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Kahlúa Coffee House Examined

David Blake says there’s fewer newer than Kahlúa

Written by . Published on April 8th 2013.

Kahlúa Coffee House Examined

IF you find yourself regularly roaming the streets of the Northern Quarter, you may have noticed a change on the cobbled corner of High Street and Edge Street. You know, across the road from where you’ll see half of Manchester queuing for a burger.

The dog-eared fading green of Market Restaurant has been superseded by the brazen scarlet of new ‘pop-up’ Kahlúa Coffee House.

Apparently all the rage in London, this promotional ‘pop-up’ venture by coffee-liquor brand Kahlúa has been orchestrated in partnership with Manchester’s own cocktail consultants The Liquorists, NQ favourite Teacup and The Coffee Circle, whoever they are.

Open only until April 28, Kahlúa Coffee House offers coffee-infused cocktails, Mexican ‘non-street’ food, film screenings and the odd cocktail master-class thrown in to the fray.

Kahlua: The downstairs menu with only 3 cocktailsKahlua: The downstairs menu with only 3 cocktails

The ‘Peckish’ menu has shied away from the type of food that’s become synonymous with Mexico, not a burrito, taco or Señor El Paso in sight. Granted there was chilli, but also pigeon. Now I’ve had pigeon before, but in a terrine, and that doesn’t really count because a terrine is a pate and you can put just about anything in a pate because it’s a pate.

Anyway, the pigeon pitta pockets (£8.50 with one side) were a delight with pomegranate, water cress, red onion and a side of limey couscous. As were the delectable duck tacitos (£3.50). Not tacos, tacitos.

Kahlua: Sweet Potato Fries, Three Chilli Grilled Chicken, Duck Tacitos, Kahlúa BBQ Wings, Pigeon Pockets, Slaw, Couscous.Kahlua: Sweet Potato Fries, Three Chilli Grilled Chicken, Duck Tacitos, Kahlúa BBQ Wings, Pigeon Pockets, Slaw, Couscous.

Kahlua: Lovely Muggsly OR Muggly Jubbly OR Mugsy MaloneKahlua: Lovely Muggsly OR Muggly Jubbly OR Mugsy Malone

The drinks side however, was slightly lacking. Certainly not in the quality, the cocktails were expertly finished, but in the quantity. With three of us dining and only three cocktails available on the downstairs menu, our choices were settled. This perhaps illustrates the limits of offering only cocktails containing Kahlúa coffee-liquor. It’s a bit like filling a full tin of Quality Street with only the coffee chocolates; a few would love it but most would feel pretty mugged off. However, The White Russian (£4.50), favourite of Jeff Bridges’ ‘The Dude’, was delicious, if over slightly too quickly.

Kahlua: FREE cocktail interactive masterclass with The LiquoristsKahlua: FREE cocktail interactive masterclass with The Liquorists

Venturing to the ‘Salon de Kahlúa’ upstairs though, we stumbled upon a fully booked cocktail master-class. The cocktails up there multiplied threefold with a different and more expansive selection, all containing Kahlúa. Naturally.

Flirting with elitism, entry up there is by invitation/reservation only and features a bespoke cocktail menu designed by The Liquorists including the house signature Kahlúa Espresso Martini (£4.50) and the Afogato (£6.50) – a deconstructed White Russian served in a glass teacup and saucer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream soaked in hot Kahlúa and Absolut Vanilia.

Handed a free ‘Kahlúa-type-Mojito’ (£6.50) by the Liquorist and very hospitable master of ceremonies, Jamie Jones (“he’s in love with rock’n’roll whoa”… Clash reference… Janie Jones… no?) we forgot all about the lack of cocktail choice downstairs and settled in to an upstairs haven of exclusive cocktail smugness. You don’t get that feeling at Bar Burrito. 

Jamie Jones, 'Fill her up Jacko'Jamie Jones, 'Fill her up Jacko'

Kahlua Coffe House

104 High Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1HQ

Tel: 0161 833 0035

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

Swiss JamesApril 8th 2013.

Independent restaurant closes, advertising popsicle stand opens. Not good for the area.

Dave ThorleyApril 8th 2013.

Well they've certainly managed to mess up a nice old corner building by throwing a tin of shit paint all over it.

MeApril 9th 2013.

Swiss James, I'm sure the Market Restaurant is coming back, think this was an opportunity for a free makeover. I dont mind the colour and I live opposite it, it looks much better inside.

Jo NightingaleApril 9th 2013.

I also got the impression The Market might be coming back, both from its website and the lack of shock horror at its closing. It's a bit of a coffee-liqueur do, if so.

1 Response: Reply To This...
MaggieApril 9th 2013.

Gary at the Market Restaurant has told me that he will be back. Swiss James, try the 'popsicle stand' -

StephApril 9th 2013.

Taquitos are spelt with a q not how they and you have spelt it.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Manc GuyApril 9th 2013.

Yeah...take that David Blake!!!

That comment was sooo odious STEPH.

AnonymousApril 10th 2013.

Yeah shut it Steff.

AnonymousApril 10th 2013.

Here, here ANON.

StephApril 10th 2013.

Ahhh MG are my comments getting to you?

David BlakeApril 9th 2013.

Thanks for your interest and input Steph. However, the menu says 'Tacito' so i used 'Tacito'.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
StephApril 10th 2013.

I know, I noticed that it was wrong on the menu too.

Manc GuyApril 10th 2013.

Here's their number STEPH...so you can get this thing sorted;

0161 833 0035

Charles CohenApril 10th 2013.

Flirting with elitism with invitation/reservation only is surely a bit daft in what is, essentially, a big advert. This is Manchester, we won't beg for a bloody drink, we'll just trot off down the road. And anyway, it's hardly exclusive is it? They sell Kahlúa in Tesco.

Manc GuyApril 10th 2013.

I didn't know Jake Gyllenhaal worked in the NQ?

AnonymousApril 11th 2013.

Have to say the doormen were the most polite, courteous types you could hope to find. An unusually nice surprise given the reputation of arrogant bar/door staff in other close-by establishments.

AnonymousMay 4th 2013.

Well May 4 - Still a coffee house, and no return of Market Restaurant? Web site, telephone lines etc all dead. Has NQ lost one of its best restaurants to a coffee mex cocktail bar - like we needed one of them? Nothing against the place, but if this is a permanent pop-up there are plenty of buildings waiting to be developed.

paulsouthernMay 4th 2013.

&#34;Well May 4 - Still a coffee house&#34;...<br /><br />Money &#3<br />; Sheep. But that's a fair percentage of the NQ for you anyway.

paulsouthernMay 4th 2013.

Well May 4 - Still a coffee house.<br /><br />Money and Sheep. But that's a fair percentage of the NQ for you anyway.

paulsouthernMay 4th 2013.

and can someone please sort out the html appearing in all the rants!

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