Sunday, 29 January 2017

All Bar One Derby Square Liverpool 28th January 2017

All Bar One is a group of stylish city bars, with around fifty venues throughout the UK, owned by parent company Mitchells and Butlers, who also own amongst others, Harvester and Toby Carvery, who have vegan options on their menus.  I was really pleased that All Bar One were taking part in Veganuary, by introducing a vegan menu and were really marketing this to the general public on their website and in their venues.

I was visiting Liverpool for a belated birthday weekend away and Emma from All Bar One's social media team, kindly sent me a voucher, to sample their vegan offerings.   I never turn down the offer of food, so took Steven for lunch.

The Liverpool site has plenty outside seating for warmer weather and inside is modern and contemporary, light and bright and very busy on a Saturday lunchtime.   We were shown to our table by Jonny the Assistant Manager and given menus, whilst we waited for our drinks.

I must be honest, my experience of food at chain restaurants, is not brilliant, so hence I do not visit them often, mainly because I have high expectations of the food and have had so many let downs, so this visit I went with an open mind.

There is an interesting selection of vegan dishes, so I chose patatas bravas and avocado and tomato bruschetta, the presentation was excellent, you eat with your eyes first, so you just wanted to dive in.

Both dishes were fresh and delicious, the patatas bravas were crisp and not oily and the sauce was perfect, I was impressed.

Main courses were miso rice bowl for Steven and kale pakora on flatbread, with houmous and tahini for me.

Steven, who although not vegan, absolutely loved the miso rice bowl and said it was not something he would think of ordering, but this dish changed his mind, he loved it.   The kale pakora dish was superb, so many flavours and textures and as for the jackfruit chutney, I should have asked for the recipe.

We were quite full, but could not resist dessert, so Steven chose the coconut and vanilla rice pudding and chocolate, chilli and cardamon cake with Belgian chocolate sauce for me.

It shows how much I loved the chocolate cake, as I posted all the photos I took, it was one of the most lush, indulgent chocolate desserts I have eaten, if they take this off the menu, its a crime.   The rice pudding went down well with Steven too and although he had a spoon or two of my cake, it was a generous slice and it defeated me, as I was popping.

Jonny was friendly and helpful and we had a brief chat, about the vegan menu, which seems to be going down well.   I have contacted All Bar One (@allbarone) and their parent company Mitchells and Butlers (@eatdrinkmb) on Twitter, to ask if the vegan menu will be a permanent fixture, so anyone reading this, if you feel the same, let them know.

I was sceptical about the food, but my visit completely changed my mind, they are well thought out dishes, well cooked.   I will definitely look out for All Bar One, when out and about on my travels.

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