Sunday, 19 June 2016

Roots & Fruits Grand Arcade Leeds 18th June 2016

Roots & Fruits is a vegetarian and vegan cafe, in the Grand Arcade and is very welcoming and cosy and very busy on a Saturday lunchtime.   I often wonder in places like Roots and Fruits, what the percentage of customers are vegetarian and vegan, I somehow think carnivores make up a big percentage.

We managed to get a table for two and perused the menu, with its interesting vegan options, with more on their daily specials board.   I could not resist jerk jackfruit, being allergic to soya, it has been difficult to find alternatives for things like tofu, but jackfruit can be used in many dishes and I am keen to try as many as I can.

The dish was served with vegan cheesy sauce and sour coconut cream, plantain, yams, sweet potato and tortillas, totally delicious and the dish renewed my enthusiasm to utilise jackfruit more in my cooking.

An excellent Americano coffee accompanied my lunch, at the end of which, I had a chat with owner Kay, who was a friendly and helpful lady.   She was kind enough to let me know, where they got their jackfruit, which lucky for me, was just round the corner from a Thai supermarket, so I hot footed it down there quick to grab some tins.   Roots and Fruits should be on everyone's to visit list, when in Leeds.

Filmore & Union High Street Skipton 17th June 2016

Filmore & Union is a Yorkshire based company, with several venues throughout the county and this was my second visit of 2016 to Skipton.

The interior is as inviting as the outside, with cool, light colours and has a beachside restaurant kind of feel, chilled and relaxed.

I wanted to visit for dinner, so I sent an email, asking about vegan options and had the most fabulous reply, from Head Chef Gemma, who happens to be vegan too.   She went into detail about what she could make and assured me that, on the night, I would have plenty of choice, she was not wrong!

When we arrived the vegan menu I was offered, was stupendous, specially created for me, such care and attention to detail.   I had a difficult decision to make and kept changing my mind, hardly surprising as it all sounded fantastic.

I had checked out their wine list, prior to our visit and there were several vegan choices, so I opted for a very nice Cave De Turckheim Reisling, which I love.

My starter was aubergine and cashew pate with garlic flatbread and celeriac and orange salad, it was fantastic, beautiful presentation and delicious.

My husband had stuffed courgette squash, with quinoa risotto and spiralised daikon, a picture on a plate, he loved it and he is not even vegetarian, never mind vegan.

My vegan burger main course was the best ever, a falafel burger with spinach houmous, on lovely light bread, sweet potato fries and caramelised red onions.   I feel its unnecessary to wax lyrical about this dish, the photos say it all.

I was getting pretty full by this time, but who could resist the two vegan puddings I was offered, so it just had to be vegan brownie with warm maple coconut milk, fruit compote and fresh berries.   It is not often I demolish three courses, but on this occasion, it was impossible not to, it was that good.

We were looked after by Anna, Front of House Manager, who always had a smile and looked after us so well, it turned out she came from Poland and was multi-lingual, which must be a great asset when foreign visitors arrive.   It was a real pleasure to finally meet Gemma, a very talented young chef, not long in the position of Head Chef, but I can understand why, this girl can cook and she was full of passion when she talked about cooking.   They were a young professional and enthusiastic team and I hope the company realise what an asset they are.

Gemma (left) and Anna (right)

We were impressed with the whole experience, I was bowled over by the vegan choices and sitting in the pub down the road later, we were planning a return visit.

I highly recommend Filmore and Union, as they always offer vegan options, with particular emphasis on dietary requirements, allergies and intolerances, without compromising on flavour and I cannot wait to revisit, sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Country Kitchen Cafe Clitheroe Road Waddington 8th June 2016

Country Kitchen Cafe is in the picturesque village of Waddington, in the Ribble Valley, most of which is an Area Of Outstanding Beauty and you can see why, with its beautiful surrounding countryside.

The cafe must have been a village shop at some time, with its traditional frontage and on a sunny lunchtime, looked very inviting from the roadside, with lovely hanging baskets, tables and chairs and colourful bunting.

The cafe inside is equally cosy and welcoming, with a homely feel and obviously popular with cyclists, walkers and visitors.

They also sell homemade jams, chutneys, knick knacks, games, mugs and stoneware pottery and I could not resist making a purchase.

On this spur of the moment visit, I had not enquired as to vegan options, so it was pot luck with whatever was on the menu.   There were a couple of options I would have had, prior to my allergy problems, so jacket potato with baked beans or five bean chilli with rice and salad.   There was also jacket potato with mushrooms and when I went to the counter, Tim the owner was happy to cook the mushrooms in olive oil and serve it with extra salad.

The jacket potato was huge, with loads of tasty just cooked mushrooms and fresh salad on the side, but so good I devoured the lot.   I also ordered a large black Americano coffee with an extra shot, which was so delicious I ordered another.

I also overheard Tim speaking to another customer, who had dietary requirements and his immediate answer was 'you can have what you want'.   What a great attitude and why I love to support independents.

I will definitely be returning and would recommend a visit, even if it is just for a coffee, before you explore this gorgeous part of the country.