Trof, 8 Thomas Streeet, Manchester M4 1EU
Opening hours: Sunday – Wednesday 10am-12pm, Thursday 10am-1am Friday – Saturday 10am-3am
Visit their website here.
Trof is one of the definitive venues in Manchester’s iconic Northern Quarter. Unlike many bars which are either straight-up boozers or gastro pubs, this is a place you can go for a few drinks, a delicious meal, a music night or all three put together.
The bar itself is stylish yet comfortable. It spreads itself over three floors and the décor lets you know you are not in any old local; you are in a smart and fashionable place where you can expect decent music, social surroundings and very few people who you wish weren’t there… or at least fewer than usual if you’re a miserable git (like us!).
The bar is dominated by the varied drinks on offer. As fans of weird and wonderful beers we can firmly say Trof provide a good range. While there are a few other establishments in Manchester that can certainly boast more (a minority), Trof have a strong range you’re unlikely to see replicated in too many places outside of the Northern Quarter. We rarely see Alhambra in Manchester so were delighted to be able to order it. Other fine drops to sample include: Goose Island IPA, Addlestones Cider, Paulaner, Hefe Weissbeer and many more.
To boot, the beers were served in ice cold glasses which was a nice touch – especially when it’s all too common to get them warm, straight out the dishwasher elsewhere.
If kooky beers aren’t your thing then never fear, there is plenty of the regular good stuff to keep you busy.
They also have a very respectable wine menu as well as every spirit under the sun (including some fine rums) so if you are popping in for a quick jar after work, or bedding in for the long haul on the weekend, you will be spoilt for choice in Trof.
The prices might be a little steep, as £4 or more is a lot to pay for a beer (unless you live in London’s West Kensington) but we suppose that is the price you pay for a decent bottle in amicable surroundings now.
We were expecting a decent bar meal from Trof but got restaurant quality. And surprisingly, it is in this department that your wallet will most likely be thanking you; you can pay a lot for this kind of quality food in Manchester.
First off, we took the easy route and went for the house burger. It was beautifully cooked (we love our beef on the rare side but we are sure they will char it for you if you like it that way!) and a decent portion size too. The chips were crisp and chunky and didn’t make us yearn for the gym as soon as we had scoffed them either!
The rest of the menu is, as you would expect, varied and high quality. We also tried the slightly more exotic Rendang Chicken (curry). We hope you like your food hot if you are ordering this one. It was indeed fiery, with slices of fresh chilli adding colour throughout the dish, but it had the flavour to match. A real treat, and highly recommended for those who enjoy eastern cuisine.
Elsewhere on the menu was the slightly more mainstream roast lamb, not to mention a tasty specials board plus starters and desserts aplenty.
The nice thing about the food, apart from it being very tasty, is that it is served in the relaxed manner that is Trof’s trademark. The service was friendly and competent and you are not in a stuffy restaurant where people are listening to other people’s conversations.
Breakfast is served from 10am-4pm too so if you are feeling a little worse for wear after a night out in the Northern Quarter then there are few better places to go and eat, drink, switch the engines off and get the body back to neutral – if you’re not too tempted by their beers again, that is.
If you are looking to go somewhere a little bit different and you don’t mind spending a bit of cash (for the drinks, rather than the food) then Trof is a great place to start.
You can take your girlfriend there for a pleasant dinner, you can hear decent DJs or open mic nights when drinking with mates in the evening or you can go chill and read a paper there on your tod all day long. All in all, we were very impressed.