Restaurant review - The Allotment, Manchester

PUBLISHED: 00:00 25 January 2019

Braised celeriac, golden beetroot, rosemary, sunblushed tomato and bechamel

Braised celeriac, golden beetroot, rosemary, sunblushed tomato and bechamel

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Every dish has a touch of brilliance at Matthew Nutter’s The Allotment vegan restaurant

The Allotment on Lloyd StreetThe Allotment on Lloyd Street

Matthew Nutter’s Allotment vegan restaurant started life as part of an exciting culinary scene establishing in Stockport but after receiving backing from restaurateur Anthony Sheridan it has now decamped to Lloyd Street in Manchester.

Anthony’s son suffers from Crohn’s disease and it was discovered the condition improved greatly with a plant-based diet so he brought The Allotment to the city.

The Allotment is The Sunday Times’ vegetarian restaurant of the year and Matthew has won awards for his fabulously inventive cooking. I have no doubt that if there is any one chef in Manchester who can get a Michelin star it is him.

We opted for the seven course tasting menu as the 10 course menu seemed OTT but I wish I’d had the latter, as after each course, I felt an increasing sense of euphoria. Was it something in the mushrooms??

Confit aubergine with sweet roasted cauliflowerConfit aubergine with sweet roasted cauliflower

Talking of which, I’d no idea what Enoki, Merlot pickled shallot was until I was presented with a bowl filled with a silken mushroom mousse into which you dipped tempura battered mushroom and cleansed the palate on tangy pickled onion.

Stage two was chestnut soup, infused with all the sweetness of the woodland and served with crunchy, piquant fried capers.Confit aubergine came next served with sweet roasted cauliflower and nutmeg.

There are very few dishes at The Allotment that are merely vegan versions of meat dishes.

It’s pure invention and even the braised celeriac, golden beetroot, rosemary, sunblushed tomato and bechamel, a delightful take on a lasagne, was created without a carb in sight.

Enoki, Merlot pickled shallotEnoki, Merlot pickled shallot

Dessert, a Thai squash pie and gingerbread, tamarind toffee and salt-baked pineapple was the most fabulous non-dairy version of a cheesecake ever. Macaron and coffee was another surprise: a sweet little macaron and the coffee was a rich mousse for dipping.

The cheeseboard costs an extra £7.50 each but we couldn’t resist it and the basil cream cheese, baked feta and smoked cashew were a revelation. Not quite cheese but an equally indulgent alternative.

Many restaurants striving for innovation these days produce increasingly absurd combinations in a bid to stand out from the rest but at The Allotment each ingredient and every flavour has a place.

This is knockout seriously impressive cooking.

Seven course menu, £48 (the ten course is £65).There’s also a limited wine list and a good selection of craft beers.

The Allotment, 18-22 Lloyd St, Manchester M2 5WA

Tel: 0161 478 1331

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