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

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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

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

My Old Dutch – March 2019

My Husband and I walk past a branch of My Old Dutch pancake house every week on the way to and from the language school we attend near Holborn. I saw a post on the best places to get vegan pancakes (sorry, I can’t remember who from!) and found out that My Old Dutch had vegan options so we decided to go before our class this week.

You can veganise the standard savoury pancakes on the menu with a vegan pancake and vegan cheese.

There is also a completely vegan pancake which oddly we couldn’t see on the menu so we pulled it up from the website to order. As this seems to be the only pancake advertised as vegan I assume it doesn’t have its own vegan menu so it was odd it wasn’t on the main menu.

My Husband chose this one along with with a vegan vanilla shake.

My Husband enjoyed his pancake although he did find it a bit stodgy and could have done with a drizzle of sauce or something. He also really liked his milkshake and it’s great to see an omni place offering vegan milkshakes.

I ordered a vegan version of the asparagus. Described as below –

When it first arrived it looked like this –

I was suspicious the cheese was dairy due to the texture and smell so I called over a staff. Instead of just apologising and correcting me order they argued that I had only ordered a vegan base. As my Husband had ordered vegan pancake and milkshake think it as pretty obvious we were a vegan couple. They also confirmed the spinach is creamed as well although this isn’t mentioned on the menu. If you were vegan and/or lactose intolerant surely you would need the whole dish to cater to those needs? The only situation I can envision that you would not is if you were allergic to eggs. Some staff training required I think

They took this dish away and remade it with vegan cheese and fresh spinach so a little while later (by which time my Husband had almost finished his) I had a replacement come out.

I found it tasty and filling but was a little undone for my liking (and I tend to like things edging on underdone).

Although this was central London I do feel like these were expensive for what they were and would expect mine to be around £8 and maybe £10 for my Husband’s.

We didn’t have dessert but I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to try them which is a shame. If you do go make sure you are very clear about your dietary requirements.

Have you been to My Old Dutch? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

My Old Dutch – March 2019

Recent Mini Haul

I bought these “new items to me” a little while ago but I wanted to wait until I had used them all before I posted about them.

Firstly the snack food. I love these pea snacks, they are so tasty! Aldi do their own version where some of the flavours are vegan too.

I used to have the Rhythm 108 biscuits in coffee shops (I think Costa do them) but I was excited when I started seeing these bars. They do a salted almond (pictured here) as well as hazelnut praline and a coconut bar. They are “fun size” but such a delicious little treat. They’re also doing mini truffle eggs for Easter which are supposedly available in Sainsbury’s but I haven’t seen them yet.

When I was little a fish cake was my go-to at the chip shop so I’m always looking for a good alternative. I like the frozen Tesco ones but I was excited to see these fresh ones from M&S Plant Kitchen range. I also like the fact they contain mashed beans, potato etc rather than a more processed meat/fish alternative. I’ll definitely be getting these again. But maybe I’ll have just one on my plate!

Gardein have been a top seller in the North American plant based food market for a number of years and have finally landed on our shores in Sainsbury’s.

The meatballs were great and savoury but the fennel seeds had that liquorice tang which I’m not a fan of. I’ll stick to my Sainsbury’s own brand I think.

The fishless filets, another Gardein product tasted very nice but were an odd size, sort of between a nugget and a filet.

These products were perfectly fine but as they are imported from America they are on the pricier side. I think in days (or years) gone by we would have rejoiced with the addition of Gardein to our supermarket shelves but now there are so many good British brands at reasonable prices that there’s nothing special enough about Gardein for me to justify the cost.

The last product we have is the smoked salmon slices from Sophie’s Kitchen. When I went into Sainsbury’s to buy some of these foods there was a sample stall for the shrimp from Sophie’s Kitchen. It was served in a Thai coconut curry and I couldn’t really taste much from the prawn/shrimp.

These slices are frozen and you have to defrost the whole pack when you want to use them which was a bit annoying. I first had these “as is” with potato and veg. They smell fishier than they taste although the flavour is not unpleasant. Smoked salmon has an odd texture anyway and this doesn’t match it perfectly but I think it is better served in something like a bagel than on its on.

To use up the salmon slices I used them in an omlette made with Organ easy egg and mushrooms and I think they worked much better this way. Again it’s not a product I’m going to rush out and buy again but it’s a nice option to have when you’re in the mood for it. I was quite chuffed when my Husband said he preferred my marinated carrot lox, but that is quite involved to make.

Have you tried any new foods recently? What did you think? Is there anything left that you still think we need a vegan version of? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Recent Mini Haul

Vegan Delice @ Westfield Stratford

I have loved Vegan Delice and its owner Chanel since I first tasted her delights at Hackney Downs market. Now Chanel and her team have a month long pop-up in the Great Eastern Market at Westfield Stratford City (the John Lewis end).

As Stratford is on the way home from work I had to go and pick up some treats on their first day trading there.

I picked up a brookie for my Husband as he loves anything chocolatey and this didn’t disappoint.

I bought a couple of Viennese whirls for my friend Maxine as she has bought some in the past to then have them munched by her son before she could get a look in! Maxine is away at the moment so I’ve put them in the freezer, hopefully they’ll be ok! (If not I’m sure she can get down there herself in the next month).

Chanel gifted me a red velvet Viennese whirl type thing which was really tasty and I had to take a break half way through, it was so big!

Lastly we picked up some baklava. I have always love baklava but as it traditionally contains honey I’m always pleased when I see a vegan version. Chanel’s take is perfectly sticky and syrupy and I’ll more than likely be popping back for some more before their month at Westfield is up!

So if you’re in the area (or even if you’re not!) head over to Westfield Stratford to get your fix of vegan treats!

Plumes x

Vegan Delice @ Westfield Stratford