Somewhere pretty special has opened in Manchester City Centre. Finally we have an authentic Italian restaurant that makes fresh pasta on site and there are vegan options to choose from.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a good friend visiting from London recently who wanted to try out all the vegan offerings in Manchester. I suggested booking a table at The Pasta Factory as it was one of the only places I haven’t tried yet. As we had arrived a little early for our booking, we got a chance to see what was on offer at their deli. I was amazed to see many fresh pastas labelled vegan, but also home made vegan cheeses too! It all looked great.
It didn’t take long for us to get to our table, I was surprised how small the restaurant is inside as it looks much bigger from the outside. Although it was really busy (you definitely need to book), it had a lovely atmosphere and the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. As we asked for the vegan menu, I think we got a bit of special attention. A member of staff ran through everything on the vegan menu, highlighting a few ingredient changes as well as running through what was available from the deli and what could be veganised from the general menu. We were also told that all of the wines were suitable for vegans, I don’t drink but this is good news for those who do!
As we’d spotted the home made cheese on the counter, we asked if it was possible to have a main dish that used it. Due to the cheese not suiting the pastas we were ordering they were unable to do this, but they were really kind and offered to let us try some free of charge. They also promised to bring us some of their home made parmesan to sprinkle on our dishes.
Our samples of their home made cheese arrived before our mains. We even got some of their crackers to try with it.
Oh my gosh, this cheese was so tasty. It had a nice delicate salty flavour and crumbled in my mouth. I was really impressed that a non vegan restaurant had gone to this much effort. I’m definitely planning on popping in again just to buy some of this!
Not long after our mains arrived. I had a spelt pasta with sunblushed tomatoes and olives.
This was really, really good. It was refreshing to have a pasta dish that wasn’t just a basic tomato sauce and now I finally realise how much nicer fresh pasta is to dry. It’s like a completely different experience. I sprinkled on the parmesan pretty liberally, it was so good.
Jake got a stuffed ravioli
And my friend ordered a spelt pasta with thinly sliced vegetables. I had a bite of this, I can’t remember what the dish was but I remember thinking it was really really delicious.
I was pretty full after the main course but I was desperate to try out the desserts. I’d heard about the chocolate ravioli and the panna cotta. My friend and I decided to have a choc ravioli each and share a panna cotta.
The Panna Cotta was my favourite. It was coconut based with with a berry coulis on top. It was firmer than any Panna Cotta’s I’ve tried but it was really tasty. It has a very coconutty taste but I think this worked well with the fruit.
The Chocolate Ravioli was really interesting. It was a cocoa pasta, filled with figs and then served with coconut cream and topped with extra coconut. I did really enjoy this but it was a bit too much coconut for my liking. I enjoyed the cream sauce with it though, so maybe a soya or cashew cream would work well instead? The fig was nice but the coconut overpowered it a lot…and of course I’d always be up for a little extra chocolate sauce drizzled on top…I’m a chocolate fiend. We did feed this back to our server as he was asking at each course what we thought and he suggested ditching the coconut, so maybe this dish will be slightly different when I next visit?
Overall I was really impressed with the desserts, they were super imaginative and different to anything I’ve had before.
The whole meal was really, really delicious. I had a lovely time at The Pasta Factory. The dishes aren’t cheap (around £12 for a pasta dish, desserts were £6 each iirc) but the quality and care put into each dish makes it worth every penny. Plus the service was great.
The best thing is how open they are to feedback from the vegan community. I’ve seen them regularly engaging with Manchester vegans on social groups and I feel like they’re working really hard to not just to accommodate us, but to put really good vegan food on the menu. I’m hoping that as they’re experimenting with making their own cheeses that we might see some creamy based pasta dishes appear on their vegan menu. That would be perfect.
If you’re in Manchester and after some authentic Italian food then definitely check out The Pasta Factory. It’s open Tuesday – Sunday from 12pm and is just around the corner from Shudehill bus station.