Inspired by Japan’s Jazz Kissaten, the Northern Quarter’s new 33 Oldham Street is a complete hidden gem of the Northern Quarter.
With just a handful of tables, it’s whacking out some of the most amazing dishes this city has to offer – with the first floor “listening room” paying homage to the intimate jazz cafés and vinyl bars found in Tokyo since the ’50s.
What are the vibes?
Walking past this teenchy-tiny cafe-come-bar-restaurant on Oldham Street, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just your average caf situation serving fried bacon sambos for nearby construction workers. Boy, would you be wrong…
The gaff has a few tables crooning out for communal dining – plus some cute booths boasting that exposed brick so signature of the Northern Quarter, and a few cosy table by the wall for two as well.
With the original, long-hidden arch window overlooking Oldham Street restored to its former glory, the second floor is home to a comfortable, stylish creative space and lounge, and the fourth floor – coming 2019 – will be the largest roof terrace in the Northern Quarter, and a sun trap all year round.
We cannot wait.
You won’t find any fancy frills or fake fuss here, but that doesn’t mean the menu isn’t something really special.
What’s on offer?
Throw some seriously tangy South Italian flavours into a pot with British flavours with a twist, add in a creative mix of hand-selected, locally-sourced ingredients, and you have the bare bones of the innovative menu at 33 Oldham.
They offer fresh breakfast, brunch, lunch and a small plates menu which includes a wide veggie offering (try the truffle fries if you know what’s good for you – seriously they are good.)
This is the sort of place where you ask the person you’re eating with if ‘we should just get one of everything?’, and lads if you’re hungry enough then please do, because each dish is an absolute delight.
We went for the beef and n’duja meatballs which were completely melt-in-your-mouth, alongside the crispy pork belly with apple and sorrel gel which gave it a real zesty, fresh finish – and the truffle fries and ham hock croquettes to accompany. Of the latter all I can say is, it is served with a homemade picalilli and long after all the crumbs have been gobbled up you’ll be using your finger to scrape any last swirls.
The croquettes were perfectly crispy and the quality of the meat was stand-out – with its accompaniment it tastes fresh and feckin’ fantastic.
Expect an innovative cocktail menu here – with options ranging from the Jaffa Cake Martini (Grey Goose, Dark Matter Orange, orange and chocolate bitters, egg white and espresso) to the El Diablo (a simple yet potent mix of Cachaca, Chambord, lime and ginger ale) but if you head in this winter what I would recommend is one of the hot G&Ts – oh-so-warming and they feel vaguely healthy too.
33 Oldham Street is the kind of place I wish I lived right beside, so I could go in every day and just be fed blindly whatever they feel like cooking that day – I’d happily eat in pure faith that it was gonna be yum whatever is coming out of that creative kitchen.