It’s not often that I post a negative review on my blog, mainly because I only want to recommend places that I actually love and would encourage my readers to go to, but I thought that I would do an honest review of a disappointing brunch I had in the city centre as it’s one of the hotspots to visit.
Evelyn’s Cafe Bar is one of those places that is the ultimate Instagram-worthy brunch spots in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and is a popular choice for bloggers, like myself, all hoping to get that perfect avo-shot, whilst enjoying some delicious food at the same time, but unfortunately, on my last visit, I was a little let down.
I’ve visited Evelyn’s once before for a birthday meal a couple of years ago, but at the time, the brunch menu finished at 12pm (now it is served until 5pm – they have a separate breakfast menu, which is served until 12pm) so I only sampled from the lunch menu which I thought was very nice and inventive – I went for the ramen noodles, which were very flavoursome, so as you can imagine, I had high hopes for brunch.
I’ve followed Evelyn’s on Instagram for a while, so I had higher expectations for the food and the overall experience, and as a follower of many other food bloggers in the city, who had also visited recently, I was really looking forward to it.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with neon lights, white-washed walls, filament bulbs dangling from hanging ivy baskets, and wooden tables (perfect for getting those flat lays) as well as an open kitchen and bar area. The place screams ‘Northern Quarter’ as soon as you open the door, and it’s easy to see why it’s a hit with bloggers.
I was with some friends for brunch so we had a read over the menu, whilst catching up with each other and ordering drinks. I went for my standard English breakfast tea, but some of the other girls had matcha lattes, herbal teas and smoothies, which all looked intriguing: I would definitely go for a smoothie next time.
When they came to take our order, I was between the pancakes with blueberries and honeycomb butter or my standard avocado on toast with poached eggs and tomatoes on sourdough but I went with the latter thinking it would be a big portion and would fill me up for the day.
As a food blogger though, I really expect a good meal when I’m paying around the £8-10 mark for the dish, but I felt as though they took a while to take our order, and food took just under an hour to come: I know we were in a group of 10, but that felt a bit ridiculous. The food looked great when it came, but that’s as far as it went.
When it came, my sourdough was so hard I actually managed to cut it and most of it went on the table because of the force I had to use. Now, I’m all about using lime on avo-on-toast but it was totally overpowering and actually quite bitter to eat. There was also only one piece of toast, which I wasn’t expecting for the price, and the poached eggs were overdone and not runny at all.
I felt as though the whole ambience of the restaurant was lovely, but it really stopped there. It’s hard to say whether the food was a bit of a let down because the restaurant was full to the brim, and getting 10 different dishes ready at the same time can’t be the easiest job in the world, but I also highly doubt that we’re the first larger group to have a brunch there.
If you’ve heard of this brunch spot for a while and still want to visit, I would suggest going on a weekday if possible as it gets pretty busy at the weekend, or a little bit later on and having something from the lunch menu instead. Hopefully, it was just an off day for the restaurant, and I’m always up for giving a place another go in the future so I’ll keep you posted if I do.
Have you been to Evelyn’s before – what did you think?