In Manchester we Vegheads are lucky to be spoilt with some delicious choices in our options in dining out, with a huge range of chains and independents offering vegetarian and vegan options, you won’t go hungry. Some areas in the UK lack a fine dining option for vegans. Although places such as Gaucho, Rocco Forte and San Carlo have been known to dabble in offering 1 vegetarian option, its not the best attempt. In cities these days we have the option of going to fully vegetarian bistros and restaurants! Places such as Manna- Primrose hill and Greens- Didsbury have been visited by celebrities who were not even vegan! In central Manchester my favorite place for a special evening meal is now, without a doubt Bistro1847, we also have some delicious Indian, Italian and Thai places with stunning vegetarian and vegan options however the menu here is more traditional, a sort of British fusion affair. All Vegetarian and mainly veganisable. The atmosphere and decor was modern yet nice, relaxed even, and our sever had a nice chat with us about our selections, recommending dishes we might enjoy.
For Starters Mummy went for an amazingly British dish, Yorkshire Pudding (VEGAN!), with Brussel Sprout Gravy, Nut Praline and cress! It doesn’t get more British than that! does it? All the tasty veg here is fresh and some even locally foraged! I tasted this dish and it was very nice but I preferred my starter… Malaysian parsnip, cashew and potato puree with potato crackling and satay peanut sauce. This dish was lovely! the peanut satay sauce complemented the roast parsnips despite being an odd combo, I liked this fusion dish although the parsnip hater that is Mummy, was not too keen!
For main course I chose Curried root vegetable and smoked tofu kedgeree and puy lentils, although both of our starters were vegan on menu, the mains had to be veganised. This dish had vegan soya yogurt on top as I requested the Ve option but Vegetarians or Meat eaters would have received an egg from a Quail. She chose a another more traditional option, Beer battered Halloumi with mushy pea sauce, lemon curd and chunky chips- Veganised this has tasty tofu replacing the popular salty cheese. This dish was garnished with ‘Sea Herbs’
I was glad I did not order the mock fish and chips, I would have been frustrated at the teeny amounts of lemon curd and pea puree- I love mushy peas and when I order chips I always cover them in mushy peas and gravy or curry sauce then lashings of vinegar! However mummy loved this refined dish as she loves crispy batter something she misses from her battered fish days. She couldn’t even finish it due to the arrival of… chunky chips! I had to ‘help’ with the chip consumption and was happy to oblige salt in hand. My main course was nicely spicy, I love lentils, rice and tofu and there were veggies in there too, the hot spicyness was nice with the cool raita style vegan yogurt topping! I have never had kedgeree before but it was very good.
For pudding she opted out as she was feeling full, I could not resist but passed up the option of sticky toffee pudding with smoked swedish glace in favour of something rich on the taste buds but slightly lighter on the tummy.
I was pleased by my decision as I think it was much more unusual – Poached pears with whipped spiced squash (think pumpkin pie filling), mint lead, almonds, and rich chocolate fudge ganache chunks! The edible flowers on top made it almost too pretty to eat!… I managed and I can say that this was my favorite course, a vibrant taste extravaganza!
All in all I think Bistro 1847 is a nice place to go, expensive but not as expensive as some other establishments and deals and taster menus appear a lot so check online! If you hate vegetables then you may be surprised but if you are genuinely really fussy and not a flavor fan then maybe stay away. I overheard a omni dining with his veggie partner saying ‘vegetarian food tastes better as more effort is put in rather than relying on meat, so there is more flavor full stop!’ and its true. Veggie food does not have to be bland! its not bland (It can be if you want it to be) but a Vegetarian dining experience should be as exciting as any other and Bistro1847 does that. They also offer lunch sandwich menus.