The Allotment – Stockport’s Vegan Restaurant
Five years ago, the night time economy in Stockport’s town centre was almost non-existent; especially for those looking for a dining experience. But as of late, some young and ambitious chefs have set up shop in Stockport Old Town, hoping to use the historic area as a canvas in which to show off their culinary expertise.
The Allotment is an independent vegan and gluten free restaurant with a 7 or 10 course taster menu on offer.
The Allotment’s interior is simple, yet charming. The intimate dining area is a single room that glows from the abundance of low lighting and candles. The choice to use some greenery hanging from the ceiling gives a tasteful nudge to the vegan menu and experience.
I am personally not a vegetarian or vegan, so I must confess that I entered the restaurant with the classically ignorant phrase in my mind – how much can you really do with a vegetable? How wrong I was.
As I don’t wish to discuss every course – as we would be here for a while – I have selected the three dishes most worthy of a mention.
We start with the ever-changing soup of the day. During my visit, I was presented with a beetroot, apple and carrot soup with coconut shavings. The first observation made was the incredibly vibrant colour of the soup, the beet red was certainly inviting. Upon the first taste a rush of earthy flavour combined with the sweetness of the apple produced a balanced taste that grew with every spoonful. The skill though, in my humble opinion, was the choice to include the coconut shavings that not only added a tropical twist but presented a new texture to the dish.
Secondly, the starter was an eye-opening, taste-tingling dish that I wish I could eat all over again. The jack fruit, which I had never tried before, was excellently presented and beautifully combined with apricot, cucumber and fried peanuts. The way in which the ingredients complimented each other; the soft crunch of the peanut, the freshness of the cucumber and the sharpness of the apricot and jack fruit all merged into a marvellous mouthful that exploded with flavour. Without using too much hyperbole, I have to say, this is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten.
The last course of the evening consisted of a sweet fried rice, clementine and cardamom curd, and star anise sorbet. This dish was so aesthetically pleasing I was almost afraid to slice through the chef’s artistic presentation. In one spoonful, it was clear that the variation of textures were the focus of this dish, and how much time must have been spent pairing together the crack of the sesame hard caramel with the smooth refreshing sorbet and tangy curd. As a finale it didn’t disappoint.
At £40 a head for the 7 course taster menu, The Allotment is one of the more expensive eateries in Stockport. However, I would argue that the combination of excellent food, experimental flavours and fantastic service is well worth the price. From the lime & mint infused table water to the creatively presented bill, the experience is second to none.
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