With clean eating becoming a big trend, it’s no surprise to see new healthy restaurants popping up – though us Mancunians have had to leave the city to eat clean so far, with my out-of-town favourites being Bosu Body Bar and The Yard.
That’s all change, now, with the opening of Rust & Stone, a café bar with a focus on fresh, healthy food. Set in the busy financial district of Spinningfields, it certainly has the right clientele surrounding it – that is those with extremely busy lives, who also want to look after their health but don’t necessarily have the time to spend hours meal prepping at the weekend.
I recently went along for Saturday lunch* and a juice – read on to find out what I thought.
It’s a cool place. Despite its surroundings being fairly industrial, it’s managed to create a tranquil, bohemian space, so good for an escape if you’re shopping in the city centre on a Saturday. I imagine it’s not quite as tranquil on a weekday lunchtime, but anywhere around will be mega busy at this time as the workers flood out to get their fill, so you can’t put them down for that!
When I went there were four salad options available, plus a roast, which people seemed to be having on ciabatta. Chris and I chose to have the roast beef on mixed salad, with beans, chickpeas, quinoa and spinach, ticking quite a few superfood boxes in one go. The beef was roasted to my tastes exactly – juicy and pink – and both Chris and I thought it was delicious, but if you’re more of a well-done kind of guy then I’m not sure what you would have done!
The menu is small, seemingly purposefully so, though they’re really good at the few things they make so that more than makes up for it. It’d be interesting in the future to see if they branch out a little further with their menu, or whether they stick to their guns and become well-known for creating their few healthy, fresh dishes.
Rust + Stone also serves freshly squeezed juices and blended smoothies, along with paleo brownies and cakes. We thought it’d be rude to leave without trying these, so I had a Beet & Ginger Boost, and Chris had a Mixed Berry Blast. I’ll always go for beetroot juices if there’s the option (I love the darned things) so I consider myself quite the connoisseur. This was as good, if not better, than any other mixed beetroot juice I’ve had – just the right blend of beetroot, ginger, apple and carrot, and I think it’d be good even if you’re not a beet fan like myself.
Chris enjoyed his, too, but I can’t stand smoothies with banana in – though the ingredients are clearly listed on the board and made to order, so you can always ask for something to be left out. The juices are also really reasonably priced at £4 for the size above – I’d say that was cheaper for the size than anywhere else in Manchester.
Overall, a really cool little restaurant-cum-cafe with a great vibe that’s also reasonably-priced, especially considering its prime positioning in Manchester’s financial district. I will definitely be visiting again – and I’ll be hoping beef is the roast again, cooked to the same rare perfection!