Open seven days a week until late, The Drop Cafe Bar is one of several bonafide institutions that have made Chorlton’s Barlow Moor Road parade of bars, restaurants and shops such a buzz over the last decade or so. Delightfully informal when it comes to everything except the presentation of its incredible Caribbean food, customers can choose from the cosy wood-clad interior, walls packed with bright pastel colours, or the equally cool covered terrace on the street. Whichever, they can expect some of the best jerk dishes around.
Top of the pile here is the aptly titled Henchbox. A real selling point for regulars, think various main dishes from the menu, accompanied by sides like plantain, dumplings, slaw and coconut rice n’ peas (on Tuesdays they do two for £18.50). Options include Veg and Vegan, the Health Drop Box (with chicken and halloumi, steamed veg and sweet potato), and Fish. That’s in addition to staples such as Curry Goat and Ackee & Saltfish. Both of which are available as standalone dishes, too, along with Peppered Steak with Spinners, Stewed Chicken and Dumplings, and the best-selling Jerk Chicken. And by Jerk Chicken they mean prepared and marinated in six stages for an unbeatable flavour, helped no end by tamarind, pimento, chilli and ginger.
All this is before we mention the Reggae Roast, which turns the classic British Sunday dinner into something with far more kick. Options include the Lemon & Thyme BBQ Chicken, traditional Rice ’n’ Peas, Mac and Cheese and Sweet Potato. Understandably voted one of Manchester’s finest (and favourite) Jamaican restaurants, the desserts — if you have enough room — are also worth a shot. Home-made Brownies with Hot Chocolate Rum Sauce, and the Coconut Raisin Pecan Brownie keep with the theme, although the choice goes well beyond those. Add a bar stocked with goodness and served by the kind of experts that came up with the Bloody Marley (ask at the counter), it’s no wonder The Drop Bar Cafe has been such a go-to spot for so long.