Bundobust- Fast, Delicious and Central

I haven’t written a review in a while and this one has been a long time coming! Just before Christmas I was down after a long day at work and my gorgeous mummy who had been out Christmas shopping came and surprised me when my shift finished, I was ravenous after a 12 hour shift so she said she was treating me to dinner. Pleasantly surprised we headed over to Mowgli in the Corn Exchange (I wanted Indian!) but food had a half hour wait!, I fancied something spicy and remembered a new place opening that day; Bundobust. A friend from Leeds and also lots of my favourite bloggers had mentioned this place to me before, so although I thought we would probably be waiting a while, I decided- If I was going to wait- I might as well try a new place too.

So, of to Bundobust it was, The menu was fully veggie, and nearly completely vegan! We ordered everything that was vegan apart from 3 dishes- cauliflower bhaji, mini dosa and bhel puri. The bar staff gave us some okra fries while we chatted and then we head back over to our table. The food is tapas style if you want a big meal so we ordered quite a bit, if was really affordable though, and they do a good lunch deal as well as a big group everything on the menu special!

Lots of food came out, and every time it did, we presumed it would finally be ours! It wasn’t till nearly an hour later, and the table next to us arriving and ordering with the food arriving within 15 minutes that mum decided to approach a server. We had wanted to be patient as other places had been slated due to teething problems, we presumed they were struggling on the first day. It turned out, our order had not come through! We were given huge apologies from the waitress who fully camped our meal, brought my mum another wine, brought us some nibbles and a free mocktail for me. Outstanding service! And in a polite manner!

Our food arrived within 15 minutes piping hot and with extra rice and dips.

Everything was DELICIOUS, The modern style street food really worked. The Idli were gorgeous, as was the chole and the dhal. The mix of dips and okra fries with mango salt were really unusual and the Kachumber salad was delightfully fresh and well seasoned- it was actually my favourite!

IMG_0874

Where’s my food?

IMG_0875.JPG

Erm we were first…

The mocktail was mango and really tasty too! We really enjoyed the food and the service was great, staff were friendly and chatty, and they allow dogs! If you like craft beer, street food and a bustling atmosphere similar to an Indian market then Bundobust is the place to be, An underground gem in the heart of Manchester. (Between NQ and Picadilly, where the Chinese buffet with the hygiene problem used to be)

I loved Bundobust so much I chose it for my birthday meal in January where it got similar great feedback from all and the service was super fast, they were also accommodating in letting me store my cake in the fridge all day while we played golf with no cake corkage fee . My one complaint is that the hangover brunch options all contain egg and there are no vegan brunch options- maybe they could add a gram flour omelette wrap?

All in all I really recommend Bundobust for a laid back dining experience, which is fun, immersive, colourful and tasty! Food that has lots of flavours and different spices, everything was seasoned well, you can also request extra chillis, If you are me…

Love India x

V Revolution/ V-Rev Vegan Diner

Vegans of Manchester and beyond probably all know now that, V Revolution previously on Olham Rd right up near Abakhan Haberdashery and The Frog And Bucket, Have relocate to their new premises on Edge St. The new premises is much more central within the Northern Quarter area meaning it is closer to Shudehill and The Arndale as well as other locations Tib Street, Manchester Craft and Design Center, and other places I love such as Bon Bon Chocolate Boutique, Common and Ziferblat (It is located directly opposite pay per minute zone; Ziferblat)

The new location also comes with a revamp to the ‘junk food’ menu. Burgers are handmade from soy and seitan and Chicken Burgers with seitan and faux buttermilk batter; Burgers are now served with fries and in a pretzel roll, Tofu based hot dogs are still offered alongside grilled cheese sandwiches but further new additions include macaroni cheese, sides of chilli and loaded fries and salads. They also now are licensed for boozing with a cheeky cocktail menu for those who aren’t TeeTotal people like me,dryanuary participants or super religious.

On my first visit V Revolution were having their opening day, they have admitted themselves that the first two weeks were chaos. They were shockingly unprepared, ran out of food and the ordering system experienced serious mishaps. I waited until I had heard that people were having better experiences and hour waits were off the cards before posting this review; to be fair. Anyway, It sounds like things are sorted now.

I love the new venue, its very kitsch, filled with incredible vegan artwork from local artists, bright and well lit. One hangup mentioned frequently is people getting hit by the lights though as they do hang very well so this is a design flaw from a practical sense. I particularly loved the mirrors in the restroom area, which is gender neutral, very clean and even had gumball style dispensers for condoms and tampons (vegan of course)

First visit I tried the Grilled Cheese. I really didn’t like it, the ‘cheese’ had stayed in a slice and sweated rather than melting, the sourdough bread was far too crusty for a grilled cheese, it needed to have a bigger circumference, yet was quite thick, crust heavy and chewy meaning it was dry and there was not another cheese to bread in the ratio, the sandwich I opted for also contained ‘toona’. I think it was handmade chickpea tuna however although it tasted good, it was very dried out as the moisture had soaked into the bread leaving me with a dry chickpea crumby paste inside due to the type of cheese used. In the old location V Rev used Violife in their grilled cheeses and pre sliced bread but it was much nicer so they were obviously doing something different cheesewise although Violife is not my favourite. At Vegan Beer Fest they were using Follow your heart cheese in mac and cheese so I thought that at the new venue they might use Follow your heart cheddar or mozzarella shreds which are incredible in grilled cheese sandwiches.

Now onto the more positive.. We also got Elvis Burger and Satay burger. The ‘beef’ burger in the Elvis burger was fine and the burger is loaded with banana, peanut butter and ‘bacon’ however what I loved was the Satay Burger! The ‘chicken’ burger was incredible, huge, delicious and with a yummy coating, seitan perfection. The pretzel roll also meant the buns did not dissolve. The mac and cheese is classic boxed mac and cheese (make sure you know if you like boxed mac and cheese- it does taste artificial- it is meant to) and the fries are similar to those in most fast food joints, proper skinny fries. The milkshakes are great in the new location as the staff use a soft serve vegan ice cream machine! You can even get soft serve on brownie and cookie sandwiches I believe.

 

Next visit we brought Marnie and she was very accommodated for from a ‘dog friendly’ POV, she was given treats and water too. We got chilli to share, and Mum got ‘Jerry Zinger’ I got Guac to the future. Once again the chicken burgers were really great. Anyone saying V Rev should go back to the old Frys burgers, you are mental!. Too chewy! Meat is chewy… Being vegan does not make your teeth fall out!. The chilli was super good as was the salsa on my burger.

One more reflection I have to mention after a friend brought it up. Plates. The new prices reflect an eat in diner, the old ones reflected a fast food joint. Its like Gourmet Burger Kitchen or TGI fridays now, not Mcdonalds or Burger King; the prices reflect that and so does the atmosphere and food quality. Some people have defended the baskets saying ‘its ‘American Diner Style’. I have been to America- and eaten in many vegan and non vegan places. Fast Food Joints such as Tom and Chee where I paid $4 for a grilled cheese- served in baskets, REAL LIFE American Diners such as Ethos vegan Kitchen did use plates. The papers in the baskets get disgracefully mushed and are waste produce anyway, plates of some sort would be a big but great investment in the future.. Just something to consider and obviously investments like that take a lot of thinking about.

VISIT 1- Service 3/10 (No comps offered, large wait, cold food, milkshakes 40 min before meal, fries 10 mins before burgers, requested condiments after one party member finished eating.) OBVIOUSLY I WOULDN’T JUDGE A PLACE ON THIS ON OPENING DAY THOUGH!

VISIT 1- Food 6.5/10 (It was before they included fries with burgers so most people felt value was lost, fries were cold, grilled cheese not nice. BURGERS 9/10- incredible, Milkshake 9/10- they had run out of toppings although I wouldn’t have known if they didn’t say)

VISIT 2- Service 8/10 (Lovely to Marnie, apologized for wait, staff all looked happy and welcoming)

VISIT 2- Food- 9/10 (Burgers delicious- good cheese, good seitan chicken and yummy BBQ sauce, non dissolving bun, mum said some of the fries were hard)

Overall 8/10 ❤

Good luck V REV! Wishing you all the best,

You have always been a lovely team and your expanded team have kept it that way. The new recipes were very nice and the decorating makes me want to move in!. The decorating is probably one of my favorite bits, especially the art and the selfie mirror, the great bright and happy color scheme and the good lighting. Take that from someone who has to study visual aesthetics, color and lighting at university!. I presume others feel similar as fine dining and Italian restaurants are great with dimmed lighting and wouldn’t suit bright lighting but not sooooo candle lit you can’t see your plate, I have also had discussions where people have agreed ‘red’ or ‘blue’ tinted lighting can be horrible, whatever is causing it, your meal looking pink and red or purple and lilac does not make it look visually appetizing. (Also the food pics look gross, Hello! Instagram!, no seriously, check my photos from the Buddha Lounge 1st visit on this blog- those photos took a lot of labour and still aren’t worthy of a #veganfoodenvy hashtag!) And we vegans love taking photos of food, heck don’t all millennials and post millennials dig that now? In Paperchase we even had a ‘damn, I forgot to Instagram that shit’ post card.

Love and good new year wishes to all my readers!

 

 

 

Vegan at Buddha Lounge – updated!

One of my favourite local restaurants is the ‘Buddha Lounge’.
Although my favourite Chinese/Cantonese restaurant is Lotus Vegetarian, the Buddha Lounge is my top choice for Thai food. They offer a sleek stylish interior, relaxed atmosphere and 2 fantastic menus, sporting both Cantonese and Thai food. Nearly every authentic dish can be veganised and staff members are helpful and knowledgeable. Any main has a veggie option which, with the exception of any soups, noodle or rice dishes containing egg, is also vegan. Mum took me there as a birthday treat January 2016 as we had a 50% off coupon.

We ordered veggie mock duck with pancakes and vegetable lettuce wraps to start. The Hoi Sin sauce went wonderfully with the mock duck; the more unusual lettuce wraps were fab too! The filling for these contained rice, minced cashew nuts, carrot, onions and other veggies and seasonings.


For my main I chose Thai Green Curry, as Thai curries rate highly on my list of favourite foods. It was lovely and I could really taste the aromatic lemongrass, hot green chilli and creamy coconut which It contained, amongst other things; tofu, corn, carrot and mangetout. Mum chose the Black Bean Tofu, and we share sides of sticky rice and salt and pepper chips, the latter was really flavoursome and well seasoned. I think there was 5 spice in the salt, or something similar, rather than just chillies and salt tossed on top as in some other places. The Black Bean dish was good but we both agreed that it wasn’t as outstanding as the other stuff.
I got the dessert menu and was happy to see there was also a vegan option, despite this being fruit based. The fruity lychee, pineapple and grape dessert was actually perfect, although possibly when they reshuffle the menu, even more options will be available, not only for the desserts but also for the mains, even though that is quite varied as it stands.

below photos from 18/8/16 (recent visit)


Verdict- top quality food and fantastic service!!

I am dining at the Buddha Lounge again tonight with my Bury vegan group so will add more review content shortly.

* 14 of the vegans from my Bury Vegan group went down to Buddha Lounge last Thursday, they will soon be in a new larger venue so I wanted to go to this one again!

We all choose different dishes, from the fresh and spicy papaya salad to the Szechuan stir fry, the most popular Thai curry was the Massaman, filled with potato and cashew nuts in a mild sauce, the Thai green curry which I had last time was popular too. I tried the Malaysian Kari Ayam as I have never seen that one before, it sounded like a spicier variation of the Penang but without ground peanuts. It was absolutely amazing, a creamy coconut base, red chilli and lots of spices, beancurd and veggies, a nice change from my usual choice of a green curry. I also tried th coconut rice which is mild, creamy and delicious.

 

India X

Update love- Ice Shack, Parties and a beauty salon

Hey everyone, another little update post for y’all, but first look at this yummy plate of goodness I had at Earth Cafe the other week. (2 mains, 2 sides- £7)

image

Potato pasticcio, Plaintain fritter, courgette olive salad and tofu veggie stirfry

Right now, so… I have been to lots of great Parties of late, 3 of which had 100% vegan catering, my friend Therese had the potluck which I have shown you the amazing cake from. (Which I made!)

My friends Nikki and Pete had a joint party at Pheonix City chinese buffet in Stalybridge which was fantastic and had a photobooth!,

and my friend Rachel had a house party with a vegan cheese fondue, and an attic disco. All the parties were great, thanks guys!

In other news… I visited Ice Shack in Withington. This is a veggie/vegan ice cream parlour and coffee shop with a really cute fun atmosphere. It was totally chilled out and they host lovely events such as board games nights as well as toddler groups and running clubs. I had a gorgeous Oreo soy-milkshake which even had coffee ice cream in it! They do an amazing ice cream sundae with cake or doughnuts, cookies, chocolate and 5 scoops of ice cream in it too! And it is served in a dog bowl!

I am off to V Festival in August so I have been prepping for that as I will be seeing Justin Bieber and everyone else I fancy when they perform there, among-st planning baking schedules for my August vegan events. Rule no- 1 for packing for V festival however should be no playsuits or jumpsuits! Nobody wants to be stark naked in a porta-loo / porta-potty.

And also… You know I love talking Politics… so here’s a picture of free food! Which I got for contributing to an amazing project ‘Propaganda by the People’ animating my views on being Pro- Europe.

image

Finally the Beauty Salon at Gronn Bury is now open! It is not 100% vegan like the hair salon but very vegan friendly, with massages, manicures, waxing and facials on offer! Get down there! Pre-holiday or pre-Back to school treatments a-plenty.

Love and Hugs

India x

Zizzi Vegan Menu; High-street Vegan takes it up a noch

For those who don’t know, UK pizza and pasta chain Zizzi have launched a vegan menu in all of their UK stores. The exciting thing about this is the fact that Zizzi have always offered dairy free cheese-less pizzas and pastas but now; they are offering vegan cheese and gelato too!

image

My pizza 

This is great for vegan people due to the fact we can access vegan cheese pizza more easily on the highstreet but I also think that it shows a huge step forward in the recognition of the rapid growth in the popularity of the vegan lifestyle. Veganism is much more mainstream than it was, the acceptance and normalisation of a vegan diet and ethics are more widespread than ever. Could it be that the UK are finally catching up with our cousins across the pond?

I HAD to try these pizzas, and headed on down to one of the local Manchester branches ;Spinningfields. I went for a gluten free crust as I like to sample them to compare quality; opting for Artichoke, Mushrooms, Green Chilli and Caramelised balsamic onions on my pizza. At 80p per topping I did find the prices steep but no different to other Italian chains.  The pizza was amazing, the cheese was Mozzarisella which is a rice milk cheese, I have already had it on pizza at home after buying it in V Revolution and I love its mild creamy taste. The toppings were nice together but the star of the show had to be the caramelised onions which were out of this world and unusual as a pizza topping. The base was also spot on, thin crispy and stretchy with no strange taste. I also sampled the garlic bread which was lovely and rich. We ordered some sides to share steamed tenderstem brocolli and beetroot naked slaw and it was nice that they provided a fresh accompaniment to the rich creamy pizzas. Afterwards we went to Sinclairs Oyster bar; after breaking the bank on pizza it felt sensible to go somewhere less expensive for drinks; vegan ales and cider on tap.

The vegan menu also offered desserts, comments from the group reflected on the fact a simple chocolate dessert offering would be welcomed (such as a fudge brownie, torte, mousse or even a cookie dessert)  as all the desserts were quite fruity. However coconut gelato was an offering; a nice alternative to the common option of sorbet. I liked the fact that the menu mentioned availability of a wide range of vegan wines. Many places with ‘allergen’ menus which lump vegetarianism and veganism together with ‘special diets’ and bother too highly on cross contamination simply don’t offer the understanding and assurance that this menu did; the vegan wine mention highlighted this.

All in all my opinion is that the experience was spot on. I can only hope other chain places follow suit and create vegan options rather than offering us the veggie options with ‘modifications’ like many do. (When some of the dish is missing and the price is the same I feel conned if no substitutions are made, Sorry Las Iguanas etc!) Maybe an American style pizza place will follow suit so myself and my fellow vegans can enjoy deep based pan pizzas with toppings such as pineapple; as well as delicious thin crust Italian pizzas like those at Zizzi. (I am looking at you Pizza Hut; Take note- this would get you more publicity than changing your sign to ‘Pasta Hut’ for a year, or even putting burgers, hotdogs and various other meals in your crusts! I recommend ‘follow your heart’ for a stretchy style cheese like the stuff you pile on!)

Hope you enjoyed the review! Keep reading, Kite fans

India

x

Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen

Today’s post pays homage to my favorite Chinese restaurant. Lotus is unusual in that everything is veggie and can be veganised (tofu fried rice anyone?) I have been 4 times, each time in groups so I have now sampled nearly every dish on the menu. (Excluding the rice and noodle dishes). I have decided to compose a list of my favorite dishes, firstly my top choices for starters.

Prawn Toast- Unusual yet delicious, as a veggie I always envied prawn toast, I felt I was missing out, now I no longer need to feel jealous if prawn toast is on the table! Lovely crispy fried bread with sesame seeds, encasing a sweet soft filling.

Grilled Veggie Dumplings- Basically Gyoza which I love.

Caramel Spicy Tofu- This stuff, I initially tried when it was ordered by my friend Amy. It may sound disgusting to you, but once again the sweet and salty flavor triumphs. Mum loves this sticky tofu too- and she is not a huge fan of beancurd. Beware though if you can’t handle the heat as these do have a kick to them.

Mixed Beancurd and Gluten- A similar tofu and two gluten based mock meats in different marinades, I like this dish and its different textures.

Chicken Satay Skewers- The favorite of my mother, the peanut satay sauce is drizzled over chicken, peppers and vegetables. Nicer than similar veggie dishes I have had in other Chinese restaurants.

Now, its time for my favorite main courses to be in the spotlight.

Chilli Tomato Fish- I am a lover of all things ‘fish’, I love the Vbites ‘Making Waves’ products and I like ‘Tofush’ and chips too, so I am glad to say this is the menu star for me; and the best mock fish around. Incredible, the textures alone are worth raving about, soft flaky inner and a chewier outer then a crispy seaweed skin. The tomato sauce is nice too and contains juicy green peas within. The dish is very spicy but you can order it mild or medium and they can tailor it for your pallet.

 

Sweet and Sour Ribs also deserve a mention, the Lotus sweet and sour sauce is not too sickly sweet or too tangy. Its one of the best sweet and sour sauces I have had. Ribs make a change from chicken but you can also have this dish with chicken or prawns.

Kung Po Chicken- This is quite a mild dish, it comes with lots of cashew nuts and the sauce is slightly sweet and allows the taste of the vegetables and nuts to shine through.

The Sizzling dishes are loved by many, If you don’t like attention then don’t order!- the dishes come to the table while sizzling. I like the black bean sauce offered on the sizzling chicken or beef as I think it is not too salty like some black bean sauces.

I should also mention my least favorite dishes- The chilli potatoes just as I thought the dish was quite boring and the eel which did not taste ‘fishy’ and only came in orange sauce with nothing else.

Finally; I will insure you there is no need to stay away if you don’t like mock meat dishes.. there are a plethora of vegetable and tofu dishes which you can order if you prefer, The include the pineapple rice! served in a pineapple!, the creamy vegetables and sooo many different beancurd options!. My auntie ordered the salt and pepper aubergine and they reminded me of courgette fritti from an Italian joint but with much more seasoning of course.

Remember, at Lotus there is no worry about things containing fish sauce; a dilemma for veggies at most Chinese and Thai places. You can order prawn crackers without checking the ingredients! Freedom at last. No shared chip fryer, no cross contamination, its all ‘safe!’ No MSG either so no belly ache.

One down point is the hefty corkage fee at this unlicensed venue. I recommend going T-total or going to the Friendly Red Lion pub next door for a drink afterwards. Stick to tea as at Lotus they have a great specialty tea menu. The flowering lotus tea features a glass teapot to watch your flowers open! A spectacle at your table.

Don’t forget dessert! (get your leftovers boxed up!) Egg free banana and pineapple fritters are an offering, however I prefer to order the vegan ice cream (I think it is Swedish glace) as it goes nicely with the complementary fruit platter and fortune cookies tremendously well.

 

I hope I have encouraged you to give it a try whether you are a veggie, vegan or an omnivore.

India x

Lolo’s Vegan and Raw Restaurant and Store

This post is dedicated to a very special place indeed. What makes this Vegan establishment so unique is the fact it is three fantastic businesses in one! I have been to stores with take out cafes, and cafes with small amounts of stock for sale. But Lolo’s takes this a stop further, Where else can you enjoy a leisurely brunch, grab a takeout lunch or coffee, buy vegan groceries, have a classy evening meal or even get an Ice Cream Sundae! All in a fab 1920’s inspired location with a jazz music soundtrack.

In the day, Lolo’s is open as a deli and cafe. The menu has a New York sandwich bar feel to it- but you won’t get a Pastrami on Rye… nope its all vegan!

  • Lolo’s shop is no longer open – Lolo’s is no longer 3 businesses in one.

Next door is the shop. For a very tiny shop, its pretty damn good. It can be hard to get some products such as those produced by Wheaty, Taifun, Vbites and Sojade. But now… you can get these products in store at Lolo’s  when visiting for cake or coffee. Unicorn Grocery is amazing true, but restraints on what they sell containing sugar mean they can’t stock some of the goodies in store here. ‘Naughty’ goodies such as Vego bars, Freedom mallows, Amy’s Mac and Cheeze and Angelic Gluten free chocolate orange cookies litter the shelves. No checking labels- Its all vegan! There are products for the gluten intolerant and calorie counters too, so whether you are paleo, atkins or have a multitude of allergies- you can still buy stuff! Like cooking or baking? you can also pick up hard to find ingredients, such as nutritional yeast, coconut flour, sprouted buckwheat and harissa paste.

The third part of the triple threat which is Lolo’s would be the restaurant. In the evening, the venue is transformed into a more ‘fine dining’ bistro style place. The experience is less hectic and fun than daytime and more relaxed, romantic and classy. The food offering change too- of course. The seasonal menu is ever changing. The venue is also licensed. Unlike lots of veggie places there is no hefty corkage on BYOB, instead there are a selection of vegan wines, cocktails and local craft beers to purchase. The current chef is David, well known in West Yorkshire and beyond for working at ‘Dandelion and Burdock’ Sowerby Bridge.

 

  • Post has had to be modified due to the business changing and no longer having a deli or shop, replacing with a wine bar.

 

Vegan food options in Morrison’s Cafe!

 

NOTICE – AS OF MAY 2016 the Cajun Burger contains mozzarella cheese and the 3 bean chilli is permanantly removed meaning the only vegan options at all are chips, mushy peas and baked beans. 

Tesco has replaced its in store Cafe with Costa Coffee outlets, A Place to Eat by John Lewis has no vegan cake and Asda Walmart cafe offers little apart from Chips… However a recent revamp of the Morrisons Cafe menu means it now has a few cheap and tasty options for us; foodwise.

My mother and I used to go for a veggie roast there rather frequently and we also used to go to the curry club. So, before Christmas, when we saw the seasonal roasts were being offered again, I went out on a whim and queried their vegan-suitability. The lady checked, and the nut roast, potatoes, gravy and veg was all fine; I just had extra roasties and peas instead of mash. At £5 for a nut roast with gravy, cranberry sauce, carrots, sprouts, peas and roast potatoes it was great value and really tasty, packed full of cashew nuts, and grated carrot. When the seasonal menu ended I decided to take a look at the menu, and after a chat with the cook and some packet checking we deemed the below all good-

Jacket Potato with 3 bean chilli

Jacket Potato with baked beans

3 bean chilli with rice or chips

Cajun vegetable burger with chips or potato wedges

side salad

corn on the cob

onion ring tower

mushy peas

bread roll

PTDC0499PTDC0501

PTDC0500

We decided of course that we had to sample both the burger and the chilli, so ordered a burger and chips, a jacket potato with chilli, and some extra chilli. The chilli was not spicy enough for me, but mum declared it tasty and it was full of beans. The burger was my favorite, not too spicy, really delicious though, I think I could identify sweet potato and sweetcorn in the mix. Served with BBQ sauce although you can choose both a sauce and a topping. The bun was nice too. I really did love this burger. Its nice to have an option apart from a jacket potato when you get hungry in the supermarket! And a quick meal for £5 (build a burger cost) or less! They do lots of weekday specials, kids eat free deals, tea for 2 and pensioners specials too.

Thanks for reading pals!

India x

 

Taurus,Canal St review – vegan menu

Tucked away in the Manchester gay village- Taurus Bar is not exactly a prime dining location, many people don’t even know they serve food! However… they do, and it is very nice. Whats more is that Taurus have their own vegan menu!

I have now visited Taurus many times so I can evaluate the good, bad and ugly… but mainly good!

The two times I have visited Taurus individually (in a couple) have been faultless! With my sister they were very accommodating to my little nephew Sebastian- bringing him water and milk and being very friendly. It was good to know they had high chairs- and waiting staff happily brought out a spare plate for him to nibble from. Our meals were lovely- I had a Tofu Penang which was a lovely mild curry with tofu and a peanut and coconut sauce, it was served with boiled rice. Nic had a bean burger with cheese- she said the actual burger patty was nice as it was not dry like some bean burgers, and it had lots of flavor without being greasy. We shared some broad bean and nut croquettes which again were lovely and had a nice sweet chilli dressing, these were Nic’s favorite part of the meal!

When I visited with Mum on Christmas eve, our meals again were amazing- staff were attentive and service was fast. We both got Bean burgers- mine I ordered without a bun and with pineapple, chips and mushy peas, I poured salt and vinegar on top – like fishcake, chips and mushy peas. Mum got hers with coleslaw and a brioche bun. Again, delicious freshly made vegan food! The chunky chips are incredible! And the bean burger is soft and moist inside with a crispy outer- textural heaven!

Now… When I visited as a group, the experience was very different. With the vegan Manchester Christmas meal, I found the food quite bland and lacked flavor. My Mushroom and lentil hotpot had no mushrooms or lentils in it! and was a potato and carrot hot pot topped with more potatoes, and the ginger sprouts had no ginger on them. My friend ordered a nut roast but It just looked like the bean burger to me. Apparently the walnut choc pot was underwhelming and my coconut rice pudding topped with mango crisps had no mango crisps and was served warm with coulis on top. Apparently due to over subscription that night, there had been some issues, so I did give Taurus the benefit of the doubt.

The second time I visited as a group was with Bolton Vegan group, early January. Firstly, someones hummus and pitta starter was forgotten. Secondly there were menu to plate alterations once again. The Tofu and vegetable madras curry which my Mum ordered… contained NO tofu, instead containing only Kidney beans and chickpeas and the rice was slightly underdone! And the Gnocchi which some of the others ordered I am told was not as described on its menu. When It came to desserts.. the choice of fruit and Sorbet was uninspired. However a dining companion did order ‘poached pear with cinnamon spiced syrup and raspberry sorbet’ – which came with no cinnamon, and the sorbet was very dark- she thought it more similar to blackcurrant.

When I order something and it comes, and it is not what I believed I had ordered… I get annoyed or sad. So although the food at Taurus is always delicious. I feel that I have to recommend going in small groups or as a couple.. rather than making a large group booking – as this seems to be when problems occur. Either way, the regular menu provides a nice choice and variety of tasty vegan food, and it is 50% off in January and 50% off every Monday (25% on Tuesdays) every day. They also do soya milk in drinks, daily vegan risotto of the day and Sunday dinners. I am told good things about the cocktails- but I don’t drink so can’t vouch for them personally!

Love India x

 

 

Festive Fayre at Toby Carvery- Vegan Style

It’s the Vegan Eats and Cheats on the High Street special!

760

ALL MINE!

For Bury Borough Vegetarian and Vegan group Christmas meal we headed down to Greenmount Toby Carvery… ‘Vegans at a carvery?’ you might say! Well, prepare to be surprised. Toby Carvery offer 3 regular vegan main courses – Butternut Squash, Brown Rice and Kale Crumble,Spicy Chickpea and Carrot Wholegrain Wellington and Lentil and Parsnip Cottage Pie! All of these can be joined by flavoured or plain roast potatoes, maple syrup parsnips, cranberry sauce, mustard, mint sauce, sage and onion stuffing, apple sauce and vegetarian gravy along with all the veggies on the deck. * your local Toby may butter the ‘on deck’ veg, but if you check in advance they can prepare you some separately if this is the case.

755

Ste opted for Mushroom and Ale Pie

759

My sides!

757

My crumble

758

Natalie loved her wellington

Fun was had by all and we got free crackers and coffee as booking with the festive menu. The festive menu also included a mushroom and ale pie! I tried all of the mains and they were all delicious, but the best bit was the parsnips! For dessert we had the amazing chocolate cherry torte, surprisingly good, more like a dense brownie or flour-less chocolate cake, with a lovely black-forest note to it. *we took our own soya cream and soy milk for coffee and tea.

764

very moist and sweet

765

so dense and gooey

So a big thank you to Toby Carvery UK for your excellent vegan menu choices and another thank you to the staff at Greenmount for your accommodation of our group.

Merry Christmas love from India

x