Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Teacup and Cakes - Manchester

Sometimes the best things in life are the most simple. No faff, no pretence and therefore no mess ups. This is the philosophy of Teacup and Cakes' new evening menu; now offered on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the hip eatery that usually serves tea, cake and soup during the day.

Teacup and cakes - with thanks to The Local Data Company

There's not much to the menu - pick your meatball; fear not veggies, there's halloumi ones - for the pescaterians there's prawn. Then you pick your carb - there's the usual spaghetti or mash, but there's also some unusual options including haricot beans and wild rice.

So you've got you meat, you've got your carbs. What else? It's just sauce choosing now and then you're done. (Well, you could choose a starter, a side or a pudding if you wanted to...)

Mixing traditional with something a bit new, I ordered the beef meatballs with tomato sauce and the haricot ragu. The meatballs were full of flavour, succulent and a good texture. Teacup are obviously procuring good quality produce here. Same story for the sauce; thick and full bodied, no watery pap in sight.

And the unusual bean ragu? It was alright, needed some seasoning and was a bit dry; but after I mixed the tomato around the beans and coated them, it brought out the pleasing fresh, chalkiness of the beans and the slightly crunchy texture played well against the soft give of the meatballs and the smoothness of the sauce.

The lamb meatballs were lovely and warming; Moroccan flavouring spicing things up with a comforting, yet exciting fragrance. The spaghetti that accompanied was cooked al dente. A simple meal, but the marriage of such good quality ingredients with some conscientious cooking provided a happy and filling experience.

Teacup and Cakes keeps it usual raft of fresh, home baked cakes available into the evening service, so we ended our meal with a very delicious vanilla cheese cake. As we cut in to the smooth filling, a surprise caramel liquid flooded out from a reservoir under the surface of the cake.

Cheesecake with the surprise caramel inside!

Teacup and Cakes has taken a concept, pared it down to it's simplest minimum and in doing so has created a refreshing change to the  dining scene in Manchester. If there'd been one more meatball per serving and the cakes weren't so damn expensive, it would have been as close to perfect as you could get.

Ps - Can't fit a cake in but want something sweet? Teacup and Cake make their own chocolate truffles in the store. The dark chocolate and rosemary or the milk chocolate and anise are well worth the £1 (each!) that they're charging. Good quality chocolate has been expertly mixed with subtle flavours that compliment the cocoa rather than overwhelming. Go on, treat yourself!

Handmade truffles

Pps - Teacup and Cakes has a bring your own policy and no corkage, so make sure you remember your own bottle (there's a couple of corner shops up the road if you do forget - ask the staff and they'll point you in the right direction).

Price for three meatball dishes (mains), one cake and five handmade chocolates: £40.45

Food - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Atmosphere - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10

Total - 29/40

Go again - yes I would. The food and the service were spot on. £11 for meatballs is a little steep, but when they're that well cooked it doesn't really matter.

Tea and Cupcakes, 55 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA - 0161 832 3233 - eat@teaandcupcakes.com - Twitter - Facebook


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