This month the team behind popular city centre bars Lost in Tokyo, Guilty By Association and Vesper (formerly Liquorice) have ventured into the restaurant trade with a new Scandi-inspired dining concept.
Taking over the old Bakerie site on Lever Street, Fika is a new Northern Quarter bar and restaurant which takes its name from a venerated tradition amongst Swedes. Although it’s often translated as meaning a coffee and cake break, the fact is that ‘fika’ is really more about companionship than food.
You can’t just fika alone at your desk with some coffee and cake. It’s about making time to share with friends or colleagues, best understood as an attitude or state of mind, geared towards achieving a healthy work-life balance, as opposed to a simple snack break.
As you might expect, the decor is chic and minimalist. Clean lines and a neutral palette rule the day, with bold blue accents provided by deep, comfy booths alongside pops of warming brass and gold.
Flanked by two stunning bars stocked with brilliant beers, wines and cocktails, in the centre island of the space is also an eye-catching open log fire that we’ll definitely be pulling up a chair to this winter.
For those looking to grab a drink with friends and maybe have a little nibble too, the bar menu is packed with plenty of snacks and sharers for you to stave off those approaching tea-time hunger pangs.
Tuck into Fika’s homemade focaccia, sumac salt and pepper squid, or smoked duck bon bon’s with your after work drinks if you’re feeling fancy; or opt for a pizza to share if you’re more in the mood for something a little simpler.
Working with Greater Manchester young chef of the year Sam Palmer (awarded during his stint at Abode in 2013), the menu is eclectic, with an emphasis on good food done well and locally-sourced produce wherever possible.
Offering something a little different to most NQ eateries, Fika’s interior has a more grown-up, polished feel to it. Whilst the a la carte is accessible enough to work for a casual lunch get-together with your fussiest friends, there are also more imaginative and fanciful dishes to be had if you’re looking for a new place to get your gourmand on.
At one end of the scale is the venerable cheeseburger and fries – a time-honoured staple of Manchester’s casual dining scene.
And on the other? Everything from courgettie with peas, asparagus, white wine, truffle cream, crispy bulgur wheat) to vegan, salt baked celeriac with cops cous, roast fig, beetroot, orange, harissa.
The menu also features popular English mains served with a twist with dishes like flaky cod loin topped with a black olive tapenade and pink Welsh lamb rump served with greens. You should find something to take your fancy.
Fika’s stylish, modern makeover offers a relaxed setting designed for spending quality time with family and friends.
Whether you’re looking for some to enjoy a mid-morning coffee, a new weekend brunch spot or somewhere chilled to enjoy those all-important after-work drinks, they’ve got you covered.
And you can catch Fika showing off their cocktail know-how at this year’s Cocktails in the City festival which takes place on November 2nd – 3rd.
43-45 Lever St, Manchester M1 1FN