One of my favourite things about living in Manchester is having access to top level bars and restaurants. In recent years, the city has seen a rise in Japanese venues, adding some great variety to an already thriving food scene. If you’re ever in Manchester and find yourself craving Japanese cuisine, I’d recommend stopping off at a Cocktail Beer Ramen + Bun. This late-night ramen joint has it all: great food, great atmosphere, great staying power.
Ramen and buns for days
Located in Manchester’s bustling Northern Quarter, CBRB serves a variety of phenomenal ramen broths, small plates and buns. I went by recently and tucked into the classic Tonkotsu broth, a wholesome dish that soaked up the hangover pounding in the back of my head. A mixture of charsu pork belly, mayu sesame oil, spring opinions and egg, the Tonkotsu was a meal to be savoured. From the sweetness of the seeds, to the meatiness of the broth, every flavour crackled. The only disappointment was that I couldn’t eat more of it!
The crab Tonkotsu will appeal to visitors who are looking to try something different. Softshell crab, bonito oil and coriander combine for a spicy sensation. There’s plenty of broth going around for vegetarians as well with the tantanmen and green ramen options. The tantanmen is a healthy mixture of shiitake mushrooms, aubergines and bok choy, while the green dish lives up to its name with hispi cabbage, tender stem broccoli and wakame.
CBRB’s bun selection is made up of tasty morsels like Korean steak and kimchi, karaage chicken and cucumber and crispy artichoke and coriander. Pair them with small plates like edamame beans or pork and ginger gyoza dumplings.
As the name so rightly suggests, CBRB is more than just a ramen spot. The cocktail menu is split between low ABV cocktails designed to bring some added flavour to your meal and several boozy options that will satisfy the night crowd. For example, the #8 blends English Smokey malt whisky, apple honey, nocino cordial and dark bitters into a delightful concoction.
Beer lovers aren’t left out either. CBRB provides a shifting range of craft ales that can be enjoyed for their varying flavours.
Whether you want a daylight fix of ramen or an evening of Japanese small plates, CBRB caters to all tastes. The restaurant lives up to its late-night reputation with doors closing at 2AM. Eating at the restaurant has increased my appreciation for Japanese food and I guarantee it will do the same for you.
Location: 101–103 Oldham Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1LW
Opening hours: 12PM — 2 AM