Review: effortlessly cool ONE SIXTY brings veggie cafe culture to Burnley
Invited to review Burnley's hottest new vegetarian and vegan cafe, the Burnley Express sent three people with three different culinary backgrounds to see how the establishment measured up...
Sue Plunkett: The Omnivore
As a meat-eater who loves a good steak, I would never usually opt for a vegetarian meal. And I always viewed the vegetarian option as rather limited and bland.
A visit to ONE SIXTY to sample a range of taster dishes has given me a whole new perspective on the so called vegetarian option. Formerly the Red Triangle, cafe ONE SIXTY on Burnley's st James's Street has a strong, but small, base of customers who keep coming back for the home cooked food served up by Jai Redman and his team.
Crediting his mum and Delia Smith for teaching him to cook, I can only say what excellent teachers they were. From the taster menu my favourite was the sweet potato and carrot soup which was so full of flavour. But I would also recommend the halloumi burger and macaroni cheese, both cooked to perfection and so tasty.
The cafe itself has an almost European feel to it and what a lovely warm welcome we received from the waitress, Ceri, who looks so at home there. ONE SIXTY is also doing its bit for the planet by heading towards becoming a plastic free establishment with paper straws and a milkman, so no more plastic milk cartons.
Jack Marshall: The Vegetarian
Having gone vegetarian just three months ago, I had yet to venture out to a strictly veggie or vegan restaurant, preferring the cheese and onion pie at the usual pub over pushing the gastronomic boat out a bit further. All I can say is, ONE SIXTY will make me reconsider this approach.
Warm and quaint, the food was as wonderful as the service was excellent. A homely cup of thick sweet potato and carrot soup was perfect on a cold, windy day, and the vegan macaroni cheese was crispy and full of flavour. The burgers - both halloumi and veggie varieties - were generous and indulgent.
Further from my culinary comfort zone, there was a vegan chickpea curry that I'd order again in a second, while the sweet and sour tofu will make me think twice before I make a joke about tofu ever again. Warmed by a wood burner behind me and a cup of tea in front of me, there was nothing at ONE SIXTY which failed to impress.
Laura Longworth: The former-Vegan
The food at ONE SIXTY was delicious enough to tempt me back to the dark side of life - veganism. If you think vegan food is just leaves and twigs then get yourself down to this lovely little venue, which brings fine dining to Burnley's cafe culture.
There's the macaroni cheese (Â£3.50) which can be made with cashew butter and dairy-free cheese - surprisingly creamy and packed with garlic flavours. And then there's Ceri's Curry - a subtle melding of spices and vegetables which makes for a light yet wonderfully satisfying meal at just Â£4.50 a bowl.
But most important of all, is the dessert.
So many vegan cakes have a weird jelly texture and a real lack of flavour, as if their souls have been zapped out with the eggs and dairy. But chef Jai Redman’s blackcurrant and bubblegum cake - a light vanilla sponge threaded with lemon shavings and topped with candy-blue buttercream - was utterly beautiful.
You'd never believe it was vegan.
In fact, it's that ability to surprise the diner which makes ONE SIXTY such a unique venue: the interior might be minimalist and the philosophy ethically orientated but with its friendly staff, cosy log-burner and carefully made food, it also makes for an intimate and luxurious dining experience.
You can find ONE SIXTY's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/onesixtycafe/.