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[West Didsbury, Manchester] Greens

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Celeb chef, Simon Rimmer’s veggie restaurant has been packing them in since before he was a celeb chef. We’ve eaten there fairly often over the years – not really as regulars but often enough to get a sense for the food. Never had a bad meal there and tonight was no exception. There’s a shortish menu – 6 dishes at each course and with a good mix of food, some of which owes its allegiance to Britain and others which reach out further afield.

Tomato and bean soup was more stew than soup and a larger portion would have happily done as a main course with a hunk of bread. Well made and very well flavoured and with a strong hit from chilli. A broccoli salad was the other starter – the broccoli roasted and charred on the outside but still mainly raw. Black beans and shreds of veg made for a contrasting softer texture and a soy dressing really livened things up.

Now, OK, we stuck to tried and trusted “look alike” omnivore dishes for the mains. Not through any sense of being nervous about the other dishes but just because that’s what we fancied. So, sausage & mash and burger & chips.

The sausages predominantly made from a tasty Lancashire cheese and flavoured with basil – so then, a posh northern version of the Glamorgan sausage. The advertised mash was swapped out for excellent chips (my partner is perhaps one of the few people in existence who doesn’t like mash). The beer based gravy had a deep savoury flavour.

The burger is chickpea and vegetarian black pudding. For years, you’ve been able to guarantee that the black pud will feature on the menu somewhere. I think the restaurant will buy it in from the Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co. They used to sell at the farmers market in Ashton and it’s a belter. In a blind tasting, you’d struggle to tell the difference between it and their traditional pigs blood version. They also incorporate a bit of chilli into the burger but there’d been a bit of a heavy hand this evening and, for me, it masked the flavour of the burger a bit more than I’d like. Other than that, it had all the usual burger accompaniments – melted cheese, gherkin, salad and more of those really good chip-sized chips.

We enjoyed dinner.

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