Today I would like to share a review of a lovely dining experience which I had recently. The evening was slightly different as instead of being in a traditional restaurant, it was a pop-up. ‘Plant Food Power Chef’ run pop up dining experiences at different venues around the North West; the gourmet nights include bistro cuisine, 3 course Sunday lunches and even 7 course tasting menus.
Although the venue itself was a familiar and casual setting, ‘The Kitchen’ on Great Moor Street, a veggie cafe in Bolton; it felt very different on the night. A fine dining evening atmosphere had been created by candles, quirky placements, quality linen and glassware.
Our first course was a gorgeous terrine made from sweet potato, cherry peppers, tomato and red onion jam, all topped with cashew nut cheese. It was served with a coriander and jalapeno hummus and rosemary and garlic foccaccia bread. I absolutely adored the sweet terrine and smooth cashew cheese and the flavoursome caramelised red onion chutney was delicious. Mum preferred the moist wholegrain bread and sharp hummus, but everyone agreed that the flavours complemented each other beautifully.
The next course was ‘sesame sushi’ with satay aubergine. I felt the sushi itself was quite plain, however I then realised that the satay aubergine was quite spicy, so those who do not eat spice often would have liked the contrast of the very mild rice to offset the heat.
The following course was South Carolina lentil and squash, cauliflower cheese, creamed potato, candied beetroot and raw cauliflower salad. I really enjoyed the cheesy, yeasty taste and the sweet spices in this dish. The candied beetroot garnish was both pretty and tasty and mum also commented that the mashed potato was good. Reading ‘creamed potato’ on the menu we had both been apprehensive, because in some fine ‘gourmet’ establishments the potatoes are too creamy, making them practically liquid; this was not the case here.
The pre-dessert ‘hot chocolate’ wasn’t too special; I hate to write this but taste wise to me it was more instant powder than rich Spanish style hot chocolate, and it was also quite gritty, possibly due to the nuts not being fully blended.
However, the actual dessert was outstanding; ‘Autumn Spiced Apple and Nut Crumble’ with coconut cream. The base was a creamy cashew cheesecake style layer with nice vanilla tones, the apple layer was wonderfully seasonal and tasted of warming cinnamon and spices, and the topping was a mixture of crunchy textured nuts! I ended up with 2 dishes due to mum’s dislike of desserts, so I had the same thing with breakfast the next day and I am not complaining! Another thing to add is that Matthews nights are usually bring your own bottle with no corkage which is fantastic as some places charge ridiculous premiums on enjoying your own wine or charge glass rental!
I would recommend one of the taster menu style evenings organised by Matthew and Siobhan to anyone who loves flavoursome food, likes ‘eating out’ or who is looking for something slightly different. I would not recommend it to anybody who is an extremely fussy eater (taste wise rather than due to allergies/lifestyle) – as it is a pre-picked menu full of different delicious tastes and textures! Or anyone who only likes huge portions or buffets if they are ‘eating out’- this is not the kind of meal they would enjoy. However you can also taste Matthew’s cooking for both a la carte lunches, soups and salads and Sunday lunches at his regular premises in Wigan. All of Matthew’s food is vegan and most of it is also locally sourced and gluten free!
Find out more here- https://www.facebook.com/plantfoodpowerchef?fref=ts
Thanks for reading and thanks Matthew for cooking lovely food!