13 Shaw Rd,
Stockport SK4 4AG
Chorizo sandwich: £6.55 (all prices are for eating-in)
Soup and buttered bread: £4.25
Slice of chicken pie: £6.95
I try so hard to love Heaton Moor's lunch scene. On the one hand, it's burgeoning, it's occasionally imaginative, and it's found in a number of terribly nice delis. On the other, it's expensive.
Pokusevski's epitomises this dilemma. After a recent refit, its Scandinavian-esque interior and white-walled back yard provide a soothingly cool place to eat your over-priced sandwiches. The menu board above the deli counter is misleading - its (incredibly reasonable) prices are for take-away only, it is only once you're seated that the lunch menu is brought to you, and you realise that this is yet another "seven quid for a panini and bits of green" place. Once you read beyond the multiple takes on the [insert name of fancy organic European meat product] + [insert name of slightly unusual cheese or vegetable] hot/cold/panini sandwiches, the menu is creative and more unusual than that of Kro or the Orangery. Slices of homemade pies and quiches, both containing plenty of honest ingredients but priced around the £6-7 mark, along with good breads and interesting soup combinations, mean that it would take a while to get bored of what they have to offer.
I had the butternut squash soup with buttered bread, and the soup was delicious. Sweet, slightly nutty, and creamy, each mouthful was a delicious, sunset-coloured slurp. The bread tasted like rye but appeared to be wholewheat, and was cut into thick slices. My brother's grilled chorizo sandwich came on ciabatta but with only a smear of chilli mayonnaise, although with an unadvertised helping of tangy and crisp coleslaw. You can't really go wrong with chorizo, but the sandwich could have done with an added ingredient to justify its £6.55 price tag. My dad's slice of chicken pie contained large chunks of chicken and plenty of softened leeks, as well as coleslaw on the side. The pie was bland as neither the chicken nor the leeks had much flavour, and could do with a couple of other ingredients to give it some oomph.
Although Heaton Moor might be middle-class paradise, it would be nice to be able to eat lunch for under £8, after the tip and a drink have been taken into account. As the credit crunch begins to hit even the solicitors, consultants and yummy mummies, Heaton Moor's cafes and bars are going to have to readjust their prices in order to survive. Maybe they could start now.