[West Didsbury, Manchester] Greens


(John Hartley) #1

We’ve been coming to Greens almost as long as it’s been open. Certainly getting on for 25 years. It’s always been reliable food. And, I suppose, that’s its main plus point and, also, its main minus point. If you’re an omnivore, as we are, you ask yourself why do we keep coming back for somewhere that’s just “reliable” food.

There was “soup of the day” to start. Or, to be precise, “soup of the moment”. The kitchen had changed what it was cooking while we were still looking at the menus. In the event, tomato and balsamic worked well. The other starter was three cauliflower pakoras – nice and crisp with a spicy cucumber and tomato salsa – and what was described as a sweetcorn dipping sauce but was, in fact, just sweetcorn and chilli, not a sauce. The spice perked up what were quite bland pakoras.

I’d looked at the menu online and had to Google to see what Benachin rice might be. Google told me it’s a very popular dish in several West African countries, so I was looking forward to trying it. It’s often described as an African version of paella or pilaf but one quite heavily spiced. It proved to be a quite disappointing “rice with bits”. That was topped with a pleasant enough slaw which, in turn was topped with jerk spiced halloumi. Jerk should smack you in the teeth with chilli and other spices but this just didn’t.

The other main was a red lentil loaf, firm in texture and reminiscent of a meatloaf. It came with what the menu had said would be a warm spring salad – strips of root veg in tangy dressing and not at all warm. A pea tabbouleh seemed to be crushed minted peas with a bit of grain stirred through. It was all OK.

So, there we are. Another reasonably “reliable” meal at Greens. We have a number of restaurants that we visit regularly and, truth be told, we’re trying to reduce that number so that we can visit our favourites more often. I think that, after a quarter of a century, it’s probably time to say goodbye to Greens.


(John Hartley) #3

Me too. I think if we were vegetarians, we’d be having a more charitable view of Greens. It’s a much more interesting menu than the “vegetarian option” on most bistro level menus.