THIS is no storm in a teacup. Teacup on Thomas Street really has just raised the café game.
From humble tea and cake beginnings, the Northern Quarter favourite now has an evening menu called ‘Supper and a Cuppa.’ Following a major expansion and refit with a new kitchen and increased dining area they’ve been able to increase covers from 72 to 114. And it's lovely.
Fluffy clouds of fish and chunky chips topped off with Willy Wonka-esque salt and vinegar. The spray on liquid is actually the salt and the granules are the vinegar. Just don't ask me how.
Available Wednesday to Saturday from 6.30pm-10pm, the new menu features a selection of hearty mains and tempting puddings, plus a few unexpected surprises too. Well, they were surprises until now.
Starters are on the house
Instead of the usual bread and olives, Teacup greets you with complimentary mini jacket potatoes in a bag with a dunking sauce and a selection of raw veg with crackers. Our spuds came with a cod roe dip. Just be careful not to get carried away before you’ve reached the main event, as we did.
You’ll also get a ‘good morning’ loaf to take home and have for breakfast the following day. Another little creative touch and generous gesture, they actually bake the bread themselves.
On to the main courses, and it’ll cost you £10 for meaty options, £8 for veggie and £6 for desserts. Guests also have the option of receiving a daily text message or following the Twitter feed to find out the days’ options and book a table by text message.
Favourites of Confidential, include the cubed meat balls which, combined with the creamiest of mash, will turn to molten goodness on your tongue. Other dishes, such as the spaghetti western on toast with fennel jam, sound so wrong but taste so right, plus a small but excellent wine list from Hanging Ditch completes the evening service. And let's not forget the fish fingers and chips. Top quality, fluffy clouds of fish and chunky chips topped off with Willy Wonka-esque salt and vinegar. The spray on liquid is actually the salt and the granules are the vinegar. Just don't ask me how.
Salt and vinegar, but not as you know it
So where’s all this come from? After all, it’s a far cry from tea and cake – as much as we love those. Well, the kitchen is being headed up by Chef John Farrar whose credentials include working under legendary French Chef Pierre Koffman in London and Jeff Baker - Leeds’ first ever Michelin starred chef. John wanted a cool and creative challenge and met his match when he joined forces with DJ Mr Scruff and Gary McClarnan of Sparklestreet.
Gary said: “It’s a music promoter’s approach to food. We intend to deliver great food, not fine dining, that’s local and priced at a good rate.”
And with that, John combines his classic influences with Teacup’s homely qualities to create a comforting mains menu featuring popular dishes - the emphasis here is on attention to detail and the best ingredients.
Here’s a list of what to expect:
(Also top image) Cubed Meat Balls: Koftas with corners, mash greens and gravy
Rarebit Chutney Toast: Mature cheddar cheese toastie with sweet dark pickle
Spaghetti Western on Toast: A'Brizonni pasta, chunky toast and fennel jam (v)
Fish Finger Feast: Fish fingers, chips and tartar cream
Eggs Brigadier: Dippies with asparagus and crispy soldiers (v)
Shepherd's Pie: Yummy rich lamb, carrot mash, crunchy topper
Himalayan Meaty Momo: Filled with beef stew and umami vinaigrette
Himalayan Veggie Momo: Sesame, wakame soy and lime (v)
Eggplant Fooyung: Baba ghanoush sticky rice omelette (v)
Cheeseboard Kingdom: Best of British cheeses, crackers, biscuits and chutneys
Teaberger Treat: Crispy toffee coated earl grey ice cream (v)
Deconstructed Manchester Tart
Messy Pleasure: Raspberry dessert, Eton style (v)
Valrhona Rich Chocolate Cake: A Madagascan marvel (v)
For reservations contact Teacup on 0161 850 0833 or text 24TEA to 88802
Teacup On Thomas St, 53 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
Follow Teacup on Twitter @teacupandcakes