Living in Stockport, you would think I would be at a disadvantage. When I moved from Manchester City Centre, I thought I would miss out on so much but that could not be further from the truth. In fact, Stockport train station is a real hub and I recently discovered that I can get to Hale, Altrincham and even Knutsford in around 30 minutes, without having to battle the roads. I have been exploring a lot more, something you will see over the next few weeks, starting with Japanese restaurant Zumu in Hale.
Zumu is located on the main high street running through Hale village and is perfect for people watching thanks to its floor to ceiling windows. It is a fairly small venue with leather seating and a light, airy feel. Some places in Hale can feel stuffy and pretentious but that is not the case with Zumu. There is a relaxed style to dining here with people regularly popping in for takeaway orders. I am well on board with takeaway sushi!
Cocktails are 2 for 1 between 5pm and 7pm which is a lovely little deal. I started with a refreshing Geisha, mixing gin and strawberry works would you believe. I also nibbled on some Edamame whilst looking at the menu as it has to be one of my favourite snacks. You can have salted or spicy but I would have preferred it if they were lightly tossed in the dressing as it was just sprinkled on top. I needed all the salt.
Keen to try a dish that may be less obvious on a Japanese restaurant, we tried the Yakiniku Skewers which are glazed with a sweet soy sauce then slow grilled. This is a beef fillet option served with a scattering of peanuts for some added crunch. The beef was literally just cooked yet heated all the way through and beautifully soft. I thought it a small portion size for the £9.95 price tag but delicious all the same.
We were so overwhelmed by the menu that we asked for a recommendation when picking our main dish. We were blown away by the Omakase mixed platter that arrived. All made fresh on site, the platter is a thing of beauty with the most vibrant colours and textures that I have ever seen in a dish. A selection of mixed sushi and sashimi, it is a great way to try a bit of everything and really give sushi a run for its money. I love these kind of dishes as I find that, if you don’t like something, there are lots of other things to try without being disappointed. My favourite was the Prawn and Avocado hand rolls. The prawn is lightly battered giving it an added crunch, but I also really enjoyed the Tuna Sashimi. It didn’t have that overly fishy smell that tuna can get and we were told fatty tuna is the most premium you can get. It melted in the mouth and I’d have happily eaten more.
A quick tipple before home so I chose the Fujitini with muddled apple, gin and lychee liqueur. It was light and refreshing, something I could drink all night. Unfortunately we weren’t offered a dessert menu and, after waiting a further 30 minutes, we asked for our bill before leaving. It was the only downside to the evening and a little disappointing considering the restaurant was not busy when we visited.
That said, the food is fresh and pretty yet still tastes as good as it looks. There is no style over substance here and I will be back to try the rest of the skewers on the menu as well as a few (several) Fujitinis. More sushi for me I think!
We were invited to dine as guests of Zumu and were not asked to pay.