Our food critic Amanda is back and this time, she has paid a visit to Didsbury
One of the things I absolutely love about my restaurant reviews is that, in the majority of instances, I have been to the restaurants many times over the years as just a regular paying customer. Greens in Didsbury is no exception to this and I was there during the week with one of my friends so thought I would do an impromptu review. To set the scene, sometimes the differences between the VIP customer experiences I receive as a reviewer versus the treatment as a regular customer has amused me greatly so I will be doing more impromptu reviews to make sure that we report the right balance.
I first went to Greens about 10 years’ ago and I really was a very reluctant customer as I was probably eating just as much meat as Mr Carnivore, back in the day. However, wanting to play fair, it was my vegetarian friend’s turn to choose so I went along with a very open mind but a slightly heavy heart wondering what on earth I was going to choose and wistfully thinking of my steak & chips. From the very moment I tried some of the vegetarian food, I was absolutely blown away by how the chefs could cram so much flavour into non-meat-based dishes. Since then, Greens has been a firm favourite of mine and this was even before it became quite trendy to eat, or at least start talking about eating, more plant-based food. It goes without saying that Mr Carnivore has never been to a vegetarian restaurant in his life as, in general, he thinks they are very rude to not even offer one meat dish. Maybe one for the vegetarian restaurants to consider perhaps?
The welcome was very warm and the friendly grey bearded chap, who is often on front of house, was there as usual to escort us to our table. The service was efficient and the time between sitting down and taking our drinks order was very quick which is always a plus in my books.
I started with the deep-fried oyster mushrooms and pancakes with all the trimmings which were absolutely delicious. My friend had the halloumi buffalo wings and they looked very appetising and certainly a dish for me to try next time. My main of soba noodle salad with smoked tofu was as light as it was tangy and my friend really enjoyed her Lancashire cheese sausages and mustard mash. In my opinion, the beetroot and spinach side is an absolute must and the veggie black pudding is also a big winner with me. In all honesty, I was absolutely spoilt for choice as it all sounded amazing. On this occasion, we even left room for dessert and tried the various flavours of the vegan ice cream which were surprisingly pale coloured but were incredibly creamy and tasty.
For a wet Tuesday night in September, the restaurant was quite busy and it always has a very relaxed but non-hippy feel to it. There are just a couple of things that are getting a bit tired and a little bit of TLC around the edges would make a big difference. Hint – please do fix the wobbly tap in the ladies bathroom and we would be more than happy to turn it off!
There are a few gluten-free options on the menu but it would be good to see a few more. From an accessibility perspective, there are no stairs and the toilets are on the ground level but the restaurant, as with most of the restaurants in Didsbury, is quite compact.
On my usual scoring, I’d give Greens 8/10 for food, 8/10 for service, 7/10 for ambiance (but it was Tuesday and this would usually be a 9 for me on a Thursday/Friday) with an overall score of 8/10. Greens has been one of the focal points in West Didsbury for many years’ and long may this continue. Even if you are a diehard carnivore, if you like vegetables and salad at all, you really need to give Greens a try as I think you will be pleasantly surprised and maybe converted to the vegetarian side – even if for just 1 day a week.