Situated in a beautiful Manchester-gothic building with an ornately tiled interior that somehow reminds you of both an art nouveau Gaudi masterpiece and a Victorian public WC a the some time, Refuge is a dramatic place to eat in Manchester city centre.
On arrival we indulged in a cocktail or two and I was pleased to see that the bartender not only made everything to perfection but also sampled each one once shaken to ensure that the perfect flavour was achieved - either that or he was a raging alchoholic!
The menu is essentially posh tapas. We attended as a party of six and therefore got to taste a good few dishes, all of which were surprisingly excellent. In particular the Tuna Tartare (or Sashimi as it is known in the rest of the world) was superb, but generally speaking I don't think that you can go to wrong.
Do prepare the somewhat ad-hoc delivery of the order though. Apparently this is all part of the character of the place as the food comes as and when it's cooked rather than when you want it. Although being minorly annoying and a generally poor excuse for a lack of planning on behalf of the kitchen, it does drag the meal out so you somehow feel like you're getting better value for money.
In all honesty though, the only reason for four stars instead of five is the price. Eleven bucks for three impossibly small slices of admittedly very nice cheese does take the proverbial urine and possibly a lot more.
So if your feeling flush and don't mind the funding the greedy owners luxury lifestyle then give it a go. You'll have an enjoyable night and at the end of it all you'll sleep well in the knowledge that yet another supercar won't go un-vinyl-wrapped. Enjoy!
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