Yep- I went out for a meal. GASP. What on earth did I eat (is the usual response, or ‘I bet you can’t eat anything when you go out’).
Well, it was my mum and dads birthday yesterday, the first of October. It was also my first full day at the museum, and the start of my full time placement (eeeee!). After being at the museum, I came home, whipped on some snazzy clothes, and off my family trundled to a vegetarian restaurant in Manchester City Centre. It’s called 1847, and it’s slap bang in the centre, so really easy to find but also really quite posh (only the best for mummy dear!). My dad was away in Scotland working (poor dad, although he’s going to celebrate this weekend instead!), so it was just me, mum and 3 of my siblings (the 4th sibling was also away at Uni in York).
My mum is a pescetarian, so hence the veggie restaurant, and she probably was a little swayed by my veganism in the choice of restaurant. But the rest of the fam are massive meat eaters (as I used to be- hence the blog title…) so it was a gamble taking them here, but we’d heard very good things about this place. As you can see, my brother Josh was thoroughly excited at the prospect of a meat-free meal….. (in actual fact, the menus were coded with V (vegan), VO (vegan option), GF (gluten free), and Josh specifically chose the one meal which was the “least vegan” in his eyes, and the “most gluten-rich”!!!! Haha!).
After such optimism, we ordered some drinks (Josh was also appalled that all the drinks were vegan and gluten free!). I had a couple of lovely glasses of Rose, and used it as an excuse to try and get a sneaky shot of the restaurant….
We were served (all vegan) bread with Balsamic vinegar at the start of the meal, and it was gorgeous. A really nice touch too and we weren’t sat hungry, it was just right.
Then when the starters came, I’m pretty sure everyones eyes lit up! They were much bigger portions than I was expecting (I half expected dinky little posh portions, but this was real hearty sized food!). And although I was already sold by the big portions, the flavour was intense. I had caramelised onion and thyme tart with blueberry balsamic sauce & sorrel. It was a b s o l u t e l y gorgeous! I’d never have thought to put caramelised onions with thyme, but they just sang out when they were in your mouth. Mmmmmm I’m happy thinking about it!
My brother Nathan tried the sesame crusted tofu with savoy cabbage parcels, with ginger and soy. This was vegan with a gluten free option. That was really impressive on this little board type thing, cool presentation but I don’t remember him raving about the taste. He’d never had tofu so I’ll have to ask him how it was (or Nathan if you’re reading this- comment below!).
The most popular choice was the tempura autumn greens with sweet chilli sauce. Again, this was vegan, and it looked amazing. If I go again (hint hint at the boyfriend!), I will probably get this. Josh loved it which impressed me, and my mum enjoyed it too. It was a really nice idea, I’d only really ever seen tempura prawns before so didn’t even consider it as an option for me in the future.
Then for the mains! Now this I was looking forward to. Rosemary polenta with roasted squash, vine tomatoes and crispy fried sage. Vegan and gluten free.
I hope that photo speaks for itself because it was gorgeous. I’ve never had polenta before, and still don’t really know what it is. All I can describe it as is like a savoury cake! I loved it at the time, but not 100% sure I’d go out of my way to order polenta again, it’s really quite a bizarre taste (but nice at the same time!).
My little sister Phoebe has the cauliflower with
cheddar, boooooooooooo, non vegan so I’m not giving that a shoutout on here (although she did love it!).
My mum and Josh had beetroot & potato cake with poached
eggs, horseradish hollandaise sauce (gluten free). Although there are non-vegan options, the amount of vegan options were amazing, and it was great that the whole family could have a gorgeous meal without either me feeling dumped with a salad, and without the meat eaters feeling hard done by.
Next came desert! Phoebe had a plum and almond mille feuille with raspberry jam. Apparently that wasn’t anything special, so a little disappointing there.
On the vegan front, there was a vegan ice cream option, and a non-vegan option, so me and Nathan got one of each… guess which one is vegan.
Yesss, the chocolate one! 😀
They both were Satsuma and chocolate ice cream with pistachio cookies, and it was really interesting. I’m not massive on dessert anyway, but it was nice to have a little change from boring plain ice cream, so yeah I’d say that was a success! And at least phoebes fancy named wafer option looked nice on the plate!
Overall, I’d give this place a solid 8/10. It was gorgeous, the staff were so friendly and welcoming, and the atmosphere was warm and upmarket without being indimidatingly posh. No minimalist effects, and no OTT vegetarian décor. Overall you couldn’t tell it was a veggie restaurant which I liked about it.
Truly, a vegetarian restaurant for meat lovers, which put a massive smile on my face…