[Manchester, West Didsbury] Greens

As always, Simon Rimmer’s menu reaches out across the world in search of modern vegetarian dishes. Sometimes, these are lifts from other cuisines. Other offerings may be a veggie take on usually meat based dishes. Generally it all works.

So, there’s patatas bravas to start, the potatoes given a spicy coating, rather than dressed with a spicy tomato sauce. There’s a slick of Canarian mojo sauce and a dab or two of aioli. And a scattering of crumbs of a vegetarian black pudding. There’s a rice noodle salad, as light and fresh as you like, dressed with roasted squash, beans, peppers, onion and a citrussy sauce. It was lovely and would have been lovelier with a slice or two of red chilli stirred through.

For mains, we returned to the veggie take on British classics. For one of us, that was bangers and mash. Lancashire cheese and basil sausages, spuds (actually chips were swapped for the mash) and a tomato chutney. On the other plate, the 1970s joke veggie meal – the nut roast. Well, this was the Sunday roast, after all. Although it was slice of what they might have called a meatlessloaf. It comes with all the trimmings – Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, mixed veg and a surprisingly good gravy.

Everything had come in “proper” portions, which meant we didn’t want dessert.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold