Guy Beringer, the English author who is thought to have coined the term ‘brunch’ in 1895, suggested that rather than rising bright and early after a night of drinking, you should nurse your hangover on a Sunday by brunching with your pals. Finally, a man speaking sense.
Following Beringer’s advice, I headed to Didsbury; not always the perfect place for a student budget, but sometimes (when you’ve just got paid) a place to leave behind reality. If you feel like doing the same, take a trip down to Seven 54 Café Bar and Restaurant.
Open from 7am right up to 11pm, their brasserie style menu boasts a wide selection of dishes, hot drinks and cocktails to suit anytime of day. We chose to head for a classic Sunday brunch service. Unsurprisingly for a Sunday in Didsbury, every table, inside and out, was teeming with people.
I’ll be honest when I say, this isn’t the kind of place I’d usually visit. Blue ‘Raw Juice’ containing spirulina is not my usual order.
But leaving behind reality, for one Sunday morning, I decided to go all in, ordering a beetroot ‘Super Latte’ and an iced matcha latte, both drinks strikingly coloured and edging on the side of savoury rather than than sweet.
There are nineteen different options on the all-day brunch menu, including the usual suspects: a full english, with vegetarian and vegan variations, eggs offered in all of their varieties, and avocado ‘smashed’ onto sourdough. I always like to look and see what the people around me have opted for, to help with the decision-making process.
The French Toast seemed to be a popular option, a thick slice of caramelised goodness, served with warm berry compote, toasted coconut and grilled lime. In the end we opted for the savoury shakshuka and a chorizo & potato hash, both refreshing changes from the toast based brunch options we have come to know too well.
The shakshuka arrived in a large terracotta dish, served alongside a piece of warm sourdough with dipping, layered with salted butter. Another slice wouldn’t have gone amiss. The golden egg yolks ran into the thick, tangy tomato sauce, topped with dollops of creamy harissa yoghurt and fresh coriander. The bread was perfect for dipping into the runny yolks, and mopping up the remnants of the sauce from the bottom of the dish, probably my favourite part of the whole eating experience.
Topped with two fried eggs, with almost orange-coloured yolks, the hash was smokey from the chorizo, and inflected with spice from the chilli. The fried potatoes were crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and the kimchi ketchup that was generously drizzled over the whole plate was a welcome and tasty addition. I don’t know if you could taste any distinct difference from your usual tomato sauce, but maybe I’m just a sucker for Heinz.
The wait for our food was about an hour, but we weren’t really in any rush. To sit in a busy cafe on a Sunday, slightly hungover, morning, drinking flashy coffees and eating a slightly pretentious but tasty breakfast is a true escape. It certainly beats crunching Belvita breakfast biscuits whilst walking down the curry mile to a lecture. Brunching at Seven 54 is certainly a much more pleasurable, albeit expensive experience. So, Seven 54, I may be back when pay day rolls back around for some french toast.
You can keep up with Clementine‘s food account on Instagram @ieatwhatifeellike