When one of my friends recently told me that they’d gone vegetarian, I’m not gonna lie – I was disappointed.
Not because I have anything against vegetarianism as a choice.
But because they’re one of those friends you always tend to go for food with and I felt like this would really limit out culinary choices.
After 6 months of the transition though, I must admit, it’s not that bad. I mean, we’ve eaten at various places with mixed success… Some places have limited choices of great quality and other places can have a plethora of choices with ‘meh’ quality. Until this weekend we hadn’t been to an exclusively meat-free restaurant and with previous experiences of the choices on offer in regular restaurants I wasn’t quite sure what to expect!
1847 – The Meat Free Restaurant Choice in Birmingham
When I first browsed the menu at 1847 it left a lot of mystery I must admit. The dishes are presented almost in the form of listed ingredients for what goes on to the plate.
For example, on the starters menu you have choices such as:
Beetroot / Basil Emulsion / Leek / Pickle / Beetroot Powder
Chicory / Stilton / Apple / Walnut
But obviously. I’m going to assume they were salads….
As I was feeling a little delicate from the evening before, we chose to go straight in to the main courses (After beginning with a coffee, which I must say – the latte was one of the smoothest and most delicious latte’s I’ve had for a good while!)
Battered Halloumi or Tofu / Curried Vegan Mayo / Gherkin / Lemon / Triple Cooked Chips is pretty much what it says on the tin. It’s almost like a posh mega-twist on fish and chips.
The battered halloumi was deep fried to perfection, whilst the chips were endlessly moreish. Despite the smaller portion size, the flavours of the curried mayo, with the gherkin and zesty lemon was the perfect compliment to the creaminess of the halloumi and crunch of the chips.
The second main was Confit Beef Tomatoes / Red Pepper Jus / Pickled Courgette / Smoked Aubergine / Crispy Potatoes, which we chose simply out of intrigue. For some reason in my head, it was a pasta dish, but that was just me assuming things and plucking ideas out of thin air!
What we were presented with was the juiciest tomato to ever grace my lips, alongside a really moreish red pepper sauce. I must admit, the smoked aubergine wasn’t my thing, as it was pureed and the grey appearance just didn’t quite…. look right? And we do eat with our eyes after all.
The flavours of the rest of the dish were perfect though. Fresh, creamy, tangy and juicy. All in one. As it was a saucy dish, I probably could have done with… 2 more crispy potatoes on the side to mop up the deliciousness.
Overall 1847 in Birmingham is great to cater for vegetarians who love to let the flavours do the talking. However, the portion sizes would benefit from being a little larger for me personally. As it’s £17 for two courses, it’s definitely more of a ‘treat’ lunch than your average lunch choices.
So, have I changed my attitude when it comes to eating vegetarian when out and about? Definitely.
I thought it would limit my choices, but a lot of places cater for vegetarians and with the on-going trend of niche vegan and vegetarian restaurants popping up everywhere it might not actually be long until I do a brief spell of meatlessness myself!
(I say that now, but as soon as I write my next food blog post featuring a lovely steak, I might take that back)