It’s excellent to spend time in a place that knows what it is. The Anthologist St Peter’s Square – overlooking the ever-busy intersection of the city centre with its striking architecture old and new – knows it’s perfectly good for quick dinners, boozy afternoons and business lunches.
Clearly, a lot of care is put into everything on offer. The Anthologist offers a hearty and varied menu with something to suit all dietary requirements, with a handful of flair thrown in for good measure. It includes the chorizo scotch egg, as well as delicate tacos featuring cod and lime or Korean beef.
The Anthologist offers a hearty and varied menu with something to suit all dietary requirements
Overall, the food stands up to scrutiny – the scotch egg offered up a perfectly soft yolk in the middle of a tender chorizo ball, while mains such as steak and chips and crab linguine were full of flavour and just a pinch of excitement.
There are certainly hit-and-miss elements – such as a salt-and-pepper squid, lovely and crisp but entirely lacking the distinctive pepper and chilli flavours; and a peppercorn sauce that was lacking in flavour.
With friendly, attentive service, a great wine list, and an extensive selection of dishes that never settles on one thing but manages to be comforting and fulfilling at the same time, The Anthologist sets itself apart from the other casual dining options currently filling up the city centre.
Vegan Breakfast menu reviewed by Martin Kevill
Over the last few years, the evolving St Peter’s Square has been given a makeover impressive enough to bring Gok Wan to tears, with a new Metrolink interchange and various other tasty additions; European vibes with an obvious Mancunian charm. It’s now quite a remarkable open space in the heart of the city and The Anthologist’s home on the ground floor of One St Peter’s Square offers the best views, with the stunning Central Library providing the backdrop.
The menu at Drake & Morgan’s new place isn’t too bad either.
The Anthologist has an impressive interior and the vast range of seating caters for all, from the informal lazy ones to the upright fine diners. It looks like the ground floor of John Lewis with less hairdryers and the open kitchen competes with the glistening cocktail bar for attention. Carole Smillie would be very smiley indeed.
We’re here at midday on a Sunday to try the new breakfast menu, but not everyone visiting The Anthologist at this time wants eggs and coffee… there’s a range of peckish punters on site with different agendas.
The Anthologist is a bit of chameleon, seamlessly changing its image table by table
A table of three orders a round of flat whites, while six older ladies in the more leisurely seats holler at the waiter and order two bottles of wine without breaking their nattering. There are two guys in suits chatting over a couple of smoothies, most likely about a soon-to-be-defunct influencer marketing start-up, but it’s a business meeting all the same. It’s a space that caters for anything and everything, but labelling it a ‘one size fits all’ venue would be doing it a disservice. In reality, The Anthologist is a bit of chameleon, seamlessly changing its image table by table.
The new breakfast menu is easy on the eye, with dishes grouped together in thoughtful, little sections such as ‘Toast’ or ‘Eggs’, with a ‘Naughty’ section for the full English options, daring the hungry diner to make a ballsy order. The charismatic, little iconography makes the menu very easy to consume. A little carrot for vegetarian, an apple for vegan and a tape measure for anything under 50 calories.
We went for Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs and something a little more leftfield: Avocado Hummus from the ‘Our Favorites’ section. The eggs were great and smoked salmon is always a joy, but the toast and butter co-lab was a pleasing add-on and the serving size was generous for the price point. The Avocado Hummus was on toasted gluten-free bread and it was very interesting indeed; smoother than expected, but very light and tasty, with pomegranate seeds bursting in every mouthful. I wanted more.
The Anthologist will tick every box and even throw in some stunning angles of Manchester for the 44 followers on your Instagram
The smoothies are creative and they cover off the classics mixes with little twists to excite. We tried the Virgin Mary, an alcohol-free Bloody Mary and the L’Orange, which was incredible, but so thick I could have turned it upside down. The produce is sourced locally and the smoothies are made fresh to order so you feel like you’re being good to yourself and you probably are if you weigh up the other dining options in the vicinity.
Because of the location it’s not really a place the average city drifter will stumble upon, but this creative new hotspot has versatility on its side so it’s worth looking out for. Whether you fancy some hard-hitting cocktails or a couple of mid-morning pancakes with your coconut latte, The Anthologist will sort you out, in a warm, inviting setting that has blankets on every chair and spotless bathrooms. If you’re struggling to agree on a place to eat, The Anthologist will tick every box and even throw in some stunning angles of Manchester for the 44 followers on your Instagram.