Not so good this time. The food was pretty bland, but maybe the lack of meat was just too much to bear in an area awash with curry cafes (not their fault obviously). The portion was too small, which added to the air of austere gloom. This might have been a bit of an off day. The aduki rice (similar to 'rice and peas') was not available, so it was just plain brown rice. The vegan chilli and the daal were just not that great. Very wholesome, and probably immensely good for you, but the lack of spices and any real flavour prevented this trip from being particularly enjoyable.
This is an unusual place for Flavours of Manchester to be reviewing. There are no skewers of rotating meat or grilled kebabs here. The cafe is part of the Buddhist Centre, and it serves only vegan fare. The food on offer is an interesting and hearty mix of stews, pulses, salads, nut roasts and cakes. The current deal on offer is 4 dishes/items for £5.00 or 2 dishes/items for £3.50.
On this trip the options included: stir fry, roasted vegetables, Italian bean stew, daal curry and rice with beans. The daal and the Italian stew were both really tasty, and the rice with beans and roasted vegetables made excellent side dishes. Knowing a reliable vegetarian/vegan place is useful, and the food here is far healthier than that available in the curry cafes nearby.
Earth Cafe is good value for money, and it has a calm atmosphere that is hard to find elsewhere in the city centre. The 'underground' basement location only adds to the charm of this place.