had in Manchester city centre because they're doing things properly from the beginning. Give them a week or so and go. This could very well be one of the most exciting restaurant openings for a while if they fulfil their potential (I'm very hopeful that they will).
With La Bandera, Ibérica and El Gato Negro, 2015 looks to be the year Manchester goes Spanish and that can only be a good thing for eating in our city.
The wine list here.
Paid in full *apart from a couple of small sample dishes.
See more photos here.
The Best 50 Tapas here.