As Manchester continues to wait for a coveted Michelin-star eatery, the owner of the latest restaurant to make the Michelin Guide in the region remains optimistic about a ‘glittering gastro future’.
Only a year after opening, Asha’s restaurant in Manchester has been included in the prestigious Michelin Guide 2017 – becoming the only Indian restaurant to ever be recognised by the Guide in Manchester.
The Peter Street restaurant is used to Michelin recognition, as its sister restaurant at Newhall Street in Birmingham has been included in the Michelin guide for the eighth consecutive year.
Restaurant owners the ARIL Group invested a cool two million pounds in the elegant Victorian building at 47 Peter Street, which faces the Theatre Royale.
Susan Potter, Managing Director of ARIL Group, told the Asian Express: “Personally I was overjoyed.
“It is extremely rewarding for everyone involved as a tremendous amount of work and effort goes into achieving Michelin recognition.
“The innovative menu celebrates authentic Indian flavours and spices, while providing a modern twist on recipes our guests know and love – all using the best fresh and locally sourced ingredients.”
When asked why Manchester has a distinct lack of Michelin starred restaurants, she said it was a ‘difficult’ question to answer.
“Some well known restaurant brands and Chefs have been aspiring to achieve a star in Manchester for many years now without success,” she added.
“Manchester has a unique culture of its own and what is successful elsewhere is not necessarily the case in another city, as we have seen with Manchester.”
She continued: “Clearly this gap in the market will not continue for much longer and the challenge now for Asha’s is to maintain the high levels of quality we have now achieved and – more importantly – look at ways we can improve upon.”
The last Manchester city centre restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star was The French at the Midland Hotel in 1974, with industry observers suggesting that the tourism industry is suffering as a result.
Tourism and restaurant expert Dr Norman Peng, a Reader in Marketing at The University of Salford, has been studying the restaurant business for the past four years and has written several papers on the subject.
Commenting on the Michelin guide, Dr Peng said: “There is the demand there I would have thought, it’s not really clear why a city the size of Manchester wouldn’t have demand for top quality dining.
“There is no doubt that Manchester is missing out on tourist cash because of this. Foodies will travel the country to eat at the best restaurants and at the moment Manchester has nothing to offer them, it is just not on the map when it comes to the best restaurants. And it is something that shouldn’t be too hard to achieve.”