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Pollen Bakery Kampus
Address42 Aytoun, Kampus, Manchester M1 3GL
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Pollen At Kampus Reviews
Restaurants Of Manchester (Saturday 18th June 2022)
Key: 5 stars = World Class!   4 stars = FANTASTIC   3 stars = GOOD   2 stars = OK   1 star = Poor

Pollen At Kampus Review Pollen At Kampus Review
Pollen at Kampus ~ Menu Pollen at Kampus ~ Menu Inside
Decor & Ambience World Class
Slick, clean, Sandi minimalism. The pastry display faces you upon entry, so it’s rightly the first thing that you see. There’s no messing about, and you’re instantly aware of what’s on offer.

The seating area to the right as you enter is similarly clean lined and visually appealing. The kitchen is right round at the back hidden away as bakers and Chefs prefer it. But for those who care, it’s glass fronted so you can check out the guys doing all the stretch and folds etc which make your carbs so delicious.
As nice as it is, am I the only person who’s getting a bit bored of Scandi minimalism, especially when I’m not in Scandinavia?
Pollen At Kampus Review Pollen At Kampus Review
Pollen at Kampus ~ Cups Pollen at Kampus ~ Pain An Chocolat
Value World Class
Is £3.20 for a Pain Au Chocolat expensive?  I don’t think so personally, largely because I fully appreciate what goes into making them.  Same as £4.50 for some well-crafted patisserie.  Drinks are similarly/fairly priced too.
I suspect that in these parts, lots of people will think that £3.20 is expensive for a Pain Au Chocolat.
Pollen At Kampus Review Pollen At Kampus Review
Pollen at Kampus ~ Coffee Pollen at Kampus ~ Mint Tea
Food & Drink World Class
We called in for brunch on this occasion, firstly because it was that time of day, and secondly, because brunch meant that sweet and savoury in the same meal is entirely acceptable.

The hash brown was declared, after very little deliberation, the best which I’ve ever eaten. Perfectly cooked and properly seasoned throughout, with no trace of starchy rawness anywhere. Admirable when you consider the size of it. Quality potatoes, grated super finely, evenly coloured on all sides with some cured trout and 2 perfectly poached eggs on top. A simply spectacular brunch plate.

We also sampled Eggs and Sobrasada; that iconic sourdough which needs no elaboration, lightly toasted and topped with a quality-yolked fried egg and some soft, crimson Spanish paste, to give an element of spice and some no doubt coincidental red oil garnish.

We also took the opportunity to sample a Cinnamon Roll too, which was ample in size, looked the part and rounded off the meal in proper bakery fashion.

And whilst unrelated to this blurb; we took home half a dozen pastries too, and can confirm that they were all delicious. The caramel tart deserves special note. Light pastry with perfect snap, and textbook filling, with a dot of gold leaf to garnish; the only situation where gold leaf should be used in edible form.
The cinnamon bun which we ate in, was to be honest, a little heavy and dry.  The only blot on the pastry landscape.
Pollen At Kampus Review Pollen At Kampus Review
Pollen at Kampus ~ Smoked Trout Hash Brown Pollen at Kampus ~ Eggs & Sobrasada
Service World Class
Everything that you could really ask for at a casual café/bakery type setup. Friendly, informative, and generally a pleasure from the moment that you enter.
A little bit of confusion and lack of traffic management when we entered in terms of who was waiting for a seat, who wanted to take pastries away, and who was just a spatially unaware tourist taking photos of the pastry display.  We can probably put that down to first-weekend blues and being extremely busy though.
Pollen At Kampus Review Pollen At Kampus Review
Pollen at Kampus ~ Cinnamon Roll Pollen at Kampus ~ Bakery Counter Seasonal Danish
Overall World Class
When Pollen first opened behind Piccadilly train station all those years ago, I, along with most of Manchester’s bakery fanatics, was an instant admirer of their long-prove sourdough loaves. It’s how bread should be in my opinion. Many of Manchester’s top dining rooms did and still do use Pollen to produce/source their loaves, to the stage where it started to feel samey and boring when ordering bread whilst eating out. But what it did was confirm the quality of Pollen’s product.

I used to love that old unit; suitably rough around the edges, kind of hidden away, with long queues due to the limited production numbers and a small yet established cult following. But as a contentious point which I’ll stand by to this day; I was never really a fan of their Patisserie attempts. They always felt like an afterthought and was never pulled off with the same conviction as their bread. Even the croissants etc felt way behind the bread making. Baking and Patisserie are two entirely different skills, after all.

A few years on, we’ve since seen a slicker operation launch in New Islington, at which the bar was clearly raised with new skills being brought onboard in the form of proper pastry people and actual cooks, not solely bakers. Now in June 2022, the old MMU Business School campus on Aytoun Street, hence now known as Kampus, boasts the latest iteration of Pollen, with the bar raised even further.

Pun intended; Pollen has blossomed into not just a solid bakery offering some of the best sourdough that you’ve likely to find anywhere north of London, but is now a complete package. Cracking brunch dishes, much improved patisserie, still with great bakes, staying true to their roots of being a bakery.

Pollen is now a Manchester icon (hence all those tourists) and you get the impression that it’s only a matter of time before their presence in the city further increases .
As touched on above as a positive; during the weekend of this write up, we also ate at 2 local restaurants, both of which served Pollen Bread. So, we ate Pollen sourdough 3 times in 2 days.

We are a small city, and whilst Im sure that there’d be a market for another Pollen in other parts of the city centre and also in some of our posh suburban towns; let’s not get too saturated with a single vendor, regardless of how good it is. Even great things can get boring very quickly. Just like Scandi minimalism .
Pollen At Kampus Review Pollen At Kampus Review
Pollen at Kampus ~ Bakery Pollen at Kampus ~ Sign

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