Chilling at the end of Thomas Street is one of the Northern Quarter’s most loved bars: Trof. Having frequented the now-deceased Trof in Fallowfield in the past, I was looking forward to visiting the sister of my old friend and seeing how much food I could make myself eat.
Even though we visited Trof on a sleepy autumn Thursday eve, Trof felt alive, intimate and cool. The venue seems small at first; although once you explore further you will discover three tiers of unpretentious warm vibes, with red lighting illuminating the factory-esque staircase. It felt like an edgy disused building repackaged as a hangout for easy-going punters who don’t need to be surrounded by spectacle, but want to sip on a good pint or cocktail whilst leaning against the exposed brick walls or sinking into the antique-looking leather couches. Trof is perhaps not for the kind of night out that requires rigorous dancing as its principal criterion, as the population of tables and chairs makes it more apt for appreciating delicious drinks, cool vibes and the company of upbeat, chatty people.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
Trof welcomes everyone and is adaptable. The bar’s ambience changes depending on the time of day and week; it serves an impressive array of breakfasts as a cool café in the early afternoon, transforms into a sultry dinner and drinks venue once the sky darkens in the evening, and then cranks up the volume for noisy drinking ‘til the early hours. You can also hire out the venue for your own private functions. When we visited Trof, we were cosy in a corner table which felt secluded enough to enjoy our meal but also not cut off from the lively buzz of the venue. Without shouting too loudly, Trof fits in with its surrounding bars, offering its own subtle experience of Manchester’s Northern Quarter bar scene.
The Food and Drink
As Trof sounds like ‘trough’, from which pigs eat, we had pork on our minds. Naturally, my companion ordered the ‘Well Porky’ at £10, which turned out to be as much a mancunian description of the dish as its nomenclature. There was so much pork! With pork oozing between two spongy burger buns and slopping onto a pile of fries, it was pure gluttony on a plate, and was exactly what we wanted. In keeping with the farmyard animal theme, I ordered a juicy rump steak at £13 that was cooked to my liking and satisfied my carnal appetite alongside a coriander pesto-style dip and those integral fries. Trof also has a pleasing selection of side dishes, so we ordered a fresh greek salad complete with juicy olives and feta to share (y’know, just to be a bit healthy, and that). Vegetarians don’t despair; Trof’s Chargrilled Halloumi dish and other veggie treats sounded delicious too. The drinks at Trof are as varied as they are delicious; we were sipping happily away at our fresh and dry bottle of prosecco.
One for all people, and many occasions, Trof is an all-rounder that will welcome you, feed you appropriately, and supply you with drinks a-plenty. A staple Northern Quarter bar.