We came across this restaurant with some vegetarian friends, originally denied our first choice of restaurant we went off in search of somewhere with ample vegetarian choice. Which in Bristol, is not difficult. I confess at this point, that this is my first ever foray into an entirely vegetarian restaurant. 1847 takes its name from the foundation year of the UK’s Vegetarian Society.
The place is light and airy, though hindered by the uncomfortable seating and sharp edges of the tables and décor. It feels cramped and cold, there are perhaps too many tables shoved in any way they will fit- though there were only a few diners scattered across them on this, a Saturday evening. Despite the lack of clients, service was dreadfully slow. We waited 20 minutes or so to place our order and from that point it was slightly shy of an hour by the time our first course arrived. A note here too that the wine selection was fairly poor and our number though it sounded enticing was unbearably acidic, closer to Greek than the Italian label suggested.
Wanting some familiarity in unfamiliar surroundings I plumped for battered halloumi, which arrived in three exceedingly large wedges. Served atop a pea puree reminiscent of mushy peas (a good thing) and accompanied by several dollops of lemon curd it proved a delicious combination. The acidity of the curd cut wonderfully through the saltiness of the cheese. A portion of chips which were very good- arriving in one of those mini fryer baskets now ubiquitous in every restaurant created a chip shop feel about the dish, one of nostalgia despite the ingredients which I think would make many a chip shop owner raise an eyebrow. The dish, priced in the low teens made up for the sluggish service.
Not taking a starter we chose several side dishes. I opted for seaweed dumplings. They were underwhelming. Overdone, they were very dry and lacked the moisture and softness they required in the centre. The sweet chilli dip they came served with was no different to one that can be picked up in a supermarket.
Undeterred by the ups and downs of our restaurant experience so far, dessert for under £5- and wanting to provide a thorough review is a must. Dessert was a salted caramel chia seed pudding with glazed banana. The seeds were left whole which is open to the jury on what texture you prefer. It was creamy and edging on a luxurious texture but perhaps where it was lacking in calories it was also lacking in its decadence. I take issue with food that is decorated needlessly with edible flowers; it added nothing to the flavour of the dish.
There is certainly room for improvement with this establishment. The majority of the faults however were with the people opposed to the food. If the service was faster I’d be more tempted to frequent this place… Deliveroo would perhaps be a better option.
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25 ST STEPHENS STREET,