I normally get to hear about places these days before they open, but suddenly everybody was talking about Superstore
in the Northern Quarter
and it was already up and running. We went the other day for lunch but as it was that strange time in between Christmas and New year, their full menu wasn't available, which I think is fair enough as many places weren't even open at all.
I had in mind one of those New York shop/delis when I heard about what this place was (bar, restaurant and grocery combined), but downstairs looked more local corner shop than the cool NY delicatessen I'd envisioned. Although it did look well stocked, and I guess it's more practical if you live in the area. Upstairs they have the typical NQ look, industrial, exposed brickwork etc. I like it though and it was a pleasant place to sit and read the papers and mess with my phone (mandatory if sat alone) whilst waiting for Mrs B to do her shopping.
I love the idea of 5 small dishes for £20, but as I say this wasn't possible. However we did manage to get the Panko Coated Braised Pork cheeks
, parsnip purée, curried split peas, coriander salad (£4.50). This was very enjoyable, although gone in about two mouthfuls with me. Mrs Bacon noticed the nice little salad you got with it with a flavourful dressing.
Less successful was the Tempura Battered Cod
, chips, wasabi mushy peas, chilli tar tar sauce (£10). The chips were limp and soggy, and the fish although lightly battered was anaemic looking and tasteless as cod tends to be. They had readdressed the balance a little with the wasabi peas which made for a nice twist on the classic.
The Super Lamb burger
, onion bhaji, cucumber raita, spinach, tomato (£8) was pretty good. I enjoyed the addition of the bhaji and raita but the taste of the meat was lost in the mix for me. Sometimes less is more and keeping it simple does the job more effectively.
The trouble is though, if I wanted a burger in the area (wanting the best) I'd go to Solita
, if I fancied fish and chips it'd be Rosylee Tea rooms
as you can get superior versions of these there. Competition is fierce round these parts and it'd be better to do something different to stand out from the crowd. Having said that, I think the small plates menu looks pretty good and a little different, so if we returned, we'd go for that.
We left not really disappointed as such, but not buzzing with any complete 'wow' moments either, but I think these are getting rarer. Despite these few little niggles, I think Superstore is another interesting addition to the ever growing Northern Quarter.
Price: £30 for 2 for lunch. No booze. Not bad.
Service: Both waitresses were lovely.
Food: Pretty good.
Star dish: Pork Cheeks.
Soundtrack: He's a superstar - Roy Ayers.