Veggies are getting a good deal in Bristol at the moment, with the arrival of Flow, The Black Sheep Cafe and Easy Rawlin’s Diner in the past few months, all offering exciting vegetarian & vegan dishes at an affordable price point.
We’ve now welcomed 1847 to the fold, an expanding chain of fine dining vegetarian restaurants, who want to add a bit of pizzazz to the usual offerings of risotto, goats cheese tarts or *breathes deeply* falafel.
I popped in one cold and drizzly Saturday afternoon to try it out for myself. The restaurant was empty, which wasn’t too surprising given how miserable it was outside. It is also in that weird nether zone on St Stephens Street behind Pata Negra, which despite its central location still doesn’t see as much footfall as the neighbouring streets.
The decor is bright and simple, and the marble tables give it that slightly classier vibe.
I stood at the bar with my dining companion for a few minutes before one of the staff appeared (the kitchen is downstairs so they probably didn’t hear me come in) but once we were seated the service was helpful and friendly.
The menu is seasonal and concise, and even with the choice of 6 mains I struggled to decide which to have, so I opted for the halloumi ‘fish’ and chips, which I’d heard great things about.
My companion chose Cabbages (Brussel sprout frittata, sautéed savoy, vadouvan & cauliflower velouté) and we decided to top up our lunch with a side of battered aubergine, and caramelised cauliflower with harissa yoghurt.
Our dishes arrived together after around 20mins and all looked impressive – of course everyone knows one of my biggest bugbears is chips served in buckets or other vessels rather than on the plate, but here at least I could see why they’d done it, as the battered halloumi looked very appetising on its bed of green pea & basil puree and savoury lemon curd, without those chunky chips making the plate look too packed.
As well as looking great, all the flavours worked really well together and the texture of the halloumi was bang on. The chips were crunchy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside, but I was a bit wary of seasoning them in their basket and getting salt & vinegar all over the table. It was a generous portion and I struggled to get through it as well as our sides.
The sides themselves were fine – the grilled cauliflower tasted good, although the battered aubergine reminded me of Chinese pork balls, they were quite dense and were just as much batter as they were aubergine – in hindsight it may have just been a poor choice on my part to order two battered items.
My friend enjoyed his cabbage dish, although didn’t have much to say about it (he was hungover so we’ll let him off).
Our drinks were also good – I opted for their Portuguese red (I didn’t take down the name though, d’oh!) and my friend had a Meantime Pale Ale (don’t stress, local beers will be arriving soon!).
I enjoyed my lunch at 1847, and would definitely recommend the ‘fish’ and chips; I’d also like to go back to sample their desserts.
I’m not sure based on what we had if I’d be tempted to go in for their usual dinner prices of 2 courses £19.50 or 3 courses £25, but their £10 Express Lunch deal which includes a glass of wine with any main is fairly decent for how much you get.
On balance, if I was taking a veggie friend for dinner, I still prefer the innovative offerings at No.1 Harbourside, or the intimate vibe at Flow, but if you’re in the centre and want something with a bit more finesse and sophistication, 1847 is certainly worth a visit.
25 St Stephens Street
0117 922 6315
Disclaimer Doodle: This meal was complimentary, but we were not asked to write a positive review, or asked to send any copy in advance, or do anything else that would compromise our mega integrity and professionalism.