In the last five years, Manchester has woken up to the potential of Pan-Asian food. Whether you’re craving kimchi, ravenous for ramen or ecstatic for edamame, the city finally has you covered.
Opened in late 2018 at the neglected top of Oldham Street, CBRB grabs two of South East Asia’s most-loved staples and brings them to Manchester’s hipster HQ. However, the overarching order of the day in CBRB is minimalism.
Its black interior, limited space and short, regularly rotated menu create an exclusive feel that keeps the hipsterati diners coming. That’s before we arrive at the food, which CBRBs has nailed.
Having lived in the world’s ramen capital city Hakata for over a year, I’ve been searching for a bowl in Europe that comes close. When it comes to Manchester, CBRB is the city’s best attempt.
Their tonkotsu ramen (£ 14.00) comes with the vitals a purist would be looking for. Thick, cloudy pork bone broth, soft, chewy noodles and a halved egg with a thick, gooey yolk. CBRB’s other specialty, bao buns (£ 4.75), come packed with excellently fresh ingredients and well-selected flavours. Despite the modest menu, CBRB offers vegetarian buns, ramen and small plates.
A final draw of CBRB is that it’s one of the city’s only restaurants to open into the early hours. Manchester’s night owls flock in until 2 am. Don’t settle for a kebab – saunter up Oldham Street before home time and finish your night off right.