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Vegetarian bistro for city centre

Detoxretox transformed into a vegetarian bistro and bar

Published on March 4th 2011.

Vegetarian bistro for city centre

Mosley Street café Detoxretox is to reopen as a vegetarian bistro and bar – with a head chef whose last position was at 'Best Restaurant in the World' Noma in Copenhagen.

“Manchester city centre lacks good vegetarian food and drink. I wanted to create a bistro and bar environment, with excellent food, great service, nice surroundings and a lively atmosphere.”

With evening opening and a full licence, the new Detoxretox will be the only vegetarian bistro in the city centre.

Owner Damien Davenport has been a vegetarian for 22 years. He said, “Manchester city centre lacks good vegetarian food and drink. I wanted to create a bistro and bar environment, with excellent food, great service, nice surroundings and a lively atmosphere.”

There will be an a la carte menu, a small tapas menu, brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and a choice of vegetarian Sunday roasts. Vegans will be catered for as well. The bar will offer cocktails, wines, spirits and bottle beers – all of which will be vegetarian.

The head chef is Wendy Swetnam who has worked in various vegetarian restaurants including Vanilla Black in London where she was sous chef. Her most recent position was at Noma in Copenhagen, which was ranked 'Best Restaurant in the World' in Restaurant magazine's 2010 list.

Main courses on the a la carte menu at Detoxretox include Halloumi 'fish', chips and mushy peas, Malay curry laksa with tofu and noodles, and Lancashire cheese double baked soufflé with purple sprouting broccoli, lyonnaise potatoes and homemade relish.

Desserts include Affogato - a vegan vanilla ice-cream with a splash of port and an espresso, and a vegan Sticky toffee pudding with bay custard.

The new Detoxretox opens on Wednesday 3 February. Opening hours are Wednesday – Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 11am-10pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.

It's a small place so they recommend you book on 0161 236 1811.

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26 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Nigel VueJanuary 30th 2011.

At last. I really really hope this goes well. Perhaps a name change might make be in order though - not very beguiling is it? Can't wait to try it though.

B RootJanuary 31st 2011.

Sounds great especially as Manchester has played such a part in Veggie movement

John HarrisJanuary 31st 2011.

A waste of a good pitch.

Still, if they have a full licence at least the punters will be able to drown their sorrows at having to pay for a plate full of garden waste

EvoJanuary 31st 2011.

Will be looking forward to trying the laksa here since Ning continue to ignore my suggestions...

SilverblueJanuary 31st 2011.

Not a veggie but i LOVE a good cheese souffle!

Brian CFebruary 1st 2011.

Great idea. It will keep those pesky veggie people somewhere that they can bore the anaemic tits off one another instead of inflicting their 'look at me I am sooo cool and different' witterings on me.

Charles BFebruary 1st 2011.

Brian - do you always get those looks? Judging by your tone, you probably have a little bit of chip on the shoulder, don't you, never thought you've been cool enough? Jeez why the uncalled for agression? Anyway as a carnivore with veggie friends, if this is in any way good, it will be rammed.

JenniferFebruary 1st 2011.

I would be very happy to have a top notch vegetarian restaurant in Manchester, even though I'm as carnivorous as they come. Have heard very good things about Vanilla Black. Agree that the name isn't great though.

EVO: I would imagine a Laska at Ning would suffer from their usual practice of shoving a load of carrot into every dish... grim.

Brian CFebruary 1st 2011.

@ Charles B. I can honestly say I never met a vegetarian or vegan that didnt seem to have some sort of leanings towards pretentiousness. That includes my close family members. The restaurant name is about as pretentious as you can get, so I assume it will attract the types I stuck the verbal boot into in my earlier comment. For what it is worth, I buy very little meat, not because I believe it is wrong to eat it, but because I think it is wrong to kill an animal for food and then not eat the whole thing, only the prime cuts. I buy a lot of offal and lots of fish and eat many chick pea dishes.

NortherngeezerFebruary 1st 2011.

In the words of the immortal Mr Paul Calf...................."as much mung bean salad as you can eat".............NOT!!!!

RayFebruary 2nd 2011.

I (a self avowed carnivore and vegetable hater) was married to a veggie for some time. Not a hint of pretentiousness. Depends on what company you keep, I guess. As to the name being pretentious, it may well be, but you cannot extrapolate that to all Veggie restaurants. Greens, in Didsbury (even I love that place), is hardly the most pretentious name, is it?

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2011.

If it is as good as Greens I'll be happy. Had another excellent lunch there on Saturday.

Stephen NewtonFebruary 3rd 2011.

The name is awful (quite off putting) and the signage makes it look like a cheap cafe, but the interior pic on the website looks very different and the menu looks great. Looking forward to using that Man Con voucher.

Jo NFebruary 3rd 2011.

Great, it's about time the city centre had something like this, but PLEASE change the name..!

Colem6February 3rd 2011.

Not really in a great location but maybe the veggie slant will see this work where others have failed. Nice to see lots of vegan options (Greens usually have just one for each course). Will definitely give it a go, I'm not a veggie but I am VERY pretentious. Lol.

Brian CFebruary 4th 2011.

'Pretentious' was maybe the wrong word for me to use. Perhaps I should have said 'Quorny'

@COLEM6 :)

Lynda GolombeckFebruary 5th 2011.

not sure about location and hoping that the menu does not include the words pasta or risotto as everyone seems to think that's all a veggie wants to eat! I agree that the name sucks though. Looking forwards to giving it a try. Just a word for veggie 'haters', don't bother commenting on somewhere that you probably won't be partonising anyway, you're just taking up space, and people are veggies for different reasons so don't tar everyone with the same brush!

Space FillerFebruary 5th 2011.

A guy has celery sticking out of one ear, lettuce out of the other, and a carrot up his nose.
He goes to the doctor and asks him what's wrong.
The doctor tells him, "Well, for one thing, you're not eating properly."

DamienFebruary 8th 2011.

Thanks for your feedback with regards my new bistro. It seems the name has got some of you in a spin?!!! I admit Detoxretox fitted my previous daytime offering better than the evening business and I am looking at it with a view to rename within the coming few months.

On a personal note, I really hope our customers don't find me or my team pretentious, Brian - pop in for a beer and I´ll show you how down to earth I am!

Brian CFebruary 8th 2011.

@ Damien. I wish you every success with your restaurant and I look forward to dining there shortly. Having spent a solid hour in my local supermarket just trying to buy basic food ingredients that havent been modified or over packaged. Perhaps I am warming to the idea of vegetarian cuisine more than I could have anticipated.

AngelaFebruary 8th 2011.

Had the £18.00 3 course meal on Saturday. I myself have been vegan for 31 years but went with my best friend who is a carnivore. It was really delicious. Lovely Tomato Pate starter. I don't normally bother with 'fake meat' but had the bangers and mash. I have never had sausages as tasty and to finish heavenly Poached Pear with Ginger Sponge. O.M.G. I love eating good food. My friend had the soup, barley risotto and brandy pot and she loved all three courses. Will definitely be going back. It deserves to be a success because of the quality of the food and Damien is lovely. Attentive without being overbearing. Only thing I don't like is the name.

DamienFebruary 8th 2011.

Thanks Angela for your great feedback.... I promise I'll look at the name!!!

And Brian, I look forward to meeting you soon... i'll treat you to a beer if it means you trying veggie food.... :-)

Sara WilsonFebruary 9th 2011.

Had a 3 course meal here last weekend and it was superb. I'm not veggie but I will definitely be going back. The name is irrelevant when the food tastes this good.

colem6February 10th 2011.

Had 2 courses last Sunday.

Overall I enjoyed Detoxretox but felt that the Sunday Menu options were a bit too carbs. heavy and would have liked to have seen more beans and pulses used. I am being picky but veggie cooking is more than replacing the meat in a meat dish with a veggie alternative (e.g. Toad in the Hole with veggie sausages.)

Also I'm not sure why there were so few tables set up? Size of kitchen? Three sets of diners were turned away during our visit while the bar space went unused.

Overall positive towards the venue and the vegan roast tomato soup, in particular, was amazing and more than made me consider a return trip on a week day to check out a different menu.

DamienFebruary 11th 2011.

Hi Colem6. Thanks for your feedback.

Glad you enjoyed detoxretox overall. I agree that there's certainly more to vegetarian food then meat alternatives however I always find these lacking in most menus, certainly Sunday roast, as they are always filled with endless nutroasts and risottos!

With regards the tables, I'm passionate that every person who dines has an enjoyable meal. Yes I can pile people in, I turned away 16 people on our first Sunday, but I would rather those that dined had an enjoyable visit over gaining extra revenue and having diners that had bad service. I will keep the numbers as is for at least another 6 weeks before expanding table in April.

I hope to see you again in the near future.

Kind regards


angmcFebruary 11th 2011.

A friend & I ate here a week ago & we were very impressed. The food was excellent, I had the mushroom & blue cheese starter which was lovely and the soufflé for main...light & fluffy & very tasty but I could have done with a bit more of the lyonnaise potatoes! The poached pear & ginger sponge was delicious too! The staff/management were very friendly and attentive. I do agree with the comment about the seating though, I think it would have felt a bit cosier with more tables, but overall a very enjoyable evening.

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