When I found out about gluten-free Manchester-based restaurant, Tea42, I couldn’t believe I’d not come across this place before. Being a blogger who loves writing about food, finding out about interesting venues and places to eat in the city, plus being wheat intolerant, I’m usually aware of shops and eateries which cater for special diets. So a big thank you to my good friend and fellow blogger, Louise @OriginalRogue, for giving me the heads up on what has become my favourite place to eat in the city centre!
The other night, my friend Sian and I were going to see Dan Croll at The Ruby Lounge and wanted somewhere to go for something to eat beforehand. Also being recommended Tea42, off we went on Wednesday evening to its location just behind the Arndale Centre and down the road from the gig venue (58 High Street).
Delicious food for gluten-free eaters
Before I go on, here’s a bit more about the restaurant and its ethos. What struck me about Tea42 when I checked out the website was how trendy it appeared to be, with a strong focus on us, the people: “We believe that we’ve created a concept that people can completely engage in whilst enjoying some of the finest in light dining while they do.”
What’s fantastic about Tea42 is the fact that it’s just a stylish place to eat while catering for those with an intolerance to gluten without alienating either audience. Whether you have dietary limitations or not, this is the ideal spot for anyone and everyone to enjoy “simply splendid menus that support local produce and manufacturers.”
Whatever time of day it is and whatever the occasion, Tea42 is open throughout the day, from Breakfasts to Light Bites, to All-Day Dining, Cakes & Afternoon Tea and Evening Dining – you can’t miss a chance to go. Not only that, but I love that Tea42 do daily themes on a weekly basis, for instance last week on Tuesday it was Pie Day, while Wednesday was Midweek Treats day and Thursday was 2 For 1 Cocktails – yes, this place isn’t just about delicious food but fantastic cocktails too!
Girly Date Food Heaven
When Sian and I arrived, we were struck by the simply gorgeous interior as our friendly waiter greeted us and lead us to our table. Looking at the extensive menu, I honestly couldn’t get over the fact that I could order pretty much ANYTHING I wanted; everything sounded delicious, from the starters to the salads, mains and platters, not to mention the cake menu…we were spoilt for choice!
We started with the Artisan baker’s selection of breads with oil and balsamic vinegar to share between us. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’d felt envious when others have ordered something as simple as bread as a starter; this was heaven for me. The plate came with just the right amount and variety of breads to fill us up but not too much, all of them tasty, soft in texture and interesting flavours.
Already eyeing up the incredible display of cakes and desserts by the bar, Sian and I both went for a salad as Main so we could leave room to indulge in one of these treats afterwards. My Baby mozzarella, beef tomato with house mixed olives and Galore! red onion marmalade was simple but packed with flavour, the combination worked so well together from the punchiness of the olives and creaminess of the cheese, matching so well with the addition of the marmalade. Sian’s Warm chicken Caesar salad with house mixed olives, herb-coated croutons (yes, gluten-free too!), red onion, baby gem lettuce and Parmesan shavings looked equally delicious and substantial – clean plates proved this!
My favourite part: cake time! Our other delightful, characterful waiter, Jamie, lured us to the fridge of treats and explained each of them in a theatrical manner – this made the choice even harder knowing what each contained. He was kind enough to let us sample the ‘orgasmic’ chocolate brownies – which yes, were certainly divine – but I chose a huge slab of Carrot Cake while Sian chose the colourful Victoria Sponge. When they arrived…my god, I’d died and gone to food heaven. This slice of moist, sweet and flavoursome cake was incredible and gone in minutes – I’d missed tasting something which actually resembled cake! Sian’s was also a winner, a light sweet sponge packed with icing and sweets on top!
I can honestly say, with such a varied and interesting menu, a fabulous interior and friendly, personable service, an evening at Tea42 was one of the best food experiences I’d had. I could come here again and again, bringing with me a group of friends for an evening of food and cocktails, or my mum for afternoon tea, to a date meal with James. So, whether you’re gluten intolerant or not, I’d highly recommend this place whatever time of day and anytime of the week – it will be hard to resist dropping in for cake on a regular occasion!