Another Heart to Feed will serve breakfast, brunch and imported Aussie booze
We live in an age where breakfast - or at least a morning meal - really has become the most important meal of the day. Smashed avocado on toast is the bedrock of Instagram, brunch (the more photogenic the better) is threatening to overtake lunch, while breakfast clubs are creeping up to bite evening supper clubs on their belated backsides - Mimod’s Kitchen recently sold out its Manchester debut faster than you could say ‘baked egg shakshuka.’
But, while it’s hard to remember otherwise, this is a relatively new trend in the UK. Before Nicola Bell and Alex Hill flew out to Australia in 2010, their experience of breakfast back home centred on greasy spoons with all the presentation and nutritional value of a builder’s tea heaped with four sugars. And brunch? Well, that was almost unheard of.
Settling down under, however, they encountered a very different dining style: one where people celebrated breakfast and early lunch in trendy understated cafés and chefs used brekkie to showcase fresh produce in increasingly inventive ways. Oz coffee culture, too, was distant from Blighty’s in more ways than one; bustling with artisan independents and a focus on ethical sourcing. Whilst this is very much the case here now, Manchester’s bean scene seven years ago was dominated by chains.
With Alex’s recruitment firm sponsoring him to stay, he and Nicola ended up living in Melbourne near on half a decade, before homesickness eventually pulled them back just over six months ago - determined to bring some Aussie magic to a table near you. Inspired by the similarities between Manchester and Melbourne - captured in the lively arts scene and sense of community - Another Heart to Feed opened on Salford’s Chapel Street on 5 March.
Even the minimalist interior is inspired by places the affable couple frequented in Victoria’s coastal capital. Planters made by a local joiner line whitewashed walls and light floods in through the large front windows. Flowers from Flourish make for table centrepieces and the open-plan space - divided by a humongous square archway - features natural wood flooring throughout. An up-cycled turntable at the end of the main dining room, meanwhile, hints at future plans for Oz-inspired Sunday vinyl sessions. For the branding, Nicola enlisted the help of some old colleagues at the creative studio she managed in Melbourne.
An up-cycled turntable at the end of the main dining room, meanwhile, hints at future plans for Oz-inspired Sunday vinyl sessions
Food-wise, the aforementioned ‘smashed avo’ on sourdough is - perhaps unsurprisingly - AHTF’s bestseller. Other dishes from the all-day menu, available until 3pm, include a range of bagels (I thoroughly enjoyed my pulled pork with apple juice, maple syrup, chilli jam and slaw), a comprehensive brekkie board and what the founders believe is Manchester’s only acai bowl; loaded with the likes of fruit, seeds, honey and granola. Union coffee joins loose leaf tea, soft drinks and various alcoholic beverages - all imported from Australia - including sparking, red and white wine plus beer and cider.
Yes, it’s licensed…
“We were really impressed by the quality of Australian alcohol,” says Alex. “We’re hoping to make booze a bigger feature next month, opening 5-10pm as more of a bar (closing times currently are 3-4pm). My brother is creating a menu of cocktails too, a lot of them coffee-based.”
“Eventually we also want to add some lunch dishes to the menu,” adds Nicola. “Salmon and quinoa for instance, things that can be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine.”
It’s by no means all Gwyneth Paltrow-esque plates here, however. While there are plenty of healthy options, Another Heart to Feed (or should that be a ‘another builder to feed?) is currently doing a roaring trade in takeout bacon and egg butties for workers on the nearby building site. And the brownies, made by Brownie Owl, are proving popular too. Judging by the vegan choc and cherry I tucked into it, there's little wonder.
Indeed local suppliers are a key feature - bread is from Levenshulme’s Trove bakery, apple juice comes from a Cheshire farm and teas are from boutique brand Bohea. Ethics are also important, from the recycled water glasses to the worm bin out back.
Nicola told me that, while there is clearly an Aussie USP, they ultimately want to offer ‘something for everyone.’ AHTF may have only been open a fortnight but we think it’s well on the way.
Another Heart to Feed - 77-79 Chapel Street, Salford M3 5BZ
Main image credit: Appear Here