Can you dig it?

Ev­ery dish has a touch of bril­liance at Matthew Nut­ter’s The Al­lot­ment ve­gan restau­rant Cheshire Life: Jan­uary 2019

Cheshire Life - - Food & Drink -

Matthew Nut­ter’s Al­lot­ment ve­gan restau­rant started life as part of an ex­cit­ing culi­nary scene es­tab­lish­ing in Stock­port but af­ter re­ceiv­ing back­ing from restau­ra­teur An­thony Sheri­dan it has now de­camped to Lloyd Street in Manch­ester.

An­thony’s son suf­fers from Crohn’s dis­ease and it was dis­cov­ered the con­di­tion im­proved greatly with a plant-based diet so he brought The Al­lot­ment to the city.

The Al­lot­ment is The Sun­day Times’ veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant of the year and Matthew has won awards for his fab­u­lously in­ven­tive cook­ing. I have no doubt that if there is any one chef in Manch­ester who can get a Miche­lin star it is him.

We opted for the seven course tast­ing menu as the 10 course menu seemed OTT but I wish I’d had the lat­ter, as af­ter each course, I felt an in­creas­ing sense of eu­pho­ria. Was it some­thing in the mush­rooms??

Talk­ing of which, I’d no idea what Enoki, Mer­lot pick­led shal­lot was un­til I was pre­sented with a bowl filled with a silken mush­room mousse into which you dipped tem­pura bat­tered mush­room and cleansed the palate on tangy pick­led onion.

Stage two was chest­nut soup, in­fused with all the sweet­ness of the wood­land and served with crunchy, pi­quant fried ca­pers. Con­fit aubergine came next served with sweet roasted cauliflower and nut­meg.

There are very few dishes at The Al­lot­ment that are merely ve­gan ver­sions of meat dishes.

It’s pure in­ven­tion and even the braised cele­riac, golden beet­root, rose­mary, sun­blushed tomato and bechamel, a de­light­ful take on a lasagne, was cre­ated with­out a carb in sight.

Dessert, a Thai squash pie and gin­ger­bread, tamarind tof­fee and salt-baked pineap­ple was the most fab­u­lous non-dairy ver­sion of a cheese­cake ever. Mac­aron and cof­fee was an­other sur­prise: a sweet lit­tle mac­aron and the cof­fee was a rich mousse for dip­ping.

The cheese­board costs an ex­tra £7.50 each but we couldn’t re­sist it and the basil cream cheese, baked feta and smoked cashew were a rev­e­la­tion. Not quite cheese but an equally in­dul­gent al­ter­na­tive.

Many restau­rants striv­ing for in­no­va­tion these days pro­duce in­creas­ingly ab­surd com­bi­na­tions in a bid to stand out from the rest but at The Al­lot­ment each in­gre­di­ent and ev­ery flavour has a place.

This is knock­out se­ri­ously im­pres­sive cook­ing.

Seven course menu, £48 (the ten course is £65).There’s also a lim­ited wine list and a good se­lec­tion of craft beers.


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