Unity Diner

Hi All! So it’s been a while, 4 months in fact. I’ve had some issues with fatigue over the last few months caused by my thyroid problem, so blogging wasn’t my priority. I’ve had an adjustment to my medication and I feel like I’m getting my mojo back!

There are a couple of things that have inspired me to get back to blogging – my trip to Japan where I have tried some amazing vegan food and a fellow blogger. I got friendly with Jenny from Herbivores’ Heaven last year during Vegan MoFo (vegan month of food). I haven’t taken part this year due to the clash with my big holiday but Jenny is and she is basing her month on her own recent trip to Japan.

I had every intention of posting my review of Unity Diner back when I went a few months ago so here it finally is.

I had been wanting to visit Unity Diner ever since it opened. Unity Diner is the brain child of Earthling Ed and is a non-profit which helps fund Ed’s activism charity Surge. When my friend Marina announced she was coming to the UK (from Japan) during Golden Week (extended this year due to the new emperor being signed in) I knew it was the perfect opportunity to go to Unity Diner.

I chose this enormous burger! As I usually do with burgers this size I chopped it in half to make it more manageable. It was really tasty and the chicken style patty wasn’t dry at all.

Marina chose the cheeseburger and we shared some fries and mac & cheese.

The mac was lovely and gooey and just how I like my mac & cheese.

Even though we were starting to feel full we couldn’t resist dessert. Vegan desserts have come on leaps and bounds in non-vegan restaurants so I definitely have more opportunities to have one, but I’m still excited by a dessert menu at a vegan restaurant where there are multiple options.

I chose the cheesecake and Marina had the (badly photographed) crumble. Both were fabulous.

I hope to return to Unity Diner soon to try out their weekend brunch menu and taste their waffles and/or pancakes!

Have you visited Unity Diner in Hoxton? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

I will be back soon with some posts about Japan.

Plumes x

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Unity Diner

Dough Yo’s X Veg Heads April 2019

Last Saturday I attended the grand opening of Dough Yo’s vegan doughnut shop in Southend and I had the privilege of being the first ever customer!

Dough Yo’s is run by my friend Nathan who is a very active member of the Essex vegan activism community, with Matt of Veg Heads cooking up burgers and hotdogs in the kitchen. The café is on Queen Street just off the High Street so very easy to get to.

I went with a few friends and it was great to see the long queue forming when we got there just before they opened. We also saw a few other friends while we were there. Us vegans love our doughnuts!

I went for a hot dog, coffee and chocolate hazelnut doughnut and it was all fabulous.

There were many different doughnuts on offer so I bought a “Homer” home for my Husband and my friends enjoyed some other delights.

So when you’re next in Southend I highly recommend you head down to Dough Yo’s and get your fill of vegan treats!

Plumes x

Dough Yo’s X Veg Heads April 2019

The Canvas Cafe – April 2019

My friend Mitsu and I decided to go to Canvas Cafe for our regular meetup as it had been a while since we had both been to the spot just off Brick Lane.

This was very convenient for me as I had an appointment to give blood nearby directly beforehand.

The last time I went to Canvas I think it was still vegetarian but I’m happy to say they are now completely vegan.

I chose the tofish and chips while Mitsu went for the quesadilla. We had a peppermint tea and a tumeric latte to drink.

My tofish was really tasty and as you can see there were plenty of chips. The only slight thing I would recommend would be to press their tofu a bit more.

Mitsu bought a huge wedge of blueberry and lemon crumble cake and I couldn’t leave without getting a peanut butter and jelly brownie for my Husband.

Have you been to Canvas recently? What did you think let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

The Canvas Cafe – April 2019

Pho – April 2019

I hadn’t been to a branch of Pho in a long while so when deciding where to go for lunch with my friend Matthieu last time I thought we’d give it go.

Pho is a chain of Vietnamese restaurants selling the classic Pho a dish of noodles and soup as well as many other Vietnamese dishes. They have plenty of vegan options with a couple under each menu section.

We started off with some crispy spring rolls which were gorgeous.

I chose a noodle dish with tofu and mushroom. I am the messiest eater when I’m eating out of a clear both so I was must safer going for a dry noodle option! This dish was really tasty and a decent portion.

Matthieu isn’t vegan but he and his wife are trying to reduce their meat consumption so he went for the tofu pho.

I like how you can add all your aromatics yourself so you can control the level of flavour/spice.

I had a jasmine tea to drink which was so pretty!

I would really recommend Pho if you are out and about and especially if you are in a mixed group of vegans and meat eaters. I look forward to going back to try their other vegan options.

Have you visited Pho? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Pho – April 2019

Acorn Pie and Mash – March 2019

Unfortunately I never made it to the Acorn Vegan Deli in Leigh-on-sea part of The Oak Tree family. It has now transformed into a vegan pie and mash shop so I suggested to my Mum that we should go for Mother’s Day.

There is little parking nearby so Mum dropped me off at the restaurant and then had to drive around for about 15 minutes to find a parking space.

I enjoyed this locally brewed red ale while I waited for her to arrive!

There are a number of different pies you can choose from including chilli, cheesy, chick’n and mushroom, steak and ale as well as a daily special which on this day was Thai curry.

We both chose the steak and ale which came with homemade seitan pieces, peas, Mum had gravy and I went for the traditional liquor (parsley sauce) and added lots of vinegar!

I was disappointed the meals came on bamboo container. This is a sit down restaurant/cafe so I expected a proper plate. It made it difficult eat as you kind of had to work your way right to left to have enough room to cut up your pie. I also usually like lashings of liquor but I was limited to a dainty drizzle in order to eat this without getting it all over me! I found the peas were a little underdone (how do you undercook peas?!) and the seitan pieces were far too huge in the pie.

I am being very critical and overall I would say this was alright/a bit meh. When you are only serving basically one meal this should be your speciality and done very well. I have had great vegan pie and mash from non-vegan places so I would expect an exclusively vegan place to have it on top form.

There was an extensive dessert menu but I have given up treats for Lent so we skipped them and the milkshake options looked good too.

Leigh-on-sea is about a 45 minute drive from where I live so I don’t think I would go out of my way to go here again but if I was in Leigh for other reasons I might pop in for a bite.

Have you been to The Acorn? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Acorn Pie and Mash – March 2019

Wild Food Cafe – March 2019

At the weekend my Husband and I went to see a recording of one of my fave podcasts – Secret Dinosaur Cult hosted by comedians Sofie Hagen and Jodie Mitchell they cover trauma and daddy issues all through the lens of dinosaurs. If you’ve never listened I recommend you get on that!

The podcast was being recorded at The Tap Room on Upper Street so we were looking for somewhere to eat beforehand. As always Happy Cow is your friend and there were two all vegan eateries less than a five minute walk from the venue.

We decided on Wild Food Café which also has a branch in Covent Garden and I was very glad we did.

The interior of the restaurant is gorgeous, modern and full of plants.

The menu is while food plant based with many items of the menu being raw.

To drink my Husband chose a White Zen which contained almond milk, cold-brew coffee, dates, vanilla, fresh coconut milk, cadamom

I went for Rum Spice cocktail – organic spiced rum, fresh apple juice, rosemary, ginger & winter spices which was very tasty.

To eat we both chose pizzas. The bases are made of in-house gluten free flour, which contains protein-rich amaranth, sprouted chickpeas, teff, quinoa and a nutrient-rich vegetable mix. While the bases are cooked in a wood fire, the toppings are kept raw to preserve the maximum freshness & flavour of the amazing ingredients.

My Husband chose the mushroom – almond & shiitake base, marinated and dehydrated mushrooms, macadamia ricotta, pine nut parmesan & truffle oil.

I had the Classic Italian – tomato sauce, wild leaf pesto, cashew mozzarella, macadamia ricotta, olives, artichokes, pine nuts & herb oil.

Both were really tasty and was surprisingly impressed with the base. The homemade nut based cheeses were amazing. The only annoying thing with the pizzas were the boards didn’t quite fit on our table and as we were cutting them I was very worried of slipping and launching our drinks off the table!

For dessert my Husband chose Double Choc Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream – decadent chocolate & coffee infused sponge with a layer of raw cacao ganache.

I went for the White Hot Chocolate – cacao butter, coconut cream, tahini, dandelion root, tonka, nutmeg.

I really enjoyed our meal at Wild Food Café and we will definitely be heading back when we are next in the area.

Have you tried Wild Food Café? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Wild Food Cafe – March 2019

Vintage Inns – March 2019

Vintage Inns run a network of country pubs across the nation and launched a vegan menu last year. I have heard people raving about it so when my friend Samarra and I decided to go to dinner this week we The Mint in Banstead. Samarra is Muslim so a vegan menu also extends the options she is able to choose from.

The menu online looked quite extensive and I had pre-chosen the pasty to start and the pasta for main but unfortunately neither of these were on the menu when we arrived to the pub.

Instead I went for the soup of the day which was tomato and basil which was lovely. It came with bread and a wedge of something that looks suspiciously looked like butter so I left that to the side.

For my main I had the burger which unfortunately doesn’t come with chips as they use the same fryers for non-vegan items. The burger came in a ciabatta roll which did not appear for for purpose as the burger poked out on all sides! The patty was really nice though. The salad that came with it just seemed like extra burger toppings and not the roasted vegetable and grain salad on the menu so when the waitress asked if everything was ok with my meal I raised this and she got the kitchen to make up the correct side.

I didn’t want a dessert but decided to go for a hot drink while Samarra was tucking into her crumble but again, unfortunately, they do not have any plant milk options so I went for a peppermint tea.

It seems like Vintage Inns have gone to the effort to produce a vegan menu but the execution just isn’t there. I don’t know if this just The Mint of extends to their pubs. I do think it is really poor to offer a vegan menu but not having a separate vegan fryer or offer plant milk. I may try a different Vintage Inn in the future but I won’t be rushing to.

Have you eaten at Vintage Inns as a vegan? Did you have a better experience than me? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vintage Inns – March 2019