Despite my mother trying to convince my otherwise, turkey is a key component Christmas dinner – and already this year I’ve eaten a few festive dinners. So when vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 announced their new festive menu I was a little conflicted; I enjoy their take on vegetarian food, but I really like Christmas turkey too. The only thing for it was to take the mothership with me and go check out their offerings.
We had tickets to the theatre so it was an early dinner for us and at the beginning of the week, so the restaurant was understandably pretty quiet. Having been to Bistro 1847 several times before (you can read a blogpost of their sharing plates here) I’ve come to quite like their unfussy decor, but the recent cold snap and lack of bodies meant that the restaurant was distinctly cold, which was a bit of a shame.
It turns out my mum has never had falafel before so I suggest she order the carrot falafel with feta ice cream. Although initially put off by the presentation, she loved it and I could see why; the falafel were lovely, crunchy on the outside and fluffy inside, they were a great example and won my mum round. I had lemongrass, chilli, coconut, parsnip and wild mushroom; the chunks of parsnips were wonderfully cooked and the East Asian style sauce really complimented them without drowning or overpowering.
For main I went for the tempura halloumi, vegetables, pea, sesame and miso marinated potato scallop. My very first visit to Bistro 1847 it was the halloumi that won me over and I was glad to see it return. The halloumi was cooked beautifully, avoiding the plasticity that can sometimes occur with halloumi, and was encased in a nice crisp tempura batter.
For pudding there was a clear choice for me, sticky toffee with ice cream. I love the stuff, it’s what I make for Christmas dessert and it’s what’s caused a good friend and I to debate the philosophical nature of cake. Bistro 1847’s was lovely, but if I’m honest it was a bit safe; I’ve come to appreciate that they usually offer something a bit different. My mum had the whipped squash, roast plum, yoghurt and dark chocolate. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t keen on this and neither was my mum; the presentation in the terracotta pot made it look a bit dull and the flavours just didn’t work for me, plus I expected it to be hot. We visited when the menu had just launched and it looks like it’s been removed since, I can’t see it being missed.
Bistro 1847’s Christmas mini a la carte menu is a nice change from the stodgy turkey dinner and I’m sure a welcome improvement for most veggies from a dry nut roast. It was nice to see the return of some old Bistro 1847 favourites, as well as some stalwart Christmas ingredients (brussel sprouts for starter anyone?). Even though not all the dishes worked for me, it was nice to see that they work on customer feedback and tweak the menus accordingly. With not a turkey in sight, this vegetarian three course meal won over a staunch meat-eater and would make a nice alternative festive meal out. Just ask them to turn the heating up.
Disclosure: My mum and I were given complementary dinner at Bistro 1847 in exchange for an honest review; I wasn’t obliged to be nice, which is hopefully evident from the review. My mother, who is a meat and two veg kinda lady, is now much more open to vegetarian dining, although we’re still negotiating over Christmas dinner – I say turkey, she says goose. Photos are mine, please don’t use them without my permission.