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Terrace NQ Review

Lynda Moyo hearts NY even more when it’s in the NQ

Written by . Published on August 6th 2013.

Terrace NQ Review

ELOPING was not the way I’d ever imagined getting married, but once engaged and in the midst of wedding planning, I was quickly left gasping for air, drowning in expectation and tradition.

As it transpired, a carefree and sincere day at City Hall in New York still gives me goose bumps every time I think of it.

Simplicity really is the ultimate sophistication.

Despite the sign on the window reading ‘Now we have food too’, food is certainly no afterthought. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all catered for with individual prices never exceeding a tenner.

Our unconventional wedding was just one part of a ten day escape to New York. While there, we also explored the city avoiding anything typically tourist or overtly lavish, choosing instead to dig deep for the misshapes at the bottom of the biscuit barrel, especially when it came to food.

This brings me onto Terrace ‘the Northern Quarter’s prettiest ginnel’. 

Yes, 3,336 miles outside of New York. Hear me out.

Front Of Terrace - simplicity is the ultimate sophisticationFront Of Terrace - simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

A first visit to Terrace immediately felt reminiscent of everything I heart about New York. First of all, the fact I’d never even noticed the place spoke volumes.

Egg in Williamsburg doesn’t bother with a sign on the door either, because word of mouth keeps customers literally queuing down the street every single day. Terrace doesn’t shout about the fact they’re there, with the only sign on the gate barely visible when they’re open anyway. Seek and you’ll find is the key to this place, and that sentiment continues inside too.

The ‘prettiest ginnel’ isn’t in fact the prettiest part of Terrace at all, but it’s the perfect run up.

Walk through and the back area is where you’ll want to be. It’s lighter and brighter with old fashion British school chairs around tables scattered around various shaped tables and a large window looking onto Edge Street.

The GinnelThe Ginnel

Through The Ginnel, Inside TerraceThrough The Ginnel, Inside Terrace

Despite the sign on the window reading ‘Now we have food too’, food is certainly no afterthought. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all catered for with individual prices never exceeding a tenner.

We went for the chargrilled steak ciabatta with chimichurri salsa (£8.50) and the cheeseburger with extra blue cheese and extra bacon (£8, plus £1 per extra - see main image) both served with fries, salad and house ‘slaw.

Both dishes exceeded expectations with that real all American diner feel to dishes and table as a whole - the ketchup and other sauces came presented in Liberty Ale paper beer crates. Both the steak and burger also managed to arrive juicy without saturating the plate in oil and the home ‘slaw was in its purest form, chunky, creamy and unfussy.

Chargrilled Steak Ciabatta At Terrace NQChargrilled Steak Ciabatta At Terrace NQ

Our lovely waitress’ eyes lit up when we said we’d also like to try some of the more obscure sounding cocktails on the menu. Throughout our visit in fact, she had that kind of attentiveness you could also most commonly attribute to the American way of table service. The difference here though was there wasn't a single moment when I felt she was smiling for tips. 

Nobody Beats The Biz (£7), which consisted of Mount Gay Rum, cognac, cereal milk, vanilla cream and Honey Nut Cheerios, may sound like they’ve spiked a child’s breakfast but tasted fairly straightlaced to be honest with the tin can presentation being the most exciting bit.

Meanwhile the more puky sounding PB & J (£6.50), a short sweet alcoholic milkshake containing bourbon, Skippy’s peanut butter, strawberry jam, an egg yolk and cream, tasted “inspired and downright delicious” to my friend Thea, who knows too well the best cocktails are often the most understated. You could smell the peanut butter as you raised the glass, yet the texture was pleasingly fluid. It’s one of those dangerously moreish cocktails you could lose track of. Try it immediately. 

Nobody Beats The Biz And P B & J Cocktails At Terrace NQNobody Beats The Biz And P B & J Cocktails At Terrace NQ

On top of the clever cocktails is a drinks list as long as your arm, with bottled beers from the USA, Canada and Mexico (from £4), plus a mix of draft lagers (from £4 a pint) and cask ales.

To finish off, despite admitting they didn’t have many desserts on the menu, what the waitress did bring us was a welcome surprise. With desserts in particular, you want a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach and so when she suggested the double decker chocolate cake I had a vision of looking up at the cake equivalent of Everest.

Double Decker Chocolate Cake At Terrace NqDouble Decker Chocolate Cake At Terrace Nq

Terrace didn’t disappoint with that or the Makewell – their take on a Bakewell tart which was basically an Americanised beast of a Bakewell (each £3 per slice). Keeping the dessert options fairly limited but unusual and interesting is what could become a talking point for a place like this.

Makewell At Terrace NqMakewell At Terrace Nq

What they’re doing at Terrace is cashing in on that Americana vibe that’s been on trend in the Northern Quarter for most of 2013 and isn't showing any signs of fizzling out. Only their version is a less in your face retro and more cherry picked inspiration with the unmistakable coolness of New York teamed with a northern British spin. After all, most Americans wouldn’t even know what a ginnel is.  

Terrace is the perfect marriage.

You can follow Lynda on Twitter here @lyndamoyo


Terrace NQ, 43 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1NA. 0161 1234123

Rating: 16/20 (please read the scoring system in the box below, venues are rated against the best examples of their kind)
Food: 8/10 
Service: 5/5
Ambience: 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away.

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34 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

"A first visit to Terrace immediately felt reminiscent of everything I heart about New York": urgh, teenage writing. You realise "heart" isn't actually a verb, right?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
lukeunabomberAugust 6th 2013.

people who get angry about grammar havent had sex since 1983

Big Boy BayfieldAugust 6th 2013.

On Lynda's behalf let me say this to you. Silly Twat.

Barry MaginnAugust 6th 2013.

It's a fair point. Some people do just want a review of a place to eat, not an extract from a teenager's diary, when they click on a review. And it isn't really a 'grammar' issue, more a linguistic observation.

Ghostly TomAugust 7th 2013.

It is now a verb, languages constantly change and you are allowed to use 'heart' as a verb...

Jonathan MoranAugust 6th 2013.

It is to the 'trustafarians' that now flock to and engulf this part of town.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
lukeunabomberAugust 6th 2013.


AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.


Jonathan SchofieldAugust 6th 2013.

Jonathan do you ever have anything positive to say?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan MoranAugust 6th 2013.

Yes, when something is deserving of praise I can be very positive.

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

The female bouncer now works at pie and ale!!!!

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

That burger doesn't look especially appealing.

Marcus EmadiAugust 6th 2013.

Love the place, the music & the employees. But that female doorman is an absolute jerk. The mains looks good value for money. I 'heart' terrace- haha ridiculous writing style

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

The cocktails look and sound disgusting.

JimAugust 6th 2013.

Best steak sandwich in Manchester. When they finally get planning permission to open the outside terrace on the roof it will be the best bar in Manchester. Great food and great beer. A little gem.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
FoodieAugust 6th 2013.

U must be staff

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

Jim, you're late for your shift at Terrace WHERE YOU WORK

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

Do you think that when a bog standard average bar in New York opens reviewers give it one of the highest scores of all eateries in the city and reminisce about how much it reminds them of that 'cool' Manchester vibe?

JimAugust 7th 2013.

Yep you're right. Any positive review must mean the person is staff #idiot

Dr ZubianAugust 6th 2013.

I dunno about the food but this good venue is completely ruined by the choice of music on a Friday/Saturday night. Mid 90's RnB dross like Montell Friggin' Williams and that one Blackstreet track everyone knows played on a loop with an 'Emcee' shouting things like "Are we having a good time?" over the entirety of each and every track. Also, the bar doesn't seem to be able to cope with the bottleneck of people that appear at the entrance on Thomas St. It seems like Terrace might be targeting the Deansgate Locks crowd on a weekend which is a shame because I like the venue and everything about Deansgate Locks is what I try and avoid. It's always packed though so maybe that's what people around there want these days...

AnonymousAugust 6th 2013.

Horrible place with a Chav infested weekend vibe, why do these bars want to move in and ruin the NQ? There's plenty of room elsewhere in town for places like this

AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.

Mancon should be renamed The Burger Review as it's all You ever seem to review. Get some variety in your reviews. Do they have a kids menu, what are the veggie options, are the toilets clean!. Anything but frigging burgers!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldAugust 7th 2013.

You're right Anon. Out of the last forty food stories we've reviewed burgers once and mentioned them in two other stories. As for t'other points I agree and they will be addressed when our top one hundred restaurants are announced in time for the food and drink festival.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.

Toilets are clean although cubicles are made from chipboard so have a somewhat temporary feel.

JimAugust 7th 2013.

The toilets are very nice actually. With the exception of Bluu the majority of the toilets in the NQ are horrible. Terrace have surprisingly nice ones!

AnonymousAugust 7th 2013.

Anon - it's a city centre bar. I couldn't care less if they have a kids menu.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

Anon, your comment is completely moronic.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

How so?

AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

Those cocktails and that Makewell look amazing - I'm going in..... Kids - ppffft! who will take them home! and I aint sharing my cake.

Martin ConnollyAugust 8th 2013.

Great bar, great drinks and now great food. Enough said!

WayneJanuary 5th 2014.

Hades H. wrote a review for Terrace A moment ago 5/1/2014 Ladies and gentlemen can I say that homophobia is alive and thriving in Manchester and in all places the "TERRACE BAR IN THE NORTHERN QUATER" After showing some friends from Sweden around the canal street we ventured to the (trendy) northern quater ...to my embarrassment and dismay the people on the door instanly took a dislike to how I was dressed and refused me entry ....I really didn't know that thease people were in charge of who is allowed in or out , I found the intolerance was breathtaking small minded and totally homophobic and that I stress ! We walked away after the humiliating scene and I tried to explain to my friends that it was was a one off ..when low and behold we went to the whiskey jar on Hilton street we had the same reaction ...Manchester you are shameful and and embarrassment . Suffice to say I would stay away from the bars here ...everyone is welcome on canal street we don't have a dress code or any kind of jumped up attitude and the bars on canal street are the best in the world that's a fact ....so please heed my warnings and give the TERRACE BAR AND WHISKY JAR THE WIDEST BIRTH POSSIBLE .

AnonymousJanuary 5th 2014.

A lot of Manchester bars refuse any form of fancy dress Wayne. Could what you were wearing have looked alittle like fancy dress?

CurlyJanuary 21st 2014.

Wayne, its a very strong accusation to accuse bars or people of Homophobia, something which i simply haven't come across in the the thirteen years of living in Manchester. I think the community of straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, whatever, has mixed together very well. The accusation of homophobia is all to often knee-jerk to someone simply taking a dislike to a person, which happens across the demographics. I'm in my fifties and have to let outrageous comments from all and sundry about 'grandad', 'baldie' etc wash over me. As anon says above, were you, like I am sometimes, dressed up and looking like a loonie :-) ?

Emma AthertonJanuary 21st 2014.

I've been to Terrace before with gay friends and had no issues....in fact, I've found the bar staff there some of the friendliest in the NQ? (I'm 34 so considered "old" there)

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