Friday, 27 September 2019

Greenhalgh's Family Bakers

Greenhalgh's are a bakers in Bolton established in 1957 with sixty one shops and recently entered the vegan market, offering a vegan sausage roll, pasty and sandwiches.   Greenhalgh's contacted me offering to send samples, though as they were soya based, Steven kindly volunteered his services on my behalf.   In all honesty he is a much better critic, as he has struggled to find satisfying vegan alternatives, so this was a good test.

I served the pasty warm and the aromas on opening the oven door had me salivating.   The pastry was crisp and melt in the mouth, packed with a lovely meat like peppery filling, reminiscent of pasties Steven had as a child, just an excellent vegan alternative.

The sausage roll also served warm, was equally as scrumptious as the roll, lovely flaky pastry, loads of tasty filling and a good sized portion.   Steven thought it was so good he considered it superior to the Greggs sausage roll, quite an accolade.

The spinach wrap filled with couscous, tomato and red onion, was less of a success, it was lacking flavour, so Steven added smoked houmous and sriracha and what a difference it made.   I passed on Steven's comments about the wrap to Greenhalgh's social media team, who were happy to take them on board, so maybe they will tweak the recipe.

Overall Steven was impressed and would definitely buy the sausage roll and pasty when out and about and of course we love to support a Lancashire company.

Disclaimer:  I received free samples of these products and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Nibble Oldham Street Manchester 14th September 2019

Nibble is a quirky cafe with a passion for food, with excellent options for their vegan customers and other dietary requirements and I have visited several times for cake, but my latest visit was for breakfast.

Nibble is small with a lovely cosy atmosphere, with a roaring wood burning stove in the winter and outside seating when the sun shines and as much of the food is homemade as possible.

The breakfast options are excellent and Nibble are accommodating for allergy requirements, so I chose 'not just avocado on toast' with herby chickpeas and roast vegetables, with vegan breakfast for Steven.   The dishes were scrumptious, I particularly like their twist on the usual avocado on toast and Steven loved his breakfast, we polished it all off with an Americano coffee.

Nibble also have a great selection of vegan cakes every day too and on my last visit I had a slice of their stonkingly scrumptious chocolate and beetroot fudge cake, worth a visit just for this with a large mug of tea.

I am impressed that for takeaway food and drinks, all cutlery is made from wood and food cartons from cardboard, another big thumbs up.

I love Nibble, its an oasis in Manchester city centre and very popular, evident by the constant stream of people coming in to eat and buy takeaways.   Highly recommended.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Trove Cafe Murray Street Manchester 1st September 2019

Trove Cafe in Ancoats is one of three owned by Trove Foods and most Mancunians know Trove's renowned sourdough, as so many places have it on the menu and in my opinion it is the best in Manchester if not the world.

There are quite a few vegan options on the menu, but I have had my eye on the vegan breakfast for awhile, so it was easy to make a choice, along with a decaf Americano.

The breakfast was scrumptious, using quality ingredients, perfectly cooked and seasoned and with that amazing sourdough bread and great tasting coffee, it was my ideal start to the day.

I will be visiting Trove again for sure, as will many others I am sure, because shortly after we arrived the place was packed, so its a very popular place.

The Allotment Vegan Eatery Lloyd Street Manchester 31st August 2019

The Allotment Vegan Eatery is a fine dining vegan restaurant in Manchester city centre and I like its modern frontage, clear signage and on entering it is light, bright and airy.

I visited for the ten course tasting menu and was looking forward to a fabulous feast of vegan delicacies.   I contacted The Allotment beforehand about allergies I have to certain foods and when I arrived Manager Jessica showed us to our table and explained which dishes they would swap out, offering two main courses so great to have a choice.

We ordered a lovely bottle of Cotes De Provence rose wine, which unusually had a glass stopper, it is one of Steven's favourites, so we poured a glass and settled back to enjoy the evening

I have posted the photos as we were served the food and looking back I wonder how I managed to fit it all in, although we skipped lunch so were starving.   There was a palate cleanser of Aperol granita after the main course, although I forgot to take a photo and was offered a cocktail to replace the affogato, which I declined as I was fit to burst, so just had a soothing pot of camomile tea.

 Confit Aubergine 

 Tomato & Ginger Soup

King Oyster Ceviche

 Confit Carrot 

 Beer Battered Banana Blossom

 Glazed Daikon

Confit Aubergine 

 Pistachio Creme Brulee

Lemongrass & Ginger Tart

 Lemon Cheesecake

 Chocolate Fudge 


The food was scrumptious, well seasoned and packed with flavour, stand out dishes were banana blossom fish, lemon cheesecake, chocolate fudge, confit carrot and the soup which packed a chilli punch.   The only dish we were not keen on was the mushroom ceviche, though probably personal preference and you cannot expect to like every dish on a ten course menu.

Overall we thought the tasting menu at The Allotment was a wonderful experience and priced at £65 per person may appear expensive, but I thought it was value for money, as there is tons of work in all those dishes.   The chefs excelled my expectations on the allergy front, I did not feel hard done to at all, the replacement dishes were spot on for my tastes and we left feeling satisfied and happy.   

I will be returning to The Allotment to try the A La Carte menu next time and hope the banana blossom fish is still on the menu, as it was my favourite and a stonkingly good dish.

Vertigo Plantbased Eatery First Street Manchester 31st August 2019

Vertigo Plantbased Eatery on First Street is their second site in the city centre and is much bigger than their Cross Street site, seating up to forty two customers and was a perfect stop for breakfast.

The breakfast and lunch menus have really interesting choices and there was a great selection of cakes, flapjacks and even vegan croissants.   Vertigo open in the evening until 8.30 pm, with a pre-threatre menu offered between 5-7 pm, handy if you happen to be going to Bridgwater Hall, only a five minute walk away.

Steven chose the full breakfast and I went for mushrooms and spinach on toast, with two large organic decaf Americano coffee, with the coffee supplied by Manchester Coffee Company, it was so good we had a second cup.

The breakfasts were delicious and just the ticket to start off the day, served with Trove bread, the best sourdough in Manchester if not the world.   The full breakfast was very tasty, with Steven's new favourite ingredient scrambled tofu getting the thumbs up and I just love mushrooms on toast, so we were very happy.

We had a quick chat with owner Michael, who said they had only been open a week and had been very busy, always a good sign and I can understand why, it is a great space to dine, the food is delicious and of course being 100% vegan, you can rest at ease.   Highly recommended.