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We are Ning - The Concept

We Are Ning

Our Concept & Ethos

Ning restaurant, cookery school and catering service has been established in Manchester’s bustling Northern Quarter since 2006.

Led by Europe's leading Malaysian chef Norman Musa, we are passionate about Malaysian food and have been instrumental in setting a new culinary agenda.

In 2012, we were awarded Best Malaysian Restaurant at the Asian Curry Awards.

Style and simplicity, quality and value, individuality and hospitality - these are the values that stand Ning out from the crowd.

Set within a simple but chic venue and served by friendly waiting staff, Ning's design concept was originally inspired by the trendy noodle bars of Asian cities, with the relaxed and sociable ambience of continental European cafés.

Our aim has always been to be authentic and stylish without pretension. We remain independent and have ambitions to expand in 2012.

In 2009 we were shortlisted for Manchester's Restaurant of the Year award, and have received numerous reviews and testimonials.

Since then we have expanded our events, catering and cookery school capabilities, and in 2012 opened our second branch in the city of York.

We also act in a consultancy role for other newly forming Malaysian restaurants.

Ning is a strong supporter and agent of the global Malaysia Kitchen campaign by MATRADE, and are members of Marketing Manchester, Malaysian Restaurants Association (UK) and the Federation of Small Businesses.

We are a no-smoking, welcoming and inclusive venue. Although licensed to serve alcohol, all our food is Halal.

Our Brand Identity

The Ning logo device incorporates Malaysia's national flower, Hibiscus, giving a classy, feminine touch. This contrasts with the more rustic, masculine sound of traditional Gamelan music, with which the note 'ning' is associated.

Our logo is a registered trademark of Ning Ltd.

The Proprietors

Ning Ltd is owned and run by Anglo-Malaysian business partners Norman Musa & Andy Spracklen.

Norman Musa (left) is our Executive Chef and creator of Ning. He is an experienced, self-taught cook, bringing innovative ideas and contemporary style to his native Malaysian food and fusing the best of Western quality and presentation style with authentic, home-cooked cuisine. Norman was shortlisted for Chef of the Year at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards 2009 and was official race chef to the Lotus Racing F1 team in 2010.

In 2012, he was awarded Asian & Oriental Young Chef of the Year at the Asian Curry Awards and joined the Hospitality Guild's Young Hall of Fame.

In 2011 he toured the UK & Ireland, hosted TV cooking show Ala Carte on Malaysia's NTV7 and also featured on MasterChef Malaysia. He has published his own book and has recently secured a contract with a major Malay book publisher.

His increasing profile back home in Malaysia and here in the UK, has already established his status as the UK's - arguably Europe's - leading Malaysian chef. For more information on him click here.

2012 has been his biggest year yet, featuring at over 23 food festivals and shows including Abergavenny, Ludlow and BBC Good Food Show.

Co-owner Andy Spracklen (right) is Managing Director, taking responsibility for the marketing & PR, business development, management and operational oversight of Ning. He also acts as Chef Norman's manager and agent. His background is however as a town planner and urbanist.

As such he is passionate about the role of food culture in shaping attractive places, and is available as a consultant and strategist.

He is an excellent public speaker, and is available to speak at conferences, seminars and other events on subjects such as food culture, urbanism and town centre regeneration.

Our Approach to Sustainability

At Ning, we take an holistic approach to sustainability - socially, economically, as well as environmentally.

We treat our staff well, rewarding them all with social events and a fair share of tips; and we have good relations with our suppliers. Our in-house buyer is responsible for buying locally wherever possible, supporting local businesses and jobs.

We minimise waste through careful management, and recycle all cooking oil, glass, card, paper and aluminium. We have introduced energy and water saving measures, and we support charities through in-kind and financial donations on a regular basis. Chef Norman is also an ambassador for the Action Against Hunger 'Love Food Give Food' campaign.

We continuously aim to do better.