30 June 2015

Pan Asian Afternoon Tea at Sakana, Manchester

There are few things I love as much as I love Afternoon Tea, and much as I will never tire of mini sandwiches, scones with jam and cream and the most delicious of teeny tiny cakes - sometimes it's nice to have something a bit ..... different. With that in mind, I jumped at the chance of Sakana's Pan Asian Afternoon Tea when I saw it pop up on one of those cheap voucher sites.
 
Sakana Manchester afternoon tea
 
We toddled along to the wrong side of the Pennines with tasty Asian treats in mind and settled down to peruse the tea menu. While I'm usually inclined to opt for a slightly boring black tea to accompany the food, Sakana's impressive tea menu was way too good for that and I went instead for a more thematic Jasmine tea. It was delicious and very nicely presented but no where near as pretty as the boyfriends flowering tea, so I've shown you that here instead!
 
tea menu sakana manchester

I'll admit, I hadn't really given a lot of thought to what a Pan-Asian afternoon tea would consist of, but I expected it to look pretty cool and I was not in the least bit disappointed when they brought the cake stand over!

japanese cake stand
 
The friendly and enthusiastic waiter did happily explain what everything was but unfortunately the notes I made were on my now defunct old laptop and as this was a little while ago now (again due to laptop hold-ups!) I'm working as best I can from memory so I do apologise it I'm a bit vague on what things are!

sakana manchester roti roll

We attacked the roti wraps first, these were filled with duck and pomegranate and chicken and *something* (I did warn you it might be a bit vague!) These made a really tasty change from the traditional finger sandwiches - especially the yummy duck ones!

asian afternoon tea
 
The sushi, on the other hand, is not really something I was looking forward to. It's probably really uncool to admit this, but I just don't like sushi. I don't get it. It's not for me. To be fair, I don't even like the most boring of fish. I don't like battered cod from the fish shop. I don't like tuna. So the chances of me liking this were not that high.

afternoon tea with sushi
 
But I tried, I did try. It's still not for me though. I even tried poking the fishy bits out and just eating the rice/veggie bits but it was hard to escape that overpowering fishiness. I'm sure for those that like fish, that like sushi in particular, would have loved this. And it really was nice to try something different and I'm sure it was exactly as it should have been,... but no, it's still not for me.

manchester sushi restaurant
 
The top layer of cakey goodies made up for all the difficulties I had with the previous layer though. This was an exquisite little selection of Asian inspired sweet treats and were alone well worth the visit. The little green square at the back there was a matcha tiramisu - I love matcha in desserts as you can tell yourself you are being healthy while devouring cake, a great bonus to an already lovely little treat. The fruity mango cheesecake was light as a feather but full of flavour and the brown sugar tart (the one that looks like a block of fudge topped with biscuit crumbs was a sweet, caramel-y revelation. I can't begin to remember what was in the little pots, but I remember it was good!

manchester sakana desserts

A couple of classic afternoon tea items did make it onto the menu, as the cake stand came laden with a pair of macaroons - though not in the most traditional of flavours! The green one was a wasabi macaroon, a very interesting choice and though I can't say I strictly enjoyed it, I definitely couldn't not eat it all either! The other one was a less unusual flavour (coconut, I think?) and was perfect - pretty big for a macaroon, but with that slightly crisp outer shell and gorgeously gooey inside,... the perfect way to finish off a very interesting afternoon tea experience!
 
The weird thing is, I can't find any mention of this afternoon tea anywhere on the Sakana website, but trust me, it is a real thing! I'm sure if you wanted to try it out they'd be more than happy to point you in the right direction if you contacted them though, I found the staff to be very helpful on my visit! In fact, despite not really enjoying a whole third of the afternoon tea, I really enjoyed my time at Sakana and would definitely return - if only to check out their exiting sounding cocktail menu!

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