A ‘Coffee Evolution’ is what Pot Kettle Black (PKB) – a stylish addition to Deansgate’s Barton Arcade – promises its customers, and this is precisely what it delivers. Valuing the quality of the individual beans over the quantity, the cafe imports its coffee from a different country each season.
Having opened in October 2014, Pot Kettle Black stands opposite a suave, vintage-inspired barbers shop and a glamorous clothing boutique. With its polished wooden decor, white ceramic tiles and blackboards with the daily specials chalked upon them in curly white lettering, the cafe is perfectly in keeping with the Barton Arcade’s sleek monochrome interior.
A seating area just beyond the confines of its walls grants the illusion of outside dining, especially with the sunlight spilling in from the arcade’s glass ceiling. This allows for all the pleasantries of outdoor eating without the threat of Manchester’s volatile weather.
Drinks are served on little silver trays with a chocolate wafer and refreshing glass of water to accompany the little red cups in which our beverages were presented. TNT ordered a pot of Rooibus green tea infused with pear and vanilla, where the flavours melded together beautifully. A sweet banana, oat, honey and cinnamon smoothie had a lovely thick consistency and was granted texture by the oats.
TNT sampled a feta wrap that consisted of creamy feta cheese mingled with carrot and mixed leaves and served alongside a red teacup of spicy red pepper hummus and another of cucumber and carrot sticks. The dish was simple but the combination of ingredients worked well to produce a tasty meal.
A soft bagel filled with goat’s cheese, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, mixed leaves and a sticky balsamic glaze was an explosion of flavour. However, the bread-to-filling ratio was perhaps a little skewed, as the amount of bread slightly detracted from the deliciousness it contained.
We then tasted a generous slice of ‘death by chocolate’ cake, the richness of which was neutralised by the little red pot of whipped cream that it was served with. With this, our waiter brought out their most ambitious dessert: a white chocolate caramel nut. This comprised a thick layer of caramel atop peanuts and a white chocolate base. More peanuts and swirled white and milk chocolate on top made for lovely decorative touches.
The simple, tasty food provides a pleasant compliment to the real star of the show: the coffee. PKB’s baristas are ever-ready to give you a detailed explanation of the process from plantation to cup, or of the extensive menu that comprises cappuccinos, macchiatos and many other such coffee concoctions. Constantly revitalising their menu with new coffee blends, PKB aims to keep hold of its regulars while attracting new customers and coffee-lovers alike.
TNT Food Sophie Wiener