Saturday 16 January 2016

Catch Up

Its been a while.

I could say I've been busy, but that would be a lie. I just lost my motivation.

But today, its cold and icy and I really don't want to go outside, and so that today is not a total write off I thought I'd give you all an update on the last 3 months!

In September I got to visit a Plant Food Powered Chef Pop Up restaurant at The Kitchen.  Matthew Nutter has been taking Greater Manchester (and surrounding areas!) by storm recently so I was really excited that I was finally getting to try his food for myself.  The meal itself was a seven course taster menu, starting with a terrine of sweet potato, cherry pepper, tomato and red onion jam, topped with cashew nut cheese.

The stand out component of this course was definitely the cherry pepper- I have never had one before, but it blew my mind. I have to find these somewhere in the shops as they tasted amazing!

This was served with a coriander and jalapeno hummus and garlic focaccia bread, the bread came in cute little brown bags.

Other courses included ‘sesame sushi’ with satay aubergine, South Carolina lentil and squash, cauliflower cheese, creamed potato, candied beetroot and raw cauliflower salad. I loved the unusual flavours of the South Carolina Lentil and Squash.

Next was a hot chocolate followed by the dessert of Autumn Spiced Apple and Nut Crumble.  When I saw this on the menu, I was a little disappointed as I always feel a bit cheated by fruit for dessert. However, I was pleasantly surprised as this was actually my favourite course of the evening. In my opinion, the addition of the nuts to the crumble took it to a whole new level- it was absolutely delicious!

You can check out Matthew's website here and also pop down to his new restaurant, The Allotment in Liverpool.

In October, we paid an evening visit to Leeds and went to a place called Little Tokyo, a restaurant I've been wanting to visit for a while. It's an omni Japanese restaurant, but they do a great selection of vegan food including mock meats. I went for a bento box, I can't remember if it was mock chicken or duck but whatever it was it was tasty. Both me and The Boy were surprised at how nice the salad was that came with it, as it was flavoured with ginger. Just make sure that you let them know you are vegan when ordering as otherwise they may put fish flakes in your rice!

Apologies for the awful picture, the place was lit by candlelight!

Also in October, I attended the Northern Vegan Festival, which was back in Sasha's hotel and surround Manchester venues after being held in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool in 2014. As I had been to this festival previously I volunteered to help out for a few hours on the door. I drew the short straw and ended up on one of the busiest shifts on the main door to Sasha's but it was fun, and I was amazed at how many people I bumped who I'd met at various vegan events into whilst on the door!

Don't worry though, despite volunteering, I still made sure I managed to go round the festival myself.  I picked up some great products, including a mince pie scented candle from Harper's Bizarre which didn't actually make it to Christmas.

I also discovered an amazing new pie company called mr nice pie, being northern and therefore loving pies meant that I went a bit crazy when I found these guys, and I may have bought four pies (they were on offer!). I can't remember what all the flavours were but I remember there was a boozy mushroom one which I was VERY excited by. Apparently there are no North West stockists, so I may be visiting wales in the near future.

Boozy Mushroom Pie
I turned 30 in early November so as a birthday present The Boy took me to London. I think the trip deserves it's own blog post as otherwise this post would be super long.  But as not to leave November totally blank, look at this totally awesome lunch bag my friend got me as a gift!

In early December I attended a Vegan Manchester Christmas meal at a new restaurant/bar on Manchester's Canal Street called Taurus Bar. Although not exclusively vegan, it is very vegan friendly and even labels its drinks menu with its vegan drinks. For starters I had garlic gnocchi, which was to die for, really, if I was at home I would have licked the plate clean!

This was followed by a nut roast (I think) along with baked new potatoes, red cabbage and ginger sprouts. This was nice, but nothing really stood out and I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't really taste the ginger with the sprouts.  However I still enjoyed it, and it was a massive improvement on my work's Christmas meal the night before which was the tiniest portion of risotto ever served with roast potatoes and veg. Which was just an odd combination.

When choosing the dessert, it was really a no brainer. As soon as I saw the word 'chocolate pot' I was sold! And it didn't disappoint, it was wondrously fudgy and chocolatey. 

A couple of other things I ate over Christmas:

A beautifully sparkly vegan rocky road The Boy's brother picked me up at Beverley Christmas market. It was almost too pretty to eat, but I glad I did because it was GOOOD!

I found out the Ginger Mulled Wine in ASDA was vegan, and hoarded a few bottles. I didn't manage to finish them all, but have given up alcohol for January. It's still OK to drink mulled wine in February, right?

Ginger sticky buns in ASDA, also sold in Morrison but re-labelled as Morrison's own brand.  They recommended putting them with custard and warming up, which I did (alpro custard of course!) They were totally right.

And these, I spotted these on a trip to Newcastle earlier in the year and didn't get them, but then I could find them anywhere. However, on a trip round a few local garden centres during the sales I found them- and snapped them up. On a side note, I think garden centres are my new favourite place to shop- they aren't just all boring plants!

Is it obvious I'm a bit ginger obsessed?!

Also, awesome people bought me all this for Christmas!

I hope you enjoyed my round up, and its made me pretty hungry. May have to pop into The Kitchen for a late lunch!


  1. Really enjoyed reading this! Do you reckon those golden syrup buns are a christmas line? I want!

    I managed to eat out at Little Tokyo when I went to Slamdunk festival in Leeds last year, so delicious! Wish we had one here in Manchester. Also tried Taurus last week, I enjoyed a nice thai curry but was disappointed that the only vegan dessert was poached pears! Super jealous of your chocolate pot, hope they put more vegan desserts on their menu

  2. I think they are still doing the ginger buns, I got some last weekend. Apparently someone has fed back about lack of vegan desserts on the menu and they have took it on board.