Federal Cafe & Bar NQ’s been smashing avocados and the Trip Advisor rankings since 2104, so I was long overdue a visit. This trendy brunch spots also featured in The Manchester Cookbook: Second Helpings and The North & North Wales Indie Coffee Guide for services to hungover people.
I liked the clarity of the Federal Cafe & Bar menu, with food and drink offerings that were small but perfectly formed. Although the business owners are English and Portuguese, Federal Cafe & Bar is Australian / Kiwi in ethos. What that boils down to is friendly service, excellent coffee and lots of protein – what’s not to like?
There’s an element of hipster influence that comes with the territory of Instagram ready Flat Whites. Cutlery and condiments were housed in army mess tins and tap water’ served in recycled milk glasses; but, it all adds to the laid-back atmosphere and feels at home in Manchester’s quirky Northern Quarter
For all my love for food and drink in all shapes and sizes, the boom in hipster coffee culture has largely passed me by. If it’s hot, smooth, robust and wakes me up, I’m happy. I’m not arsed if it’s Guatemalan or Ethiopian, or whatever the exact ratios of espresso to foam are. That said, the coffee at Federal Cafe & Bar is excellent, supplied by New Zealand based O Zone Coffee. Unlike myself, if the phrase ‘Single Origin Coffee’ means anything at all, you’ll love Federal Cafe & Bar. I enjoyed a perfect Flat White, but Oat Milk Turmeric Lattes, Dirty Chai Lattes and a V60 from the Brew Bar (whatever that is) will be cheerfully served if requested.
Then there’s the issue of eggs. Oh my. The eggs are
eggsellent outstanding. Bright and fluffy white exteriors with glowing yellow runny interiors. However you prefer them dressed up, they’re the perfect food stuff to set you up for the day, or to recover from the night before. Federal Cafe & Bar gets theirs from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, who evidently know how to raise chickens well.
Thinking about it, it was all bloody good. The freshly baked Sourdough bread was light, nicely chewy yet soft, with a clear crust. The Halloumi was properly crispy, with a delicious squeaky middle. The Turkish Eggs provided punchy chilli butter, matched with impacting garlic yoghurt. Eggs Benedict – the Mrs’ go-to option, delivered almost buttery yet muscular smoked salmon with a well-balanced rich Hollandaise sauce. Emily’s Banana Bread…I thought they’d come unstuck here…nope, it was soft, comforting with the ideal level of sweetness.
Yes, Federal Cafe & Bar NQ served wine (and other alcoholic beverages)! There’s just one white (Trebbiano) and one red (Tempranillo) both at £18.50 for a 500ml carafe or a bottle of Prosecco at £25. The two wines are ‘natural’, meaning “nothing at all [is] added or taken away at any point”, sourced by the eco-friendly supplier Vinnaturo.
Federal Cafe & Bar Review Score
It’s no secret the product is bang on. Federal Cafe & Bar is small and busy, so you’re far from guaranteed a table at peak times. That said, the ever welcoming staff don’t mess about, service is prompt and tables turn around quick. It’s a shame the few outside tables only look out onto an ugly, busy road but there’s very little else to fault.
Atmosphere 9 Cost 8 Quality 10 Service 8