Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Food By Breda Murphy Station Road Whalley 26th July 2017

Food By Breda Murphy had a major refurbishment earlier this year, creating more covers, a private dining room and Reilly's Gin Bar.   They serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and are open for dinner Friday and Saturday evenings, with a delicatessen offering take away or eat in food, separate to the restaurant.   The location is perfect, if like me you travel by train, the station is literally a hop, skip and a jump across the road, so fantastic if travelling from Manchester Victoria Station.

The refurbishment is fantastic, light and modern, but warm and welcoming, although I did not take photos of the interior, as it is always so busy and would be a little intrusive on other diners.   I have visited several times, for both lunch and dinner as they have a vegan menu, which will hopefully change four times a year.

So far I have sampled the salt baked beetroot, with pickled carrots, a totally tasty dish, especially the beetroot gel and the whole dish was elevated, with the crunchy cashew granola and apple and fennel salad.

Mushroom soup with granary bread, I wish I could make soup this good, the depth and concentration of mushroom flavour was amazing and the in house baked granary bread was pretty awesome too.

Pan fried wild mushrooms, tenderstem broccoli and lemongrass curry oil, on toasted granary bread, this was another class dish, I cannot resist mushrooms.

Leek and spinach gratin with smoked potatoes I have eaten twice, preferring the second version, a more substantial portion bulked up with chickpeas, with carrots and fennel, with a side salad and olive oil dressing.   A great combination of flavours, even the salad was top notch, everything perfectly presented and spot on seasoning.

My final savoury dish, pasta with pine nuts, roast plum tomato sauce and fried basil leaves, being a pasta fiend I devoured it all, it was that good.

I am not a big dessert fan, but warm apple, gooseberry and lavender compote, offset by cold Granny Smith sorbet, I could not resist, it was polished off in an instant.

Prior to my visits I did a little research, which revealed a few vegan friendly wines on the comprehensive list and if I dug deeper, I bet there are loads more, perhaps in future the wines will be labelled.

Uvam Pinot Grigio Blus delle Venezie
The Courtesan Riesling
Lagar da Xestosa Godello
Mionetto Avantgarde Prosecco
Domaine Tremblay Chablis
Quinta da Bacalhoa Moscatel de Setubal

So to date I have tried the Mionetto Prosecco, who doesn't like Prosecco, I love it.

The Lagar da Xestosa Godello from Spain is another great choice, I love trying different wines.

The Courtesan Reisling tickles me, as I love the label never mind the wine, I highly recommend this one.

I do not often drink dessert wines, mainly because vegan friendly ones are few and far between, but Quinta da Bacalhoa Moscatel de Setubal is an exception.   I emailed Bacalhoa and had a lovely reply from their Export Sales Manager Frederico, who confirmed that not only was their Moscatel dessert wine vegan, but in fact all of their wines.   The Moscatel is sumptious and lush with a deep flavour of raisins, I loved it and will certainly look out for Bacalhoa wines in future.

Head Chef Gareth Bevan certainly cooks delicious food, well seasoned and presented on the plate, with as much as possible made on site.   The only negative is the size of dishes like a tiny beetroot salad and yet mushroom soup, was a substantial portion served with bread.  On my last two visits the soup, although on the vegan menu, has not been suitable, which reduces your choice.   You also need to order sides with the mains, so if you like big piled up plates of food, this is is not the place for you and as with many places in the Ribble Valley, it is not cheap.   I will continue to revisit as I love the place and the people are really friendly and I like to support places offering a vegan menu, but perhaps they will take on board my comments about portions and choice.

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