Friday, 11 May 2018

Tierra Kitchen Coombe Street Lyme Regis 10th May 2018

Tierra Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant, who pride themselves on using local produce, organic where possible and everything made in house like pasta, ice cream, pastry and bread by Chef Patron Mark.   There is a lovely outside patio area to sit when the weather is warm and inside it is cosy and welcoming.

There are some scrumptious sounding vegan dishes on the menu, along with a good selection of wines, clearly labelled vegan on the wine list.

I chose a glass of Adobe Sauvignon Blanc whilst eating some rather delicious bread, whilst perusing the menu.

Starters were beetroot carpaccio and new potato salad, without the soya based horseradish cream and sweet potato, chickpea and quinoa cakes.

The starters were fantastic, all the ingredients married well together in both dishes, with delicious flavours, well seasoned and beautiful presentation.

Mains were red pepper roulade and spring warm salad, visually stunning dishes, you eat with your eyes and you just wanted to dive in and eat.

My red pepper roulade was fabulous, excellent flavours brought together with the rocket pesto, this was a cracker of a dish and I polished off every morsel.   I am going to try and recreate this dish, as roulade normally has a cream cheese filling, but the carrot, almond and spring green filling was a revelation.   Steven was equally impressed with his warm salad, a simple dish which in the wrong hands would be awful, he was still enthusing about it the following day.

The desserts were too good to miss, so I chose queen of puddings and Steven chocolate and raspberry delice, both great choices.

The photos say it all, the Italian meringue with the nut sponge, spiced plums and rhubarb was a match made in heaven and the chocolate delice was a true delight, vegan desserts do not get much better than this.

Mark is a talented chef, producing fine dining vegan and vegetarian food, using top quality ingredients, the dishes are creative and satisfying, which could happily grace the table of any high end restaurant.   Mike at front of house is very welcoming and friendly, yet professional and it was nice to have a chat with him about Tierra Kitchen.   I cannot recommend this place highly enough.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Millside Restaurant Mill Lane Lyme Regis 9th May 2018

The Millside is in Town Mill courtyard, which houses various businesses including a working flour mill, a hydro electric system producing green electricity and art galleries amongst others.

I walked past The Millside and always on the look out for vegan options, checked the menu board outside and was pleased to see a main course dish, but no starter or dessert.

I emailed to ask about other options and enquired if they could let me know which wines were vegan friendly and was impressed with owners Richard and Jessica's response, so booked a table for dinner.

The Millside is lovely and cosy, with perfect lighting for dining, but not too low to take food photos thankfully.

When I sat down, two things jumped out at me, first was the very clear labelling of vegan wines, on a copy of the wine list printed off specially for me and a bowl of oil and balsamic to go with my bread, now that is attention to detail.   The sourdough bread was fabulous with its distinct aroma, aerated texture and lovely crust, it would have been easy to eat far too much.

There were so many vegan wines, it was difficult to make a choice, but a bottle of Finca Constancia Verdejo sounded perfect and it was.

My beetroot and smoked walnut salad, served with pea shoots was a generous portion, but I absolutely love beetroot, so with crushed walnuts, olive oil and plenty seasoning, I was very happy.

Main course was quite substantial too, with a carefully layered terrine, so presentation was very pretty.   The terrine melted in the mouth, with perfectly cooked vegetables, a sticky red wine jus and all the ingredients on the plate married well together.   My only comment would be the dish was missing a protein element, perhaps some kind of beans, but I have to hand it to Richard he knows how to showcase vegetables, I left not a scrap as testament.

There was a choice of desserts, various sorbets with either cinnamon poached pear or poached rhubarb, I chose rhubarb with rhubarb sorbet as recommended, a refreshing light ending to the meal, which I was glad about, as I was absolutely fit to burst.

I do not imagine The Millside get many vegan diners, yet they put such care and effort into accommodating me and I am sure Richard has other lovely vegan dishes up his sleeve, which I would love to try, if I ever revisit Lyme Regis.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

River Cottage Canteen & Kitchen Trinity Square Axminster 8th May 2018

I was invited to River Cottage food fair at the end of May, which sadly did not coincide with my week in nearby Lyme Regis, so I booked lunch at their Canteen in Axminster instead, as it was not convenient to travel back down at the end of the month.

I really liked the interior, modern, light and bright, with lots of wood, well spaced tables and chairs, with a very relaxed chilled atmosphere and an open plan kitchen.

There are clearly labelled vegan options on the menu, with really creative dishes that sound amazing and even better there is a grand sounding dessert and it is not sorbet.

I was impressed with the range of wines, ciders and beers, all clearly labelled if vegan friendly, so easy to make a choice and a glass of Chateau du Donjon Rose was a fine wine to start, with a bowl of olives to nibble on.

I ordered carrot, nigella and preserved lemon soup with spiced oil, served with sourdough, it was really delicate and ideal for a summers day, absolutely delicious.

I decided on a vegan mezze for mains, as I wanted to try more vegetable dishes, most of them out of Much More Veg, my latest recipe book purchase by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.   I had chips with thyme and sea salt, organic houmous with hazelnut dukka and rye crackers, fennel rhubarb and apple salad with chilli and lemon dressing and roast carrots, beetroots and onions.

I loved the simplicity of the dishes, but the flavours were far from simple, the dishes could have been bland, but these were well seasoned, perfectly cooked, packed with flavour and made for an awesome mezze plate.   I was especially surprised by the salad, who would think to put fennel, rhubarb and apple in a dish, yet it worked brilliantly.

Who could resist chocolate truffle torte, caramel sauce and cashew cream, well not me even though I was pretty full, it was too good to pass on and what a good decision that turned out to be.

The dessert was scrumptious, full on chocolatey and with caramel sauce and cream, one of the best puddings I have eaten in a long time.

Overall I thought River Cottage Canteen was a great place and with their attention to detail for vegans, with lots of tasty choices, I would highly recommend it.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Hiker Cafe Hengistbury Head Broadway Bournemouth 3rd May 2018

Hiker Cafe is a busy cafe at beautiful Hengistbury Head, well worth a visit for the walks, views and beaches and after a brisk walk was a perfect spot for lunch.

The cafe is very popular, but we were quite early and easily managed to get a table and it was brilliant to see two vegan options, clearly labelled on the menu.

We ordered the breakfast wrap and the houmous salad wrap, so we could share, with some chips, after the waitress said they were cooked separately.

The wraps were delicious and just the ticket after such a long walk, plenty filling, tasty houmous and lots of fresh salad and the hash brown, mushroom and tomato wrap was equally as tasty and with crisp chips was a spot on lunch.

Hikers Cafe is highly recommended.