Vegan Mofo: Odd Bar, Manchester

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Day Twenty-Seven:  Favourite Herb or Spice

My favourite spice is cinnamon, my favourite herb is basil, but I would have taken pretty much anything in this, the blandest tofu scramble of all time.

Odd Bar in Manchester used to boast three venues:  Odd, Odder and Oddest.  Unfortunately, Odder closed down last year, and I don’t think the names work quite as well without the comparative form in the middle.  Odder held a special place in my heart, as my fellow and I had our first date there (and he even had the vegan breakfast), but fortunately the menu is the same in all of them so I’m not missing out on anything.  It’s a very popular bar with a smallish food menu, but a couple of vegan options that are clearly marked.  It really is insanely popular, considering it’s in a highly competitive area surrounded by similar bars and eateries.  On a Sunday lunchtime we struggled to get a table and had a bit of a wait for our breakfasts.

Was it worth the wait?  Well…yes and no.  Let’s start with the toast:  it was dry.  No spread, nothing.  I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t serve dry toast with the vegetarian/meaty breakfast, and I think if they put vegan food on the menu it should be up to the same standard.  Then the tofu.  It must have been made by someone who has never eaten tofu in their life.  It was just scrambled tofu without a drop of seasoning – I don’t think there was even any salt and pepper, nevermind anything more adventurous.  I love tofu, but this makes me understand those people who say it’s bland.  I had to pretty heavy-handed with the salt and pepper pots to make this edible.

If there are beans on a breakfast plate, the roasted tomato is entirely superfluous in my opinion.  As Dr HH always says, a grilled tomato is just a pocket of napalm, burning your mouth and not really adding to the dish.  I’d lose the tomato and double the mushrooms, because that’s the good stuff.

The rest of the dish was much nicer:  the hash brown was very big and crispy, and the three bean patty was a surprising addition to a breakfast, again crispy and tasty.  The highlight was the sausage.  Look at the size of them, for one thing!  And they’re homemade, falafel sausages, so they stand out from the crowd of Linda Mac’s and so on:  they had all the flavour and specialness that was lacking from some of the other elements.

If I have this breakfast again, I’ll switch the tomato for extra mushrooms…and possibly take my own spread for the toast.  They were also out of soya milk as well, which seems a bit careless.  I love and support anywhere that goes to the trouble of marking vegan items on the menu, but come on – treat us as you treat the other customers!  Nip out to Tesco for some Pure spread and Alpro milk, and you’re back in business!

Speed of service:  it was busy in there, and we waited half an hour.  The problem is, of course, that you want your drink and your food at the same time:  this was one of those unfortunate occasions when it was a struggle to eke out the drink long enough for the food to arrive.  2/5

Value for money:  it was £6.95 for a generous portion, and the size of the sausages alone makes it worthwhile.  We were definitely full afterwards.  4/5

Quality of cooking:  points deducted for the dry toast and plain tofu.  2/5

Creativity:  the sausages were very special and the patty was a really nice touch as well.  4.5/5

Total:  12.5/20

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5 Responses to Vegan Mofo: Odd Bar, Manchester

  1. Caroline says:

    The Odd chain drive me a bit mad as they get it so right and so wrong at the same time. In total agreement with your review. They wouldn’t have run out of soya milk as they have never, ever stocked it. How they can go to so much effort with their vegan options but then not provide spread and soya milk is bizarre to me. When they first opened it didn’t seem that strange as most places wouldn’t have soya milk but it’s not usual these days. Years ago they used to do an amazing vegan pizza too with a hoisin sauce and sliced potato, I still dream about it!

    • Jenny says:

      That’s interesting, I usually see people rave about them on the Manchester Vegan FB page. I’m glad I’m not alone! It’s interesting that they told us they’d run out of the milk. Milk and spread are such easy things to buy, it’s really bizarre that they won’t make that small step.

  2. that’s a real shame about the tofu given how good the rest of it looks. Strange that they would go to the effort of doing a vegan breakfast then have a flavourless scramble. Odd indeed.

  3. Pingback: Vegan Mofo: The Hideaway, Urmston | Herbivores' Heaven

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