Ever since 20 Stories opened in Manchester earlier this year, I have been desperate to sample their cuisine and we never visit the city centre without me dragging the hubby in for ‘just one cocktail’ with a view! With 360 degree views, there really is no better place than here to look over the entire city. Recently, we have made it our mission to visit some of the places in Manchester, claiming to be ‘brunch hotspots’ and 20 Stories definitely did not disappoint!
Based in the No. Spiningfields building, from the outside, it’s not much to look at, but as soon as you shoot up the private lift, the views that greet you are astounding. The floor to ceiling windows provide a glorious, panoramic view and when the sun is shining (luckily, it was out for us) the horizon really is spectacular! For anyone who hasn’t visited 20 Stories before, it’s a huge open-plan space, divided into three areas: the brasserie, the restaurant and the cocktail bar, with a splendid open roof terrace.
The staff were very friendly and we were shown to our table, positioned right by the window, so it really was brunch with a view. We weren’t drinking alcohol (Sunday is the day of rest after all ha), so we ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice and a virgin beetroot Bloody Mary and perused the menu. We wanted to try as many of the brunch dishes as possible, so we ended up with brunch a la tapas style!
To start with, we tucked into baked stuffed mushrooms with pine nuts, sautéed spinach and Gruyere cheese and he hubs devoured the pork belly with Lyonnaise potatoes, thyme infused onions, topped with a fried duck egg. Both of these dishes were seriously delicious and out of all of the items that we ordered, these were by far our favourite. The pork belly was crispy, yet melt in the mouth and the duck egg made for some serious yolk porn! The mushrooms were packed full of flavour, with a gentle hint of thyme, which really complemented the other ingredients.
We did go rather egg crazy and next up, we tested the baked free range eggs, served with fried potato, chorizo and pickled pepper. The potato was delightful, however, this dish was slightly overpowered by too much chorizo which made it incredibly rich.
The smoked and braised ox tail on toast with fried egg and freshly grated horseradish was an interesting brunch choice. It was bursting with flavour and the egg was cooked to perfection. Personally, I’m not a fan of ox tail, but I did have a little taste on this occasion. Also, we weren’t particularly keen on the sour dough toast.
Poached eggs benedict with smoked salmon served on brioche was the final brunch dish that we sampled. The eggs were perfectly poached and the seasoned salmon finished the dish off nicely! By this point, we were absolutely stuffed!
Our waiter, Mirco was incredibly attentive and the service was impeccable.
Overall, this is definitely a restaurant worth visiting for brunch. Initially, we were surprised at how reasonably priced the brunch dishes were, ranging from £8 to £12. The views, the food and the staff ensure that it maintains its status as being one of the top establishments in Manchester! Do book in advance, as the place gets pretty packed! We’ll be back to sample the evening menu soon!