Yatra Lounge (2006)
Location, they say, is everything. And the site which is now the Yatra Lounge, has a pretty chequered business history. Most recently, it was the Colour Bar, a strange place with a concept that never really took off. Before that, the similarly short-lived Rat and Parrot. Now it's become the Yatra Lounge -- and after about 18 months or so in business the signs are that it is really succeeding as a stylish place to eat and drink.
The word 'Yatra' means apparently a 'sacred or spiritual journey,' however most of the punters here are up for something a little more hedonistic. The mood is pretty young and stylish and in truth the food is somewhat secondary to the ambience, which is exotic in a hippy, Eastern kind of way with red ambient lighting, luxurious soft furnishings, lots of dark wood detail and bronze Buddhist statues. All this attention to décor has helped the place to a recent nomination in the Venue Design Awards. And whilst most of the luxury is reserved for Yatra's VIP lounge (an absolutely brilliant place for a private party), the whole bar has a colonial feel and lots of money has clearly been spent.
The food that Yatra serves up is a somewhat eclectic mix but roughly speaking it's pan-Asian with other varied overtones. Snack platters are served all day, serving up moreish mixtures of spiced potato alongside staples like sweet tikka chicken and fried goats cheese. Spring rolls with chilli sauce and seekh kebabs with coriander chutney also feature largely. For mains, the teriyaki salmon steak and Thai prawn green curry are typical signature dishes but there is also the option of plainer fare like steaks and omelette and chips.
Businesspeople are particularly well catered for here with an express lunch on offer as well as wireless broadband connections. A snack menu is available too all day. There is also an excellent range of decent cocktails and wines, at affordable prices, all served by very attentive and professional staff. Open until 11pm weekdays, Yatra Lounge stays open until 2am from Thursday to Saturday with award-winning DJs setting the vogueish mood. The VIP lounge, complete with velvet curtains and comfy sofas, accommodates about 40 people and can be hired out for special occasions. In-house membership cards are available and they entitle the holders to discounts on food and drink. Yatra is in a part of town which has very badly needed a decent place to chill and its formula of fashionable food and ambience would seem to be exactly what the young urban professionals these days want.
2 Old Bank Street
Tel: 0161 831 9991
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