Michael O’Hare cooks up bold, interesting and artfully plated dishes in a sleekly modern restaurant
The self-styled enfant terrible of the Northern restaurant scene continues to impress with his striking plates of high impact food. Served in a succession of tiny bites, Michael O’Hare’s 14-course, £100 tasting menu is arty and provocative, taking some of its cues from Spanish techno-emotional cuisine and including a notable amount of Asian influence.
A dash of artistic pretension comes as something of a hallmark for the North Yorkshire-born chef, who made his name on Great British Menu cooking dishes including ‘Emancipation’, a monotone dish of squid ink-dyed fish and potatoes served on a canvas inspired by fish and chips and the industrial landscape of his home town of Redcar.
Dishes on the current menu – which is served in ’sequences’ rather than courses – include ajo blanco with frozen tomato, txangurro (a Basque crab dish) with fried quail’s egg and ‘Pierre Gothmann’, a rather esoteric tribute to the great French chef’s pig’s trotter dish.
O’Hare burst onto the Leeds restaurant scene in 2014 with a huge graffiti’d space on the top floor of luxury department store Flannel’s (the restaurant has since moved to more upmarket digs down the road). It hasn’t been plain sailing for the chef of late – he is no longer involved with his Manchester outpost The Rabbit in the Moon – but The Man Behind the Curtain remains one of the country’s most singular and exciting restaurant experiences.