PR Executive and freelance writer/translator from London. Love to see new places, practise yoga and eat good food. Read more at https://wanderwomanco.com/
Published February 17th 2018
Love Thy Neighbour preaches: "We believe in making you feel good" and I believe them.
There are two of the restaurants, the original branch in Liverpool and the second locale has recently set up shop in Chorlton, just outside of Manchester. The parade of small bars, edgy barbers and eateries like Love Thy Neighbour would make a Londoner feel quite at home – it resembles a side street that could just as easily be in Putney, Shoreditch or Balham.
And that's not just thanks to its neighbours. The whole places oozes with the highly-instagrammable, Millenial attitude that all the newest hotspots seem to have in common. The walls are painted Millenial pink, there's a 'living wall' on the ceiling, hanging neon signs and a tattoo-style Manchester bumblebee adorning the walls, along with the must have artwork: "Eat What You Love" and "Avocado is BAE".
And the cocktails are just as Instagram-friendly as the place itself, so no matter what you choose you'll be raking in the likes. For a floral-topped affair, go for The Hibiscus Margherita; Aqua Riva Tequila, Hibiscus Syrup, Lime Juice, Agave Syrup, and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt.
Described by the Manchester Evening News as an "Ibiza-cum-LA" inspired restaurant, Love Thy Neighbour is a health-food favourite, ticking off all the right buzzwords on both the daytime and evening menus. There's turmeric lattes, charcoal-activated black daiquiris, hearty Buddha bowls, cold pressed juices and Açai smoothie bowls. Expect great vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian options, but there are also chicken wings on the menu. There's balance.
It's feel-good, soulful food.
On the daytime menu you find familiar dishes with very welcome twists, like the Fried Duck Egg and Smoked Bacon Sandwich; and the Chickpea Pancakes, which are known as the signature dish of Love Thy Neighbour. There are unexpected additions too, like the Crispy Pearl Barley Arancini and Coconut Creamed Garlic Mushrooms.
The evening menu features much of the same, classic superfoods that we have come to associate with healthy eating. There's smoked salmon (which was very tasty), Salt-Baked Beetroot, Kale Crisps and a Lettuce Cup Taco.
The thing I liked best about Love Thy Neighbour is that through all the veganism, through all the refined sugar free and through all the 'instagram-friendly' options, there is still an unapologetically indulgent face to the menu. There are Halloumi Fries. A Tortilla Bun Burger made with Lean Steak; Smoked Garlic Aioli; Fairground Onions; and Avocado Salsa. Loaded Sweet Potato Fries (with Smoked Tomato Sauce; Jalapeño Salsa; Pickles; and Vegan Parmesan). Dribbling.
For starters, we shared the Smoked Garlic Hummus and Smoked Salmon with Dill & Orange dressing because really when is smoked salmon not the ideal starter?
The Baked Aubergine sells itself well on the menu: "Baked Aubergine & Vegan Mozzarella, Spiced Lemon Breadcrumbs, Tomato and Oregano Sauce". It's a fair portion, which is good because there's nothing worse than trying to eat healthily and being served something minuscule when you're already in a constant state of hunger.
It's one aubergine sliced in half, but it's filling. Most would consider it almost too much for lunch, or at least a very fulfilling lunch, whereas for dinner I think some might want slightly more if they've gone without a starter. The vegan mozzarella isn't seriously stringy as I expected, and so mostly it's roasted aubergine in tomato passata. Next time I'll be going for the Tortilla Bun Burger (hello fairground onions) or the Sweet & Spicy Buddha Bowl with extra halloumi of course. We tried the Marinated Halloumi, with Yellow and Green Courgette; Red Onion; Coriander and Lime Quinoa – definitely recommended.
Desserts are brought in from local vegan bakery 'The Black Cat', all gluten-free and dairy-free so you really can please anyone you want to take to Love Thy Neighbour. The chocolate cake is extremely dense, textured and rich (you'll need a glass of water to accompany) but if the Spiced Apple Cake is in when you visit, order it. It tastes like Christmas.
Simply put; if you're the kind of person who wants to upload your charcoal-activated latte to the 'gram, but perhaps also eat some loaded fries, Love Thy Neighbour should be on your list. For the Londoners who may venture up North, it's undeniably Palm Vaults-meets-Farmacy, the best of both.