Monday 1 August 2016

Eating out: 1847

Vegans are probably one of the few Herbivore races that are flourishing.

Since last summer 7 new Vegan food holes have opened in Bristol. And compared to 3 years ago there are now 3 times as many vegan establishments here!

In January my partner and I (who is also Vegan) decided to begin exploring all of these new eateries. Our first choice was 1847, on St. Stephens street, just off from the fountains. Our critique tour didn't start here for any particular reason, we were just in town, nearby and they had the good vegetables. (They also serve dishes with eggs, dairy and honey because they are a Vegetarian restaurant, but with a good cruelty-free menu).
We were a bit underdressed, the staff had no qualms, still took our coats, hats and other wrappings. But next we time go we will dress for the occasion, my jeans, disobey t-shirt and cardigan seemed immature against the sharp, minimal, hipster decor. Sophie always looks smart so she was fine. Lot's of reclaimed wood, white and stripped back lighting.

As you can see we had two courses each, none of which were dessert. They had sold out of their pear and chocolate ganache.. despite the fact we were the only people there at 6:30pm on a Tuesday evening. You can pay per dish or go for the fixed price menu - for 2 or 3 course meals, £19.50 or £25 per person, respectively.

To start the meal..

A mushroom and walnut patê, pickled quince with smoked butter toast (Gluten free bread available) -It was sad that the toast was burnt and cold. For a gluten-free bread however, it had a nice a texture. Everything else on this black slate was a delight; earthy and grounding mushrooms, it was the first time I'd eaten quince jelly but the sharp and sweetness of it worked well, fresh chicory, intriguing mystery leaves and a sweet dressing.

The Winter Warmer -

Almost lived up to its name. It is a roasted parsnip, rosemary persillade and black sesame soup with a sesame oil decoration. The flavours were there, comforting and homely notes. It was satisfyingly smooth too. But again it was not hot enough, just about warm.

Main course..

Vegan fish 'n' chips -

They Veganised this dish by using Tofu as the fish and coating it in a golden and bubbly beer batter. Still satisfying and grounding like the traditional dish despite the juxtaposition of it being so ornately presented. Underneath the 'fish' were the mushy peas, which were sweat and flavourful. But they were cold, they had not met any heat. The chips (not in shot) had been triple-fried and were hot, and glorious.

Merguez & Mash -

A handmade, well seasoned lentil-sausage roll in palatable pastry. Sadly however the accompanying mash and gravy was, again, cold. Was the chef having a senior moment?

All of this cold food nonsense is a shame because if it wasn't for the cold and burnt toast, just about warm soup, cold mash and cold gravy I would unwaveringly say that this is a good restaurant, and would be worth paying £19.50 for 2 courses at. The complete flavours of the food were very satisfying and implied the mark of a skilled chef.

The waiter was prompt and friendly with his service throughout the evening. Starting by collecting our coats upon arrival and gratefully received our constructive criticism as a tip whilst we were leaving.

I will wear chinos and waistcoat next time. Perhaps when we meet again, both parties will be more prepared and professional.

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