Words & Photos: @oliverinstead
To give you an idea of how long it’s been since my last restaurant review wherein I wolfed down a prawn-filled burrito, I’ve actually turned vegetarian and have been one for months. With my newly acquired diet, I paid a visit to 1847, a veggie restaurant in the heart of Manchester and let’s just say, I can’t think of a better way to make my #FoodieFriday comeback…
Named after the year the vegetarian society was formed, 1847 is a collection of vegetarian restaurants popping up all over the country. The Manchester site has been around the block for half a decade and it’s somewhere I’d been meaning to try out even way before my vegetarian time but never quite made the conscious decision to pick up the phone and book a table, or walk in… However, when we decided to treat a couple of friends to a meal earlier this week, 1847 was somehow an obvious choice…??
Yeah, let that one digest before we get started.
The vibe – 7/10
While this may well sound like nitpicking, let me get all the negatives out the way before we delve into the good bits… the tables are tiny. No, it wasn’t because we ordered too much food as you can see. I don’t usually comment on the furniture, I just feel they try to pack too many covers into such limited space so very pokey. Apart from that, I didn’t mind the chilled vibe. It was an understandably quiet Tuesday evening except for the birthday party across the room, which provided a welcome background noise, albeit a little rowdy at times.
The food – 8.5/10
One thing was clear from the very start(er), 1847 doesn’t play around with their quality of produce but honestly, the meal didn’t get overly exciting until main course was served. My fish and chips, but not quite as you know it, was really delicious. The flavours worked well together, especially the modest hint of mint that brought out so much sweetness in the peas. Likewise, the lemon curd to mimic the fresh lemon juice traditionally squeezed over battered fish gave the palate a refreshing cleanse.
Slight criticism: the cod-pretending halloumi was diced so small, it lost all the moisture in the frying process – what I ended up getting was some chewy cheese cubes.
The vegan brownie though… the vegan brownie… So thick, so moreish. If you know me, you’d know that I’m a chocoholic and this dessert has all the right components and more to make it my idea of heaven: the soil is made of my fav nut, pistachio + the brittle packs some chilli punch that spoke to the Asian in me + the idea of this huge slab of pure chocolicousness covered in syrup infused with my fav herb, basil was particularly satisfying + of course, the dark chocolate.
It was the best possible ending I could’ve wished for.
The service – 10/10
Even though there were only two servers that evening, both of them did a brilliant job looking after us and from what I observed, they were just as attentive to the other guests so it would’ve been unfair to score the service any less. I simply couldn’t fault this aspect.
You can obviously tell from the quality of the food that 1847 pride themselves on their innovative and delicious meat-free dishes, but you don’t really have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the brand’s philosophy. The guests I had with me weren’t vegetarians and just like me, they all very much enjoyed the experience. So to summarise, 1847 for me doesn’t necessarily fall into the “vegetarian” restaurant niche that’s been turning into quite a trend lately, it is simply a great restaurant that happens to serve veggies only.
For find out more about 1847, visit http://www.by1847.com/