Moose Coffee: 20 York Street, Manchester, M2 3BB:
This cosy, neutral-coloured diner is a perfect relaxed setting for a weekday brunch or coffee. Situated near Piccadilly Gardens, the exterior is quiet and clean, without the price tags of the Northern Quarter or the many competitors of other areas in the City Centre.The décor makes it almost train carriage-like with wall-mounted wire shelves and steel wall lamps. Dark strips of polished wood finish it off and you’ve got to love the chandelier of antlers and the picture of knights in shining armour with, oh wait, moose heads instead of human ones. The American influences shine through in the diner-style seating but the cream and dark colour scheme ensures nothing is too overbearing.
The menu is American-Canadian inspired with a vast array of breakfasts with potato hash waffles, eggs in every variety, bacon smothered in maple syrup and stacks of fluffy American pancakes. Some of the pairings sound a little strange, like the burger in a sugared doughnut, but Moose assures us they work.
The staff were friendly and quick to serve, though there were a couple of memory mistakes which sometimes made our breakfast a little pained and service took longer than it could have done. A bounty shake hadn’t been mixed properly, leaving the chocolatey coconut mix to be slurped out at the bottom of the glass once you’d washed down the thinner, milkier mixture at the top. The mocha was average but the cream topped it off.
A bowl of homemade granola was overpoweringly sweet, not helped by the side portion of honey. However, the texture was crunchy, the oats well-cooked and the inclusion of different nuts gave it a good diversity. The fact that the waitress served hot milk when it said it came with ‘fresh cold milk’ was another little blip in our dining experience. Presentation was also good in thick lipped bowls with little ramekins for the natural yogurt and honey.
The Vegi Mighty Moose was a whopping potato hash that took up half the plate, served with 2 poached eggs over a griddled tomato and 2 slices of thick brown bread. Flavours of Dijon mustard and garlic pushed through the potato, adding a nice kick, and the egg yolks came oozing out over the white fluffy mountains when pricked with a fork. A well-cooked breakfast but there was nothing to blow us away.
Overall, Moose can offer some wonderfully different dishes, especially for brunch or if you enjoy sweet-savoury mixes, as well as a large range of milkshakes and sandwiches. However, the style is in the chunky portion sizes and American décor so a great place for a bit of fun when you’re very hungry!