Thursday, 23 November 2017

Teahive Manchester Road Chorlton 23rd November 2017

Teahive is an ecletic tea and coffee house in Chorlton, just outside Manchester city centre, around the corner from Unicorn Grocery.   Teahive proudly offer over twenty loose teas and I love their ethos of making as much as possible on site, with many vegan options, which is what attracted me in the first place.

I loved everything about the place, its mish mash of furniture, with nothing matching, but this only added to its charm and perusing the menu, it was difficult to make a choice.   They offer a full vegan breakfast at the weekend, which sounds epic and so now I will have to make a return visit, just to try it.

I chose mushrooms on toast, with extra avocado and a large black decaf Americano, as did Steven, but on gluten free toast.

The dish was piping hot, perfectly cooked, with plenty mushrooms, no skimping on portions at Teahive and it was only £4.95 including the avocado, an absolute bargain and so delicious.  The coffee was as good a decaf as I have had anywhere and I was pleased they offered various plant milks, at no extra cost like some places.

We had a quick chat with Luke at front of house, a friendly guy who explained how they cater for all dietary requirements, even offering vegan afternoon tea if ordered in advance. 

I was well impressed with Teahive, it exceeded my expectations and I will be back to work my way through the vegan options, no wonder people were coming and going whilst we were there, how lucky to have this place on your doorstep.

Home Tony Wilson Place Manchester 22nd November 2017

Home Manchester is a theatre for contemporary art, film, music and more, with a cinema, bookshop and restaurant, with some fantastic sounding vegan options.   It is also handy if you are visiting Bridgewater Hall, like we were for an Alison Moyet concert and very close to the Premier Inn at Manchester Central, we were staying at.

The space is fantastic and was fairly quiet when we arrived, but it was only 17.30 pm, but by the time we left, it was packed.   The restaurant is modern, light and airy and we were shown to a lovely table of two and looked after by Paul.

Home serves pizza too and if you like your pizza with cheese, they also offer a vegan cheese with a charge of £1.

There are also several vegan wines on the list, although sadly not clearly labelled as such, maybe Home will address this issue one day.

Il Meridione
Emiliana Riesling
Domaine de la Motte Chablis
Sierra Grande Pinot Noir
Emiliana Adobe Cabernet Sauvignon
Pablo Y Walter Malbec

I ordered a bottle of the Emiliana Riesling, as you really cannot go wrong with wines made by this wine producer.

I was recommended the cauliflower buffalo wings, by my friend Rynneth on Twitter, so glad I took notice, she was right they were awesome.   The wings were the best I have eaten, they were superb with the zingy buffalo dip and along with olives, almonds and sun blush tomatoes, it was a perfect starter to share.

Main course was mushroom and bhaji burger, with roast red pepper, salsa and fries and it was another excellent choice.   The dish was brilliant so satisfying and delicious and a great combination with the mushroom and onion bhaji and is a dish I will replicate at home, I demolished it all.

Dessert to share was warm dark chocolate brownie with honeycomb and raspberry sorbet and was a spectacular dish, so much so I had to fight Steven over every last crumb.

I am thrilled to have found Home, the food is amazing, the place is fabulous, service from Paul our waiter was spot on and we cannot wait to return, as I have my eye on one their vegan pizzas.

Home Sweet Home Great Northern Square Manchester 22nd November 2017

Home Sweet Home is in the Great Northern, which was the most advanced railway goods exchange station in its time in 1899.   The icon red brick building now houses various restaurants, a bowling alley and cinema complex and yoga and fitness centres, along with a large multi story car park.

Home Sweet Home has a small vegan menu, which I have been wanting to try for ages and going for brunch was the perfect excuse.

I ordered a black decaf Americano, but little did I know that there is a 30 p charge for decaf coffee, until I got the bill.

I drink gallons of coffee and never been charged extra, in either major chains or the smallest independent cafe and although I scoured the online menus, there was no mention.   Steven said it was on the menu in the restaurant, along with a charge for soya milk, it must be a deliberate ploy not to put it online.   I was also not impressed with the price they charge for small bottles of water, wish I had just ordered a jug of tap.

I ordered vegan breakfast, swapping beans for extra of the other ingredients, however seeing the size of the portion, I do not think this was the case and it was overpriced compared to the many other great vegan breakfasts you can find in the city.   There was nothing wrong with the breakfast per se,  it was tasty and well cooked but not substantial enough.

The service was excellent from front of house, but based on the portions and especially those extra charges, I will vote with my feet and take my business elsewhere.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Elnecot Blossom Street Manchester 12th November 2017

Elnecot is a newly opened bar and kitchen in the trendy Ancoats area of Manchester and has a really interesting story, as to how it gained its name.

The first recording of Ancoats was in 1212, as a small settlement of a few dwellings, known as Elnecot, a name derived from the Old English 'Ana Cots' or 'Lonely Cottages'.

Elnecot have some excellent vegan options on their menu and are now offering brunch on Saturday and Sundays.   I have visited twice the latest being last night and I love the urban cool, modern but not minimalist inteior, with big sofas, trestle tables and a huge bar, leading onto a long open plan kitchen.

There is a concise wine list which includes British wines, many organic and biodynamic and so far I tried the Davenport Horsmonden organic wine made in Sussex, a clean and delicate wine, with a slight sparkle and reminiscent of a Portuguese Vinho Verde.   I have also tried the excellent Alfredo Maestro Almate Temperanillo, a full bodied but smooth wine and powerful too at 14%.

I am enjoying working my way through Elnecot's vegan options, I was dying to try the pearl barley arancini last night, but sadly they had sold out.

Aubergine & Mint Balls

Lemon & Thyme Roast Potatoes

Sexy Greens

 Foccacia & Rye Bread with Broccoli Houmous

Little Gem & Pickled Vegetable Salad 

Carrots with Pine Nuts 

 Disco Cauliflower 

The food is well cooked and seasoned, packed with flavour and even a simple dish like the carrots with pine nuts delicious, but could be so bland in the hands of a another chef.   I did a double take when I saw what I thought was Parmesan on the little gem salad, but it was actually Violife vegan parmesan cheese, which is fabulous.  

I had a chat with chef/co-owner Michael Clay, whose enthusiasm for his vegan options is obvious, his philosophy is vegans should not be palmed off with inferior boring dishes, so hence the delicious dishes I have sampled so far.

I am impressed with the whole concept of Elnecot, loved the venue, the food, the wine and the front of house staff.

What a great area Ancoats is becoming, with Ancoats Coffee, Ancoats General Store, Seven Brothers bar, Rudy's Pizza and now Elnecote to name but a few, I can see me heading up there in the future, I have got to try their brunch menu.