Toast is an independent eatery and coffee house set in a characterful 19th century bank building on a corner of Stamford New Road in the Goose Green area of Altrincham.
The bank closed in 2011 and reopened lovingly refurbished as Toast in 2017, serving coffee and belting brunch all day. In fact, their full menu – breakfast, brunch and lunch – is served all day.
The interior is rustic, cosy and charming. The entrance is what I imagine was the old bank foyer but is now a light-flooded sun lounge or cosy morning room, perfect for either a quick coffee or an express bit of breakfast or lunch. And people watching.
The main space of Toast feels very Midtown New York, what with its exposed brickwork, original architectural charm, and copper accessories. It’s comfy, too, with burnt orange seats, booths, leather arm chairs and some casual bench seating.
Proprietor Justin Orange, twin brother of Take That’s Jason Orange, previously managed Teacup Kitchen in Manchester’s Northern Quarter – an institution that was famous for a cup of char and colourful breakfasts – so it’s safe to say Justin knows his onions.
It’s a dog-friendly, relaxed affair. A place where you can have lamb for breakfast, or eggs benedict at 4pm if you really want. Located about a five-minute walk from the tram station, it’s an ideal spot for remote working, with window stools and plenty of plug sockets.
Their coffee is from Manchester roaster Heart and Graft, who supply many of the city’s top coffee shops such as Grindsmith and Pot Kettle Black. It’s a deep and full bodied chocolate house blend that hits the spot and picks you up after a big eggy breakfast or cheesy lunch on toast.
And we’re not talking about a Warbies Toastie loaf, either.
New head chef Luckon Samms, whose experience includes the kitchens on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, recently introduced a new food menu which all comes presented on top of a great choice of sourdough bread.
The bread is freshly baked daily and you can choose between plain white, wholegrain, five-grain brown, mixed grain rye, or their special bread of the day that could be anything from caramelised onion and chilli, to capers and anchovy. There’s no waste at Toast.
Starting with breakfast, their signature The Toast Breakfast (£9), which consists of crumpets, black pudding, poached egg and American-style crispy bacon, is a serious cotton wool food – the prescription to cure a hangover. Aside from granola or salad, this is the only dish on the menu that doesn’t contain toasted bread. But, unless you’re intolerant or suffer from a rare phobia of small holes, who doesn’t love a crumpet? Mushrooms, beans and tomato are optional extras (50p each).
Other breakfast dishes include a Hulk green smashed avocado (£9.50) with tenderstem broccoli, spinach, spring onions and chilli flakes; scrambled eggs, salmon and avocado (£10) with smoked salmon and smashed avocado; eggs benedict (£9) with ham, poached eggs & hollandaise sauce; eggs royale (£9.50) smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce; eggs florentine (£8.50) spinach, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce; and smoked haddock (£9.50) with asparagus, a poached egg and a creamy mustard sauce.
Lunch is, yes, you guessed it, also 99% served on a thick slice of toast, including the star of the show the Keema Lamb (£14.50) which is lovely minced spiced lamb served on a naan bread with hummus, peas, pomegranate & minted Greek yoghurt. It’s a playful dish with just the right amount of spice leaving you with a healthy glow.
Other lunch highlights include Chicken and Pesto Melt (£13.95) which is chicken breast smothered in green pesto with mozzarella served with a sundried tomato purée
Smashed Peas (£11.50) which is lemon, mint & tahini infused smashed peas served with bok choy, artichokes and topped with chilli flakes;
Tuna Steak (£15.95) which is tender seared tuna steak in a teriyaki & sesame Nuoc Cham sauce served on a colourful bed of Thai pickled salad;
Goats Cheese and Hummus (£12.95) which is warm goats cheese & roasted red pepper hummus served with radicchio & a tomato chutney;
Steak Power Bowl (£15.50) which is a tasty 6oz rump steak sliced on a bed of sweet potato served with quinoa, asparagus, pomegranate and a chimichurri dressing
Drinks-wise, try a healthy smoothie or a glass of organic wine. Organic means it’s good for you, right? Right.
The outstanding feature, aside from the amount of fresh bread being churned out per day, is the speed of the service – with a smile. And I’m not talking about a smart toaster – Jordan the GM, Emma the bar manager, and Justin himself work the restaurant floor and the bar in rotation, while the kitchen is open and orders are prompt.
It’s the sort of service you only find at a great independent restaurant, where everyone has that sense of ownership for their job, and loves it. Which is probably why Toast has retained the same staff from inception.
There’s a kids menu, named Young Toasties and priced from £3, where every dish includes a 25p donation to local charity, The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust. CAFT is a registered charity based just outside of Altrincham, which throws a lifeline – such as holidays, day trips and Christmas parties – to children living with difficulties across our city region.
Toast is a hearty slice of New York in Altrincham – and it could be the best thing since sliced bread.
Toast Altrincham is on 63 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1DS and is open 9am – 5pm Monday – Thursday, 9am – 7pm on Fridays, 9am – 9pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.