Head Chef Grace Stubbs has created a cracking new bar menu for the NQ fave...
We absolutely LOVE Alvarium here in the Finest office, it’s perfectly placed for a few cheeky drinks after work, which usually turns into a pretty hefty session and half of us phoning in sick in the morning.
Since opening back in 2019, they’ve quickly established themselves as an important part of the Northern Quarter experience, with a buzzing terrace, fantastic cocktails and a menu of true vegan delights which are enough to make anyone think twice about ever having to eat meat ever again.
This month sees the re-launch of their fantastic subterranean vegan kitchen – Black Leaf – helmed by talented Head Chef Grace Stubbs, who has used time in lockdown to develop new and exciting flavours and created a brand-new plant based menu that is sure to impress!
Before then though, Grace has introduced a NEW BAR MENU upstairs in Alvarium – a selection of dishes which look set to be a clear indication of just how good the Black Leaf menu is going to be.
Giving you a little taste of the restaurant, but in a more relaxed setting, the Bar Menu features a couple of burgers, some stuffed flatbreads and some sides, and fear not – Alvarium’s Famous Chunky Wedges are still on there!
With everything made in-house, the Katsu & Kimchi Burger (£7.50) is an impressive beast, with a massive oyster mushroom ‘chicken’ burger topped with katsu curry sauce, Grace’s kimchi hash brown and a banging miso mayo.
Additionally, the Kofta & Feta Burger (£7.50) re-imagines the lamb classic using chick peas and courgettes, topped with a very impressive homemade ‘feta’ cheese and a splendid vegan garlic and lemon tzatziki.
The Flatbreads are just as impressive as the burgers, with a Hummus & Roasted Vegetable (£7.50) option absolutely stuffed with spinach, roasted peppers and courgettes, featuring a homemade hummus that is a million times better than anything you can get at even the poshest supermarkets.
Set to be a big favourite though is the Jackfruit Shawarma (£7.50), a culinary and scientific marvel stuffed with an exceptional spiced jackfruit with pickled cabbage, tahini and all the salad.
Finally, alongside the Wedges (£3.50) and Mozzarella Bites (£4) are the Oyster Mushroom ‘Wings’ (£4.50) which are worth a visit to Alvarium alone. These deep-fried treats are obviously intended as an alternative to chicken wings, but hold up entirely on their own – with some seriously questioning whether in fact they’re even better than the meat version.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they are certainly up there – essentially the perfect bar snack, dipped in a sticky sesame sauce and enjoyed alongside a couple of cocktails, some vegan wine or a couple of pints. If you’re going into Alvarium at any point – you HAVE to try these ‘wings’.
Alvarium is open now for walk-ins only.