Shaw Road, Heaton Moor

Finding the right place for a leisurely Saturday afternoon lunch, isn’t always easy – especially when you’re meeting up with a couple of old friends who are bringing along their first baby in order to introduce him to you. Pokusevki’s has been on Shaw Road for many years, but it was previously an upmarket delicatessen with a couple of indoor tables and a few more out in a (rather nice) walled garden at the back. But recently it’s undergone a transformation; the indoor dining space has been extended into what was previously the garden and the result is a charming, bustling interior that no longer has to bow to the vagaries of the English weather. Background music is kept discrete enough so that conversation can flow without the need to bellow over the top of it – exactly what we needed. (There’s also a new Pokusevki’s at Media City. Do be careful when making a booking to ensure that you’re talking to the right establishment, something that we spectacularly failed to do. Luckily, they managed to fit us in anyway!)

We took our seats and perused the lunchtime menu. The staff were relaxed and helpful – when a highchair was requested for the smallest diner it was promptly provided. The soup of the day was pumpkin so we all chose a bowl of that and a toasted sandwich apiece, each of which can be supplied on white bread, wholemeal bread or focaccia. The food arrived quickly and when it came, it was piping hot and nicely done. All right, soup and a sandwich isn’t the toughest meal to prepare, but it’s amazing how often places can get it wrong. This however was wonderful. The soup was thick and wholesome, deliciously seasoned and satisfying. My club sandwich was generously loaded with chicken, bacon, rocket and mature cheddar, while Susan’s goat cheese sandwich featured caramelised onion, tomato and rocket. A side order of chips was just the ticket, crispy and salty and exactly what was needed.

We had coffees to follow and the bill came to around £15 per head. Mission accomplished. While we there, we couldn’t help noticing the long list of tapas-style dishes and main courses available later in the day, so we resolved to return at some point for further investigation.

But for what we needed today, this would be hard to beat.

4.5 stars

Philip Caveney


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