The Deaf Institute – Manchester

“A surprising little find just off the beaten track”

I may have mentioned earlier, as well as liking his grub, The Cook Twit likes his heavy metal and tries to keep his beer belly in check. A hot, humid, drizzly Monday eve presented a bit of a problem. Devotion to his cause meant he had to trek along to extraordinaire rock god Sebastion Bach whilst juggling a notion of keeping his weight in tune with a ’52 diet’ fast day. The breakfast and lunch had passed with ease having merely chugged some porridge and an apple. The dilemma what to have for tea. Young Seb was treading the boards at The Academy on Oxford Road, I know there is plenty of quickie food joints up there, pizzas, kebabs, burgers all standard student fayre. Cutting to the chase I slipped off the main drag and stepped early doors into hip joint The Deaf Institute.

The historic exterior
The historic exterior

I believe it is a cousin of more mainstream city centre stalwarts Trof and Gorilla.
The outside looks good. It occupies a grade two listed building finished in 1877, that was formerly the Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute. It still has a brilliant, carved moniker sat above the doorway which says “Deaf And Dumb”. Also above the door is a carving of a hand on a book which was the emblem used at the time on badges worn by the deaf.
Inside is just as good. High ceilings, ferocious wallpaper, well worn schoolboy furniture, trendy chandeliers, it is a grungy delight. Deep bass, thumping chilled out sounds oozed from the transistorised amplification. Not many in, but hey it’s drizzly and it’s Monday. Still I’m happy, a copy of ‘The Skinny’ and a black coffee, I’m sorted. (Coffee!!! – Ed)

Ferocious wallpaper
Ferocious wallpaper

I still have to eat though, how do I get something for three hundred calories? I surveyed the hard to read, black type on red, graphic menu. Some great stuff on there. It’s a limited offering. Breakfast , burgers, hot dogs, a Sunday roast and some salads.

The hard to read funky menu
The hard to read funky menu

I went for the ‘Crunchy Mexican Streetfood Salad’ (£5). I added a grilled lemon chicken breast for an extra £1. The salad was essentially a mound of grated white and red cabbage, carrot. radishes, coriander, jalapeños, lime and brown rice. It had a few chick peas as well. It came with an oily, but mainly vinegary dressing. I have to say it was lovely. Fresh, zingy, crunchy with a healthy ‘chillified’ kick, it was absolutely lovely. The chicken was a tad overdone for me, I have a knack of cooking it still moist which is rarely replicated outside.

Zingy salad, awesome smoothie
Zingy salad, awesome smoothie

I’m not sure it truly met my three hundred calorie target, but I’m sure it was less than the burger and fries!
They have a great cocktail and beer menu as well. They have tons of bottled beer from all over the world including some decent American pale ales. As I was keeping off the alcohol I had a blueberry and banana smoothie (£3.50). It just hit the spot. It set me up wonderfully for a sweaty metal night. It all came to just over a tenner. It’s gone on my list. If you’re heading up to the Student area from town to a gig, you can do worse than nip in to The Deaf Institute for pre gig livener. I’ll be going again defo.

The Deaf Institute
135 Grosvenor Street
Manchester
M1 7HE
T: 0161 276 9350

Thedeafinstitute.co.uk

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