Having recently moved from the City out to South Manchester, I've been taking the time to explore and one of my new favourites is Levenshulme, which reminds me of a fair few of the trendier London suburbs: a thriving, culturally mixed community build around a train station with a Saturday morning food market. For me the jewel in this crown is Trove Café and Bakery. I've mentioned my love for their bread on many occasions; they’re head and shoulders my favourite ‘proper’ bakery in Manchester with a classic white sourdough that could scrap it out with the best of them.
Trove seems to be one of the few places in Manchester that I genuinely haven’t read a single negative word about. I’d built up a strong expectation of the place being entirely twee from the photos of their kids and cat on Instagram, an occasional mention of acoustic folk nights (*shudder*), the impressively curated range of homewares in their store and the photos of the interior. No insult meant by any of those observations, they just fit very well into a specific style of café that you can be sure most boroughs in London (sorry to mention the L word again) have tucked away somewhere but still seems to be a rarity being done ‘properly’ with taste this flawless in the North.
The menu was small but perfectly formed with brunch and sandwich options which covered all of the typical eggy and hot breakfast bases but with the addition of some genuinely interesting tweaks and flavours. Normally, I am fairly decisive when ordering, but this was a situation whereby I just ambled upto the tills and just chose at the last second being pretty confidant from the descriptions that whatever appeared would be tasty. The place smelt so good that my hunger levels had increased tenfold since we wandered in.
The eggs benedict Mrs HJ ordered came with with crispy bacon and capers served on two well buttered giant slices of their signature white sourdough. I can’t get enough of capers at the best of times (we can’t keep them in the house as it’s a matter of time before one of us tucks into the jar with a spoon) and they worked a treat here adding some acidity to the rich hollandaise. Bacon was just as crispy as I’d hoped and eggs were very well cooked, I could've done with a bit more sauce but the yolks ensured things were never dry.
I went for the crispy black pudding, poached egg, ginger and beetroot chutney on brown sourdough (my choice). Presentation was impressive with the pudding layered onto a spring onion and topped with an egg poached just to my taste, not a hint of sloppy white mess but with a yolk that was fit to burst. The chutney was tangy and warming and worked really well with the fried black pudding.
We also had a flat white and black Americano (not pictured) both excellent and I’d say easily the best coffee we’d have found walking at least 45 minutes in any direction from here and arguably in the entire city.
Despite it being 3pm on a Sunday it was still pretty busy and as everything was just so damn good I can imagine it gets hellish on Saturday mornings or when they have events on. So my only minor quibble would be that due to the location and travel required I’d hate to rock up only for it to be heaving and have to leave disappointed as the alternatives nearby for a similar quality of food and drink are minimal to non-existent. I’ll test the waters again in a few weeks but for that to be the only slight negative I could add (if anything they should receive a massive pat on the back for offering something original down here) is about as petty as it comes and as a result Trove is massively recommended – top 10 in Manchester material for me.