Sunday, 9 February 2014

SoLita - Manchester

I'm a big fan of both breakfast and Solita so when I spotted a few blogs posting enthusiastically about their new breakfast offerings I headed down as soon as possible. I know that when Solita typically launch a new menu they often do blogger tastings which unsurprisingly lead to extreme positivity and zero criticism but given i've never had a bad experience food wise at Solita I was really looking forward to checking their offering out.

One thing I need to get off my chest that always annoy me about Solita is the bar - I always seem to end up facing it and as they get busy and start struggling for space and it typically ends up crammed with dirty glasses, it really lowers the whole tone. I was slightly surprised to see that the front of the bar was tidy but the back of the bar was just lined with cartons of cheap orange juice that they were serving up as breakfast drinks, it seemed extremely cheap to have the cartons out in the open like this - it wouldn't have taken much  thought to tuck them away out of sight.

I started with a black Americano and the coffee was clearly passed it's best, leaving a mild soil taste with no kick to the espresso. Good coffee is key for breakfast and this set a bad tone for the rest of the meal.

I decided to try a few food options and started with the Steak Eggs Benedict. Slicing through the eggs and steak was impressive, the steak was perfectly pink and the yolks exploded everywhere. Unfortunately the hollandaise tasted of barely anything, the capers were a nice touch and did provide a much needed hit of vinegar but there just weren't enough to compensate for such bland sauce.

Pancakes were also hit and miss. The bacon was a real treat and extremely crisp, syrup had been pre-poured and had mixed with the salty bacon nicely. The pancakes themselves were dry (as they often are) and this is usually mitigated by lathering them in syrup and melted butter - the problem was there just wasn't enough syrup meaning half a dry pancake was left stranded.

For £8 I was expecting the bagel to be heaving with salt beef and pickles. For a restaurant that is usually very generous with portions it was verging on a piss take to charge so much for this - the bagel itself was fine but the salt beef dry from sitting too long. The mustard was on the menu as ball park, i'm not entirely clear whether this is a brand or whether it was meant to be a sales point but it was just totally plain. As far as you could get taste wise from the stuffed salt beef bagels you get on Brick Lane lathered in Colemans mustard for a couple of quid.

So overall a very negative experience - coffee was bad, the eggs very bland, the bagel very overpriced and pancakes decent but needed more care. Having been to SoLita several times before, including New Years Eve, and always leaving both full and very satisfied i'm unsure as to how they got it so wrong. Hopefully it's just a case of them finding their feet with breakfast and things will improve to the level of the main menu over time.

Solita is generally recommended but be warned for potential disappointment with brunch.

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1 comment:

  1. Cracking review. Many bloggers have praised the brunch menu, I wonder if your experience would have been different had they known you were reviewing their food. All bloggers say they're not influenced by a free meal. For what it's worth, I believe them. However, I do think restaurateurs are influenced by bloggers and therefore make an extra effort with their cooking, and service, when bloggers are around. I hope you stay anonymous, it will make for some very interesting reading . Good luck