I absolutely love eating brunch in a restaurant; not only does it feel like a real treat, it also sets my day up ready for all manner of activities and events – of which the August Bank Holiday was jam-packed full of.
Ready to put a spring in my step, I took a trip to The Counter House on Cutting Room Square in Ancoats, a friendly, neighbourhood bar and restaurant that specialises in offering something for everyone – whether you’re in the mood for something naughty, have some specific dietary needs or are on a bit of a health kick – you won’t struggle with them.
This concept extends to their Saturday Brunch menu too, a selection of plates, bowls and sweets that are inspired by a wide-range of places around the world, with a few well-known classics thrown in there too.
Available from 9am – 5pm, the Brunch Menu gives you the chance to perhaps tuck into some breakfast dishes, chow down on a burger or devour a chocolate brownie alongside a Bloody Mary or a Superfoods Smoothie.
Variety really is the spice of life here and it must be said – I sat looking at the menu for a very long time indeed.
Luckily I was with a few people, and once we were seated and served our cocktails we ordered a selection from the menu.
Of course, one of the boys ordered the Counter Full (£9.50), a classic Full English that ticked all the boxes and more. It comes loaded with two thick, juicy sausages, free range eggs, beans, bacon, fried mushrooms and a homemade hash brown which was outstanding.
A Full English is usually the benchmark dish for anywhere serving up breakfast (or brunch) and it’s clear to see that The Counter House have set that benchmark high indeed with this beauty.
Alongside the meat version, one of the party also ordered the Vegan Full (£9), The Counter House’s take on a vegan version of the Full English and certainly a big talking point on the table.
The dish included two vegan sausages, scrambled tofu (which was flavoured with turmeric to give a golden colour and welcome spicy kick), the aforementioned hash brown, beans, mushrooms and a grilled tomato.
It’s finally finished off with some rather fantastic Aubergine Bacon; wafer-thin slices that are then seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin before being fried. They were crispy, tasty and actually worked as a really good alternative to bacon. Well done all!
Another vegan friend went for the Scrambled Tofu on Sourdough (£8.50); a thick slab of bread loaded with smashed avocado, some juicy fried shiitake mushrooms and their brilliant scrambled turmeric tofu in place of the eggs.
Although not as substantial as the Full English options, this was perfect as a lighter bite – meaning you’re not going to be too full too early in the day.
The same could be said for the Acai Bowl (£7.50) a ‘superfoods’ extravaganza that will provide you with all the vitamins, minerals, energy and everything else you need to get the day off to a good start.
Hailing from Brazil, the acai berry is blended with ice and almond milk – creating something not unlike an ice cream, and not unlike a smoothie. It was topped with banana, toasted coconut, maple pecans, goji berries and chia seeds and was delightful.
Finally, the whole experience was finished off with another classic breakfast offering – the Breakfast Burrito (£8). A lightly charred flour tortilla absolutely stuffed with avocado, scrambled egg, cheese and black beans, served with a bowl of freshly made salsa on the side (mainly for dipping).
Not only were we impressed with the structural integrity of the burrito itself (nothing fell out), but it was excellent – especially when paired with the salsa which I wouldn’t stop stealing off my friend’s plate at every opportunity.
Finishing up our food and (third) cocktails, The Counter House was starting to get busy, and with the sun shining outside there were even more people out on the terrace. It seems popular – which isn’t much of a surprise after eating the food.
Get yourself booked in ASAP and experience it all for yourself.
Saturday Brunch at The Counter House
The Counter House, 35 Blossom Street, Manchester, M4 6AJ