I was recently invited to bring a friend to The Monro which is an independently owned gastropub in the middle of Liverpool with an impressive history. The owners have decided to develop their plant-based menu and we were very excited to try some of their offerings!
The Monro first opened in 1817 as a wine, spirit and beer merchants and it lived through the highs and lows of Liverpool history. Sadly it ended up a derelict pub in need of a refresh. Thankfully the current owners took over and turned it into the beautiful gastropub it is today, with the mission to create a cosy establishment serving the freshest homemade food. The ingredients are sourced from around Liverpool and as much as possible is created on the premises. In fact, there is even a list of the few items that the head chef does not make from scratch on the website so you can see just how homemade everything is. The Monro also has some excellent green credentials including the lack of chemicals and MSG in the food and the reduction of waste.
We were grateful to have a chance to talk to the owner and chef when we arrived. We had a long chat about how veganism is becoming more mainstream and they were keen to develop their vegetarian and vegan menu so that families with different dietary requirements could go for a meal together. Veganism is in line with their green credentials so it is no surprise that a great vegan menu would be their next step! They are particularly looking to create vegan comfort food which doesn’t rely too much on meat substitutes. Let me tell you straight away that they are doing well with this already!
Their extensive menu currently has the main menu on one side and if you flip it over you can find the gluten-free menu. It struck me that the gluten free menu is not far off the size of the general menu which is a welcome change! The waiter was able to tell me exactly what I could order as a gluten-free vegan after getting advice from the chef. My friend is also vegan but not gluten-free and she was also given a list of dishes that she could choose from. The chef was happy to make alterations to the dishes as everything is cooked fresh. I decided to have the dips with gluten free bread for my starter and the halloumi & aubergine burger which the chef said she would serve with tofu instead of halloumi. My friend went for the French style mushrooms and the Italian Club Sandwich. We were also treated to some side salads full of fresh vegetables and olives.
The dips I was served were two hummus flavours and an olive oil and balsamic dip. The beetroot hummus was delicious and the pea hummus was very refreshing. I don’t know where The Monro get their gluten-free bread from but it was beautifully soft on the inside with a crunchy crust. I need more of this kind of bread in my life! The burger did not involve a meat substitute or a vegetable patty. It relied on layers of grilled aubergine and a spicy tomato sauce which was to die for. The halloumi had been replaced by a thick piece of tofu which was cooked nicely. However, I’m not a huge tofu eater because I try not to eat too much soy. I think this burger would have been fine without it, with a big mushroom or even with a bit of vegan cheese. The chips were easily the best chips I’ve had since going gluten-free. They were perfectly fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside and were my favourite part of the meal! See what my friend had to say about her meal here.
We were very impressed with The Monro and I am excited about the changes which are still to come! We had a sneaky peak at the new “Plant-Based” Menu which the head chef and owner are currently working on and discussed some potential vegan desserts too. The Monro is the perfect place to go with family as their food is delicious and suitable for all dietary requirements. It’s a shame they’re already booked up for Mother’s Day!
Find out more about The Monro and book a table here.