After my last trip for a seven course feast at Nooch in Wigan courtesy of the great vegan chef Matthew Nutter, I was delighted to be invited for a return visit, albeit only for five courses this time. As much as I loved it the first time, I actually think the food was better the second time: a bit more polished, the quality a bit more consistent.
The amuse bouche was called ‘Sunday dinner’ and it was a delicious, crispy arancini (arancino?) on top of a butternut squash puree with a parsnip crisp. It was a great combination of textures, and the flavours were, as the title suggests, familiar and comforting. It was delicious!
The starter promised scallops, so I was excited and intrigued. I never tried scallop in my omnivorous days, but I’ve seen them a million times on Masterchef and so have always assumed that they’re quite fancy. I can’t comment on how authentic these courgette scallops tasted, but they were certainly delicious – they tasted quite buttery, and the sweet peppers hiding in the salad lent a bit of a kick (Mr HH scoffed at that notion, but I definitely picked it up).
Last time we thought the main was slightly underwhelming, but this time we were very impressed. I was a bit sceptical on learning that we would be served raw spaghetti bolognese. Sometimes food should just be cooked, shouldn’t it? However, this was lovely. The spaghetti element was the matchstick carrot and beetroot. In the centre the bolognese was so delicious, and, besides the obvious nuts and tomatoes, I can’t even fathom what other magical combinations were in there. It was lovely and I could have eaten twice as much.
Pre-desserts aren’t really my thing, unless it’s essentially ‘first dessert’. As such, I don’t really feel that the spinach and lemon juice added much to my meal – it was nice, if you like that sort of thing, and just having a pre-dessert makes me feel as fancy as the queen, but it wasn’t the highlight of my dinner.
Fortunately the real deal wasn’t too far behind, and again, it was a step up from the dessert last time. It was described as an ice cream sundae, and consisted of a scoop each of mint and avocado mousse, pineapple sorbet and banana and chocoate mousse, topped with a slice of dried mango, some popcorn and a date cigarillo. The popcorn was an inspired touch, as it added a nice bit of crunch. Presentation-wise, it looked colourful and inviting, and the banana chocolate mousse was especially delicious.
Overall, everything was just a touch more creative and polished than last time. I’m really excited to see what this plant-powered chef does next and hope I get the chance to try some more of his food when I’m home for Christmas.