Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Circle Cafe Bar Lowther Arcade Carlisle 7th August 2018

As a treat for Steven's birthday, I booked a trip on the Fellsman steam train, on the Settle to Carlisle railway and needed somewhere to dine for lunch.   I was also meeting Amy (my vegan Twitter friend @Mrs_Veg) for the first time, so I found Circle Cafe Bar on Happycow, as they had a vegan menu.   My photos are rather disappointing, as inside the low lighting had a red hue, so my photos are not clear and slightly orange.

I emailed to ask what dishes contained soya and received the following reply:

When we arrived a waitress seated us and asked who had the soya allergy and went through the menu with me, saying Donburi, Malay Laksa, Garden Paella Bites and Garden Burger were all no go dishes, different to the email I received, bar the Donburi.   I ordered the aubergine and pepper stack, as it was plain and simple and Steven a gluten free mushroom taco and Amy a normal taco.

The same waitress served the food and when she put my plate on the table, I was gob smacked to see aubergine and pepper layered with fried tofu.   I told the waitress who said they had not realised there was tofu on the dish, I just thank my lucky stars my allergies are not dangerous, what terrible attention to detail.   The replacement dish had under cooked aubergine on and if I had not been short on time and holding up Steven and Amy's enjoyment of their meal, I would have sent it back again. 

Aubergine & Pepper Stack Replacement Dish

I was starving and knowing there was no vegan food on the four hour train journey home, I ate it but it was not pleasant, in fact the dish itself was not brilliant, sad that a chef would send this out.

Steven's taco was okay, but he said for him it lacked flavour and needed more chilli, not sure what Amy's thoughts were.

I spotted the words Northern Bloc and vegan on the ice cream board and knew at least dessert was going to be a treat, especially as peanut chip was my favourite, when I reviewed their range of vegan ice creams see here.   Amy and I ordered the peanut chip and Steven the vegan Eton mess with aquafaba meringue and lemon curd.

The ice cream is fantastic, my all time favourite and I could easily eat a full tub, Steven enjoyed his dessert, but it lacked meringue and was super sweet due to the lemon curd.

I am always a little nervous meeting someone you have met on social media for the first time, but Amy was great company, really friendly and time just flew by.

I hope to return to Carlisle for a few days in the future and explore the city and I would love to hook up with Amy once again, but do not think Circle Bar would be my venue of choice.

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