Takk – Scandinavian Coffee in the Heart of Manchester.
When one thinks of a Scandinavian café, they may think of a sleek and minimal space with pinewood furniture and clean, airy décor, surrounded by monumental hillsides and sapphire fjords.
Alternatively one may think of the section of a very famous furniture megastore notable for its flat-packs and meatballs. Distinct from these polarised connotations is Takk, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Takk is modern and trendy and Scandinavian style but replaces a Northern European setting with that of the Northern Quarter. For quality coffee and food with continental charm in the City Centre, I recommend no other than Manchester’s Takk.
Iceland Without the Volcanic Activity. Takk was inspired by the owners’ trip to Scandinavia and Iceland and describes itself as a ‘big fat love letter to Reykjavik, its people and their love for the coffee bean’. Sadly, the café cant import Icelandic thermal spas, but Takk is successful in importing a very particular ‘feel’. Simply, Takk feels like a beacon for the artistic and fashionable crowd and Scandinavia is clearly an effective muse. What’s more is that Takk describes itself as a creative space, and so clearly aims for the custom of creative and artistic locals. You will not be surprised to see customers writing, designing or discussing in Takk. Takk therefore may not be ideal for those looking for a more discreet drink in a more traditional and plush environment. Takk definitely attracts the cool crowd, yet it isn’t pretentious.
Nordic Espressos and Berliner Beans.
Takk’s décor adds to its ambience, the exposed brick, wooden floor and furniture and minimal design offsets the art exhibited on the walls. Ultimately, Takk has an aesthetic, which it understands and capitalises and that is a primary reason for its success. However, that isn’t to say the café is all style and no substance. Takk hooks your interest with its design and reels you in with its produce. Following through with its theme, Takk serves Scandinavian style-coffees, which is perhaps best illustrated by its delicious and intense Nordic Style espressos. Takk moves across the continent when sourcing all of its coffee beans however, and on its brew bar, serves a range of single origin coffees from its main filter supplier ‘The Barn in Berlin’. Takk truly takes its coffee seriously and takes pride in sourcing some of the best coffees available across Europe. Although I admittedly couldn’t ascertain the pedigree of each variety of bean during my visit, I can wholeheartedly attest that Takk is serious when it comes to high quality caffeine. The coffees were all rich, velvety and dynamic. In fact, many of Takk’s special coffee blends are available to purchase in store and are wholly recommendable.
A Seasonal Menu that Stays Fresh and Satisfying.
The gourmand needn’t settle with high quality beverages however, Takk takes a similarly professional approach to its cuisine, even if it is still a take on ‘café-bistro’ dining. The food menu is short, simple and seasonal, yet what this means is that what is available is consistently fresh and thoughtfully arranged. Takk also ensures quality with the use of free-range eggs, organic meats and breads. House specials include a delectable salad of sautéed wild mushrooms with braised cauliflower and Quinoa and mange-tout. At £6.50, this dish is both nutritionally wholesome and a gift to the palette. Even the modest Welsh Rarebit is given a culinary twist when served with a sharp and sweet fennel, tomato and pomegranate salad.
In short, Takk is a triple threat when it comes to a modern urban café, it has a fashionable setting, invigorating drinks and enriching food. I encourage any visitor or local of Manchester, to give Takk a visit. It may just become a place you visit over and over again.