Sneak peak inside Tomfoolery at 34

I've just taken a sneak peak inside Alderley Edge's newest restaurant, before it opens its doors later today, and there is certainly plenty to get people talking about it.

Tomfoolery at 34 is definitely not a run of the mill burger joint, it is eccentric, nostalgic, quirky and fun.

The downstairs cafe and bakery is full of mix and match antique sofas and armchairs, old gaming machines, an old TV and typewriter, plus an eclectic collection of lamps, suitcases, ornaments and memorabilia. Whilst upstairs the main restaurant is equally unconventional with a retro style area full of old chandeliers leading through to a vintage room where classic old paintings hang on the walls and the ceiling is covered in tiger wallpaper.

Tomfoolery is the brainchild of Alderley Edge resident Manzur Iqbal, 33, who has spent the past 18 months transforming the former Alderley Rose Chinese restaurant which his father Iqbal Ahmed, Chairman of Seamark Group, owns.

Along with Laura Burgess, they have spent months sourcing the interiors from ebay, warehouses and car boot sales, whilst chef Brice Moore has been creating an equally original menu featuring a selection of 'wholesome' burgers as well as steak hash, lamb short rib and ox cheek.

The menus come on clipboards featuring artwork created by pupils at Alderley Edge School for Girls.

Everything is handmade on the premises using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, including pickles, freshly squeezed juices and the burgers. Whilst the bread, buns and croissants are all made using their sour dough levain to give them their own unique taste.

Brice, 29, previously worked at Manchester House, celebrity chef Michael Caines' Gidleigh Park in Devon which has two Michelin stars and Paul Ainsworth at No 6 in Padstow which also has a Michelin star. Having spent years working in fine dining restaurants, Brice told me "I wanted to do something simple and more casual".

Speaking about the food, Brice said "It is stuff we like to eat. We are not cooking for guides, accolades, pride or ego but we are cooking for ourselves. Chefs especially can get carried away but we're keeping it simple. My main goal is to make good quality food accessible to everybody."

He added "We are not going down the 'dirty burger' route but do stuff we like. We tried to create some longevity, be true to what we are and stay away from pretentiousness.

"We are letting it evolve naturally, it is an organic business."

Manzur is keen to create a family friendly place where people feel relaxed and happy - and with its quirky decor people can't help but smile.

Tomfoolery at 34 opens at 4pm today (Tuesday 28th July). It will then be open from 11am to 11pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Once things have settled down, Manzur intends to run film nights in the upstairs vintage dining room, which has been equipped with a projector.

Tomfoolery at 34


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Dave Clarke
Tuesday 28th July 2015 at 4:06 pm
Well it certainly looks different, I wish it well as its bold and steps away from the norm which should always at least be admired. Looking forward to sampling the food and enjoying the venue (it took a long time in the coming).
Jon Williams
Tuesday 28th July 2015 at 8:18 pm
Is the meat Halal ?