Vermilion and Cinnabar, Manchester

Mimi ON Sep 10, 2012 AT 12:27 pm

Entering into the rouge glow of the low-lit red-carpeted reception area,  you feel instantly transported miles away from Manchester. Take the candle lit staircase to the restaurant, or opt for the lift where the walls are quirkily plastered with customer’s handwritten food-review slips,  ‘Absolutely recommend the lamb’ , ‘Perfect Service’ , ‘Thanks for a great evening we will be back’ each review is better than the next, and a taster of what’s to come.

The Vermilion restaurant is keen to impress. Dreamt up by the interior design house of Miguel Cancio Martins – the maestro behind Paris’ Buddha Bar, it is clear that every inch of the three storey building has been decorated to create an impact. And create an impact, it does.

In the dimmed light all diners are seated on hand-painted swivel chairs.  The most unique use of colour and texture can be found throughout, providing plenty to keep you captivated as you wait for your food – oversized coral pillars bolster the ceiling, rose-bud carvings are etched into the walls, an entire wall has been formed from hundreds of small abacuses. The unusual textures and mix of oriental versus under-the-sea is a real visual delight. Ornate patterned metalwork dividers have been used to create more intimate dining areas within what is a huge restaurant space, which calls for hushed tones with your dining companion.

It was no surprise to see that the presentation of the food was just as exciting as the atmosphere.  Flowers and a small pot of Thai Salad adorned the enormous king prawns that we chose as a starter.

Vermilion and Cinnabar

The naan and rotti breads arrived in small woven baskets. Our Sea bass was served on a fish shaped platter, with dipping sauces placed on either side of an ornate balancing scale.

The Lamb special was succulent and melt-in-the-mouth soft with a slight chilli kick.  The portion sizes are fantastic and we couldn’t help but share.

Somehow there was room left or dessert (isn’t there always!?) and I can assure you that the fruit sorbet and coconut crème brulee are not to be missed. With such a wide variety of choice I’d suggest booking in for a  Sunday buffet perfect for trialling the majority of menu options.

By the time we made out way upstairs, Cinnabar was in full swing.  The large dark space is lit only by suspended floating balloons of light in subtle colour-changing neon shades. Choose to admire the view and sophisticated clientele from the bar, linger cocktail in hand around the banister or better yet cocoon yourself in one of the six large red pod-like beds.

The drinks menu, starting at £12, is extensive if a little pricey. If cocktails are not your tipple then the restaurant’s wine cellar showcases some of the finest wines, and the crème de la crème of liquor.  The wallet busting £250 per shot of Hennesy  XO encased behind glass was nearly empty, a nod to the footballers who regularly dine, drink and dance in this establishment.

It is the perfect place for an intimate meal, party with friends or private dinner event – the Vermilion restaurant and bar have every occasion covered.

Vermilion and Cinnabar, Hulme Hall Lane, Lord North Street, Sport City, Manchester. M40 8AD, 0161 202 0055,








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