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Trof Fallowfield reviewed

Jemma Gibson learns the ins and outs of the life of a drama student at Trof’s original home

Published on April 18th 2011.

Trof Fallowfield reviewed

The understated exterior of the original outlet of this four-strong Manchester institution, tucked just off Wilmslow Road in Fallowfield, gives little of its cosy, quirky interior away.

I got excited when I saw the sign above the stairs on the ground floor advertising a roof terrace, because that kind of thing tends to be nice on a warmish April evening. It’s bijoux, which wasn’t a problem as it wasn’t especially busy, and the patio heaters made it feel more like midday in the Mediterranean than an evening in South Manchester.

There’s a good range of speciality beer and cider, including something on tap, mysteriously named ‘Trof’s special lager’ as well as cocktails from £2. Although a little pricey, from around £4 there is a range of imported, mainly American ales not often found in bars, particularly bars in Fallowfield, including the sublime Brooklyn Beer.

The vodka tonic tasted like vodka tonic, and the Brooklyn, much tastier than its fizzy European counterparts, seemed worthy of its numerous awards. The bar is wonderfully devoid of the row of pumps offering generic cheap lager, found in Fallowfield’s array of sticky, studenty Scream-esque pubs. The menu also advertises a range of smoothies, milkshakes, and speciality teas at reasonable prices; ideal for daytime visitors.

Trof’s got an eclectic style - the stairs look like they’ve been taken straight from a very old public toilet, while the toilets themselves carry elevator signs stating their capacity. The menu is illustrated rather than typed and these things give the place a rough and ready look. The rustic wooden tables and benches and shabby chic mix of furniture places Trof somewhere between arty bar and European bistro.

I got excited when I saw the sign above the stairs on the ground floor advertising a roof terrace, because that kind of thing tends to be nice on a warmish April evening. It’s bijoux, which wasn’t a problem as it wasn’t especially busy, and the patio heaters made it feel more like midday in the Mediterranean than an evening in South Manchester. The view on the other hand - the side of The Chesire Cat pub and a derelict looking building covered in graffiti - wasn’t the best accompaniment.

The atmosphere, or rather, lack of is probably the only real criticism of Trof, although it was a Sunday night. There was a film being shown to about ten people upstairs, while downstairs was very brightly lit, more like a café than a bar. Out on the roof terrace, aka smokers’ paradise, there was no music, just the sound of the drama student waxing lyrical on headshots, casting and those ‘made for musical theatre’, to another girl, who was probably a drama student but couldn’t get more than three words in./p>>

We didn’t eat but did play ‘what would you get from the menu’, which was tough, as most of it looked good. If the food, which is predominantly British or Mediterranean, lives up to the billing on the menu then Trof seems like an excellent alternative to Fallowfield’s greasy take-aways and mundane chain pubs. Plus it’s always useful to find somewhere serving breakfast till 4pm, which Trof does. The menu caters especially well for vegetarians, offering more than just a falafel burger, which is hard to find, but always nice to see.

Most things are locally sourced/free range/Freedom farmed/etc, the bread is organic and made by someone called Mark, and Trof is mostly wind-powered, making it perfect for tree hugging students and Prius driving professionals alike.

Don’t be put off by this quirky venue’s Fallowfield address; there are no sticky floors or sticky menus, just a good range of drinks and a menu that’s got me planning on returning.

Rating: 14/20
Breakdown: 5/10 ambience
4/5 drinks
5/5 service
Address: Trof
2A Landcross Rd
M14 6NA

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: Gordo gets carried away

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

boozerApril 18th 2011.

Being a non-student resident of Fallowfield I really enjoy Trof. Of course there are times towards the end of the working month when a cheap pint is needed, but it's nice to go somewhere that don't sell eyeball burgers for £2.99. I agree on the atmosphere comment though, it can be lacking.

See also: Fuzion. Amazing, decently priced Noodles. Shame it closes in the student holidays though.

MApril 18th 2011.

I've always viewed Trof as the best bar in Manchester outside of the city centre. I only go in periodically but the upstairs bar never fails to impress me.

I took some mates from the Big Smoke once and they couldn't stop raving about it.

As someone older than your average student (and then some) I actually mark it down for being too bloody loud with their music and not always being able to get a seat.

It sounds like it was dead. Either it's not so popular any more or you went outside of term time. Probably the latter, I suspect.

AnonymousApril 19th 2011.

Reviewing a bar on a Sunday night and commenting on lack of atmosphere is stupid.

JamRolyPolyApril 19th 2011.

I think Trof NQ is much better

Scott McEwanApril 19th 2011.

Yeah, i've been to Trof before it's okay but it's not great. I always think i'm getting stink eye from those drama types who seem to send never forgetting snears your way. I think the trof's are all a bit cliquey

Anon TooApril 19th 2011.

I've been to bars in Fallowfield and the city centre that are rammed on a Sunday night.

Sunday's not a quiet night any more.

AnonymousApril 19th 2011.

Which City Centre bars are 'rammed' on a Sunday? Other than Mojo, the rest are pretty dead.

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