Liverpool street food brand, Finca, launched in June on the ground floor of Living Venture’s Artisan bar and restaurant in Spinningfields. Serving casual, Cuban-inspired food and drink, the concept comes to Manchester as a result of Living Venture’s MD, Jeremy Roberts, being an investor on BBC2’s recent Million Pound Menu show. Finca were the star turn – and they’ve been rewarded with a large, central space in Spinningfields and apparently unlimited lease. Red signage draws the eye, but the real charm lies in quality food and drink that works any night of the week. The house Espresso Martini is a creamy frappe, while the Cuban mojito and Cuba Libra (rum, Coke, lime, loads of ice) are perfect party starters (all cocktails, £7.50-9). The Cubano is a panini-style creation stacked with sliced pork shoulder, gammon, discs of pickle, Gouda cheese and mustard (£8). Film fans may recall that the Cubano is the speciality of the chef in the street food movie, Chef (2014). It doesn’t disappoint – and there’s a good veggie alternative too, with asparagus. We also try the slow-cooked beef brisket / burger assemblage (Ropa Frita, £8.50) with guava bbq sauce and roast garlic aioli and sides of Finca Fresco (£4, sweetcorn and black bean salsa, on yuca crisps, pickled pineapple and spiced mango – nice, might prefer this one on a tortilla type thing), gooey gouda croquetas (£4) and light, sweet potato fries. The only Marmite moment is banana ketchup which is too banana-y for me. Dessert is sugar-dusted doughnuts, moist from yuca and sweet potato enriched dough. They’re big enough to share, and come showered in honey-spiced nuts, ‘latin’ (ie extra creamy) vanilla ice cream and oozles of salted caramel sauce. Service is great and you can watch the antics at Neighbourhood without having to go in. A unexpected bonus, on all fronts.

Now open: Finca, Artisan, Avenue North, 18-22 Bridge Street, Manchester. M3 3BZ. Tel: 0161 832 4181

Thu 5 Jul
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Mon 16 Jul 2018