Vegan in Manchester: Bistro 1847

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Right in the city centre, Bistro 1847 has become my go-to restaurant for celebrations and special occasions in Manchester.  Since it first opened it has held a special place in my heart thanks to the main course of beer-battered halloumi/tofu in a twist on fish and chips.  Simply delicious!  That dish has always remained on the menu and become more refined as the restaurant has moved more towards fine dining.

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It’s a simple menu, with only three options for each course (two of each are vegan or can easily be adapted), but each one is prepared and presented beautifully and tries to offer something a bit different and special.

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And unlike it’s main rival, Greens, it doesn’t let you down when it’s time for dessert – these churros were on the menu for ages, and they were pretty special.

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The menu has just changed again in time for Christmas.  I chose my starter because it included the words “potato crackling” – the crispy shard of potato across the top, which was as crunchy and tasty as you would imagine.  The dish also combines mushrooms and beautifully tender roasted parsnips in a deep lemongrass sauce.  It was very nice.

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The “fish’n’chips” has been restyled for Christmas and given a Japanese twist – wasabi rather than pea puree, potato scallops rather than chips.  My fellow went for the halloumi version and raved about it, so I shall definitely get the tofu next time.  But I opted for this cauliflower dish.  It was spicy and fragrant, with some delicious chunks of cauliflower, but to be honest I would have liked a bit more texture to it…and some chips.  It didn’t fill me up.

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So of course, I had to have a dessert.  As always, I followed my sticky toffee pudding rule and was glad of it.  Actually it was more of a sticky toffee cake – there wasn’t a lot of sauce, but the sponge was really beautifully spiced and the praline on top was lovely.  The ice cream was the real surprise of the dish:  it was smoked.  All the flavours merged beautifully.

Now I’m just desperate for an excuse to go back for the battered tofu.  If anyone wants to take me…

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