Set within the beating business heart of Leeds, Mans Market, since opening, has brought its own unique twist on Chinese food to the very core of the city.
The owner, Raymond Chan, grew up with his family running a Chinese takeaway, so you can put faith in his view that Chinese food hasn’t moved with the times in the way that Thai food has over the last decade or so. As a result of this, he is clearly a man on a mission to turn Mans Market into a 21st century Chinese restaurant where little twists are very much the order of the day.
Bright red lettering proudly shows off the location and there’s a take on the Hong Kong ladies’ market adorning the stairs down to the restaurant and bar. Chan certainly manages to grab your attention before you sit down and notice that you can get speedy service with cards hung above your table that enable you to make it clear you either fancy another drink, want to pay the bill, or just get your food ordered.
The decor in general is an eclectic mix between modern minimalism and the classic Chinese takeaway look and feel. This is a place that has a contemporary feel with a slight nod to the past. In many ways, this translates over to the food. The menu certainly reads in part like your favourite Chinese takeaway, but there is a significant nod to the wider Asian food scene. You won’t be overwhelmed by choices here and while not fully Chinese in character, the chef has certainly created a tasty menu that does work.
Highlights of the menu are Mans mountain rice, which is perfect comfort food thanks to a lovely thick sauce, and the fresh, refined taste of the salmon fillet, which is fortunately not ruined by too much soy sauce. With this in mind, there is no food colouring added to dishes to turn them that awful colour that you can find in a cheap Chinese takeaway, and there is no MSG added to dishes, so the flavours you get are ones you can trust.
What you do find is that Mans Market has filled the void that Tampopo left when it sadly left Leeds (many moons ago now!). The menu boasts decent dishes from the far east that pack a decent flavour punch and also some rather impressive cocktails to boot. The venue works as both a post-work drinks (turning into dinner) location as well as a place for couples and friends to catch up.
Where it is: Unit F, West Point, Wellington St, Leeds, LS1 4JJ
Reservations: 0113 244 0808
Categories: Restaurant reviews