Manchester is such a great place for vegans, especially vegans who are friends with omnivores. The Deaf Institute is yet another non-vegan establishment that is absolutely smashing it when it comes to plant-based options. Thanks to their vegan chef (who is well worth a follow on Instagram) they have a strong array of vegan options on their regular menu, plus various specials.
There’s a vegan mac’n’cheese in the small plates menu, and despite hating the word “small” in relation to meals, I gave it a go. The cashew cheese sauce was lovely and creamy, and the bacon added some good texture. It was nice, but I think I’ve found more flavoursome recipes myself – so only order this for the novelty, or if you’re not an experienced mac’n’cheese maker yourself.
Dr HH agonised over his decision: the seitan burger with aubergine bacon and cheese, or the veggie hot dog? As you can see, he went for the burger, and was very pleased with his choice. The patty was good and meaty and the burger as a whole had great integrity: it held together and never became too sloppy to handle. He enjoyed that there were a few different flavours going on, so every bite was a little different. The cheese was nice, and the aubergine was good, though its texture was not as bacon-like as the menu suggested. A winner!
And we split the chocolate brownie bowl for dessert: a delicious warm, gooey brownie with tiny meringues for crunch and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My only complaint was that there was a fruity compote at the bottom of the glass – I’d have prefered to keep it all chocolatey. It was a really indulgent dessert, so I’m glad we shared.
While the regular menu is packed with vegan options, it’s also worth popping along on a Sunday for their Vegan Hangover menu – four or so all-vegan options. We gave this a whirl back in the Christmas holidays and were very impressed.
Dr HH had this jackfruit flatbread pizza. The base was a little tougher than we’re used to from regular pizzas, but the topping was excellent: good meaty jackfruit and mushrooms, and a pleasant kick from the jerk seasoning. The creamy cashew dip was a nice addition.
I went all-out and got this nut roast with all the trimmings, as it was the Sunday before Christmas. The nut roast itself was really flavoursome and festive, I just loved it! The kale and sprouts were delicious, and the roasties were cooked to perfection, though the carrots and parsnips could have done with a wee bit longer. I haven’t had many Yorkshire puddings since going vegan, and these were beautiful – quite greasy, but I love that sort of thing. Usually I like my food as dry as possible, but the gravy on this dish was absolutely sublime. I could barely move at the end, and all thoughts of dessert were banished, but it was worth it.
All in all: delicious! And as a bonus, you can go on Wednesday and get two mains for the price of one. The building is quite old and impressive, and the bar has a great atmosphere, though the music tends to be a bit too loud for an old lady like me. I’d put up with any music for food like this though!