Black Milk, in Affleck’s Palace, was championed as Manchester’s own cereal cafe when it opened in March 2015.
The reality is a deliciously extravagant milk-based eatery which is best reserved for a ‘cheat-day’ treat rather than a regular meal.
The indulgent menu includes a chocolate fountain, ice-cream, milk shakes, and, of course, cereal.
Rather than simply stocking a selection of cereals, Black Milk offers cereal cocktails with toppings, sauces, and different milks; you can even have an Edible Chocolate Bowl.
Oliver Taylor, the brains behind the Milk, explained that he was trying to come up with something special for Easter when he hit on the idea of using half an Easter Egg as a bowl.
He then began working with chocolatiers to develop a chocolate bowl, and he now has plans to put milkshakes in chocolate cups.
The cereals combinations themselves range from the definitely bad for you to the plausibly healthy, if you don’t look too hard.
‘A Banana ate my Lion’, for example, combines cereals based on Toffee Crisp and Lion Bars with Nesquick, along with marshmallows, and bananas – all in the edible chocolate bowl.
The whole thing arrives on a rather fetching black slate plate with a small bottle of banana milk, meaning there is no soggy cereal goop to contend with.
Black Milk’s other signature creation is their High Rise Shakes, including the sumptuous Triple Oreo Cheesecake Stack.
This consists of a tall glass filled with Oreo, Milk Way and chocolate milk with a base of vanilla butter and crushed Oreos.
The whole thing is then topped with a slice of Oreo cheesecake, Hershey’s chocolate sauce, and vanilla cream.
It was thick and creamy with a vanilla finish on the palate, and yet not sickly; something which was very impressive considering the ingredients.
For anyone tempted by this heaping pile of messy, delicious goodness; a glass of water is a necessity.
‘Indulgent’ does not cover this calorific display, and you can see why body-builders, and apparently even the England Women’s Football Team, come here for ‘cheat-day’.
“We’ve had a lot of athletes, they come in because it’s a cheat-day and they’ve eaten clean for a whole week,” said Oliver.
“We have a lot of bikini models who compete when they’re ripped to shreds, and they go six months without pretty much any carbs and minuscule sugar, they come in here and let loose”.
With so much sugar on offer, you may find yourself spending the next week having a few more salads, and Oliver admits the key is moderation.
He told TNT: “I’m very health conscious myself, but I do also have a sweet-tooth as well.
“I pretty much stay away from sugar and so forth throughout the week, then one day I’ll have a cheat day and I’ll just over-indulge on that day but then cut-back at other times.
“It’s all about management of calories”.
Despite being known as a cereal based venture, this is undoubtedly a haven for dessert lovers seeking dairy-based concoctions, rather than breakfast aficionados.
Oliver added: “Although we launched as a cereal cafe, because that’s the sort of thing the media was picking up on, in essence it’s all about milk.
“Everything is a derivative of milk, that’s why it’s all cakes, shakes, and cereals are [sic] obviously very close to milk.”
Starting off small with just six tables in Affleck’s Palace, Black Milk has expanded since launching 15 months ago to take up a much larger site in the building.
A relaxed, hipster vibe permeates the cafe, even with the busy clientele of young families on a weekday morning chatting away.
De La Soul plays on the stereo, serenading your sugar-infused ears, and the walls are lined with cereal boxes, including a box of the commemorative Kellogg’s Queen Flakes.
Local artists hang their wares on the walls, including pictures made by one of the cafe’s employees, known as Omni in the art-world.
The quality and variety on offer is a testament to Black Milk’s success, but you may need to plan ahead to deal with the calorie intake.
Maybe join a gym or go for a run.
TNT Food & Drink Lewis Chapman-Barker