It's one of Manchester's most eagerly awaited restaurant openings and this week Skof by Tom Barnes finally opens in the city centre.

Located in the heart of Manchester city centre's NOMA district, the restaurant has taken over part of the terracotta-tiled Hanover building, built as a curtain house by the Co-operative Wholesale Society, and is now home to Barnes' “unpretentious but ambitious” debut dining experience.

The Roux Scholar from Barrow-in-Furness has spent years preparing for this moment, working with some of the world's best chefs. For over a decade, he honed his skills in Simon Rogan's renowned restaurants, most notably as head chef at Rogan & Co when it received a Michelin star, and as head chef at the prestigious L'Enclume when it took home a third star.

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His culinary journey, however, began much earlier. At 18, he began working at the two-Michelin-starred Vineyard in Stockcross under Head Chef John Campbell. He then gained further experience as part of the brigade in prestigious restaurants such as The Square under Phil Howard and Geranium in Copenhagen under the renowned Rasmus Kofoed.

The Hanover Building in Manchester (Image: Cristian Barnett)

A key aim of the chef's Manchester restaurant, first announced in November, is to break down some of the preconceptions surrounding fine dining by offering guests an element of “surprise and delight”. From the design to the delivery of the menus using locally sourced ingredients, every detail has been carefully considered in this regard.

And as the team at Skof says: “There are no conventions, no dress code – just great food and a great atmosphere in a relaxed and beautiful setting, just like the city we have chosen to call home.”

Designed by London-based studio Blacksheep, Skof's interior is influenced by many things. While the historic building provides the industrial backdrop, the space, bathed in natural light, also references the chef's childhood in Cumbria.

Chef Tom Barnes in his new restaurant Skof in Manchester (Image: Cristian Barnett)

The interior design at Skof references Manchester's industrial heritage and the chef's childhood in the Lake District(Image: Cristian Barnett)

Broth of grilled onions with Jersey Royals cooked in aromatics and pickled garlic, served at Skof in Manchester (Image: Cristian Barnett)

Roast Sladesdown duck with fig leaf, ibis celeriac and a mini loaf of wholemeal bread (Image: Cristian Barnett)

(Image: Cristian Barnett)

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