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Pokusevski's Deli Garden Cafe

Natasha Periyan goes al fresco in Heaton without the heating

Published on November 8th 2007.


Pokusevski's Deli Garden Cafe

A crisp autumn day with clear blue sky and snatches of sunshine. Retreat from the fast-paced Heaton Moor life of old-ladies meandering around shops and joggers tearing up the pavement and find comfort in the haven of Pokusevski's Garden Cafe.

Situated on Shaw Road, Pokusevski's delicatessen has been around for several years, but a cafe has opened there recently, and remains a hidden gem amongst the more obvious cafe bars dotted around the area. To the front there is a well-appointed delicatessen full of cold meats and calorie packed cakes, but out the back is a courtyard, an idyll of potted plants and shrubs.

The halloumi was -according to my twee notes - 'yummy', the pesto subtle and the sweet chillies provided a gentle kick, or even poke, to add a little interest.

My friend and I opted for various tables, chasing the sun around the courtyard, before eventually settling on a corner table with a good view of the comings and goings of the people living in the surrounding apartments above the shops.

It was cold and, unsurprisingly, we were the only ones braving the chill in pursuit of lunch. So, as we settled in our seats and blew warm air into our blue fingers we surveyed the menu, packed full of the usual lunchtime fare of soups, sandwiches, salads, coffees and cakes.

We mused over the menu for a while, contemplating the chicken pie before opting for the soup and sandwich deal (£4.95). My courgette and tarragon soup was freshly made: light, and delicately flavoured. My friend opted for the mushroom soup and reported that this was creamy, but not too rich, with small chunks of mushroom adding texture.

Unfortunately, by the end of the main course my comrade and I were stuffed. Of course, that was no reason to stop. Boundaries are made to be broken, especially food related ones. After much debating over the cake menu, which included coffee and walnut, carrot and walnut, walnut and walnut, we decided to split a slice of the Tunisian almond and orange cake (£2.30).

This was delicious. Syrupy and sticky with the outer crust slightly burnt, creating a crunchy, caramel flavour. We enjoyed this delight with a cappuccino (£1.95), which avoided the cardinal coffee sin of being all milk and no bite: strong, bitter coffee complemented by frothy foam. These were accompanied by a cantuccini biscuit for some high class dunking action that put the humble Rich Tea in the shade.

Mid-way through hoovering up the soup we were presented with our sandwiches. Mine was the grilled haloumi with pesto and sweet chillies. This was served in a fresh sun dried tomato ciabatta with a green salad that, although adequate, could have done with dressing to liven it up. The halloumi was -according to my twee notes - 'yummy', the pesto subtle and the sweet chillies provided a gentle kick, or even poke, to add a little interest. My friend was confronted by a generous serving of four goats cheese and rocket sandwiches. She made a valiant attempt with her giant-sized portion before giving up, leaving me to pick at the remains. The goats cheese was mild and not too pungent and the wholemeal bread soft and springy.

Pokusevski's food is fresh and the high quality of the ingredients make this a lunchtime choice that sets it apart from many of the other Heaton eateries. It is reasonably priced, with our meal for two coming to £22.20 including drinks. The only slight flaw is the fact that the service, although polite, is not always present. It's easy to feel forgotten when you're out the back and the staff are dealing with customers in the deli. But let's face it, perfection is nothing more than irritating.

Rating: 14/20
Breakdown: 8/10 Food
4/5 Service
3/5 Ambience
Address: Pokusevski's Deli Garden Cafe
25 Shaw Rd
Heaton Moor
0161-442-1717

Mon-Fri 8am-6pm. Then Sat 8.30am-5pm

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining restaurants against the best fine dining restaurants, pizzerias against the best pizzerias and so on.

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Latest Rants

Anonymous

The staff should wear clothes made out of corn flakes.

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Jonny

Dress the staff as Tony the Tiger and the honey monster, otherwise i'm just not interested. ;)

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Another Tim

Actually, it seems like this pricing model is designed to encourage eating fast and getting out of…

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Another Tim

I don't think it's a silly question at all. Possibly not in keeping with the spirit of the place.…

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