Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Falafels & More Bury Market Bury 31st July 2019

Falafels & More is owned by Seham and Ghassan, who left their home in Syria and made a life for themselves in Bury, with their daughter and opened a stall on Bury market, selling traditional dishes from their home country.

I noticed their stall on my last visit to Bury market, after seeing the sign in the corner of their stall with 'Vegan' on it and have been following them on Instagram and was keen to try their vegan options

We managed to grab one of the two tables outside and Seham let me try a fresh just out of the fryer falafel and that clinched our lunch choice.   We both ordered large falafel wraps, spread with loads of houmous, filled with lettuce, tomato, pickles, chillies and chilli sauce, with a mug of Syrian mint tea.

The wraps were massive, rolled in paper so easy to eat on the go, if you order as a takeaway.   I love this kind of food all the components are favourites of mine, the combination of flavours and textures was scrumptious.   I could not fault my lunch, washed down with a very minty tea sat watching the constant stream of people queuing to buy their lunch and passers by.

I had a chat with Seham, as I was going to buy some baba ghanoug, although sadly it was not vegan as it contained yogurt.   However she said if I knew when I was next visiting, she would be happy to make some specially without the yogurt, that is customer service for you.

Two large falafel wraps and two large mugs of Syrian mint tea came to £10.40, an absolute bargain and value for money, as well as delicious.   On my next visit I will be trying a Manaeesh and an Arabic coffee.   Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

The Study Room Church Street Lancaster 23rd July 2019

The Study Room is a bar and restaurant offering a good selection of vegan options and Manager David was extremely helpful as regards my enquiries about allergy requirements and assured me which dishes I could have.

As no wines on the list were labelled vegan friendly (this is being addressed) I took to Google and ordered what I thought was a suitable wine, only to find the label said it contained egg and milk protein.   I took to Google again and found another vegan wine, which was on several well known websites and David swapped it without a quibble and what a lovely wine it turned out to be.

We ordered pitta bread and dips to start, which as it turned out was a good decision, because the main courses were good sized portions.

The houmous, guacamole and salsa were delicious mopped up with pitta bread and we demolished it quickly, as we only had a vegan Magnum for lunch, as the weather was scorching and we did not feel hungry.

I was chuffed to see The Study Room had my favourite Blue Dragon sriracha sauce, clearly labelled vegan and which I absolutely love.

Main courses were a vegan chilli hot dog for Steven and falafel and spinach burger, both served with chunky chips.

We could not fault either dish, they were substantial and satisfying, the burger was moist and tasty, with lashings of sriracha and Steven loved his hot dog covered in melted cheese, although we failed to finish all the chunky chips, but not for the want of trying.

I was impressed with The Study Room and would definitely make a return visit, when I make my next trip to Lancaster.   Highly recommended.

Journey Social King Street Lancaster 23rd July 2019

Journey Sociall was literally a stones throw from our Travelodge on a two day trip to Lancaster and having seen their vegan breakfasts on social media, decided to pay them a visit.

I enquired about my allergies, deemed not a problem so ordered a suitable version of the brunch stack, with mushrooms on sourdough for Steven and two beautifully presented decaf Americano coffees.

The dishes were scrumptious, well cooked and so tasty, with lots of titbits like harissa, paprika oil and relish, adding to the overall flavour, presentation and texture of the dishes.

I love places like Journey Social, a relaxed dining environment, accommodating as to dietary requirements and great food.   Highly recommended and I will definitely return when next in Lancaster.

Ply Lever Street Manchester 21st July 2019

Ply is a busy bar and restaurant in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, which is very spacious and chilled out, specialising in sourdough pizza and small plates.

Ply introduced vegan equivalents of many of their food options, offering vegan cheese and meat alternatives like chorizo and have even labelled all vegan friendly drinks like wine and beers.

I chose a glass of Sottoriva Malibran natural Prosecco to start, which is a delicious sparkling wine and perfect to kick off the meal, along with some olives and almonds.

We shared a simple tomato salad starter, with three kinds of tomato, basil oil and garlic, it was delicious, light and refreshing and ideal before a substantial pizza.

Mains were portobello mushroom pizza for me, with a chorizo and butternut squash pizza for Steven, using MozzaRisella vegan mozzarella cheese, accompanied with a glass of Sangiovese.   I have to say it is not my favourite vegan cheese, it does not have much flavour at all and has a gelatinous texture when cooked.

The sourdough pizza dough is amazing, with a lovely open stretchy texture, with the classic leopard spots on the crust and even when the crust cools, it does not go hard and tough.   The toppings were great even though I am not keen on the cheese and the pizzas were scrumptious so quickly devoured.

I really like Ply as a venue and the vegan food and drinks offerings are excellent and I will certainly be returning.   Highly recommended.

Hampton & Vouis Princess Street Manchester 21st July 2019

Hampton & Vouis coffee house is an oasis of calm, in the hustle bustle of the city centre, when you all you want to do is chill out and relax.   I love they source products within the North West and as near to Manchester as possible, supporting local companies, including Trove BakerySoul Vegan Bakery and Brew Tea Company.   I did not take photos of the exterior, as there were a couple of chaps sat outside and I did not want to intrude on their refreshments.

The menu has plenty vegan options, including breakfast, bowls, sandwiches, cakes, bronuts, brownies and vegan ice cream.

We ordered two pots of decaf tea, with a date and pistachio bronut for me (a refined sugar, soya free cross between a doughnut and a brownie) and for Steven a raspberry and chocolate brownie, with both cakes being gluten free.

The cakes were amazing, the bronut was flavoured with a good punch of cinnamon and I loved the gold decoration and the brownie was gooey and as it should be was very chocolatey.

I kicked myself for not visiting Hampton & Vouis sooner, I loved the place, the guys in charge were really friendly and explained their ethos of offering nutritious food, with as little processed as possible.   Highly recommended.

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Turtle Bay Cathedral Quarter Blackburn 13th July 2019

Turtle Bay is a Caribbean restaurant chain in the regenerated Cathedral Quarter, a stones throw from the railway station and five mins from the bus station.   The restaurant is light and bright inside, with plenty of colour and a great vibe for informal dining, with outside seating for the days when we are lucky to see some sunshine.

Turtle Bay offers a good selection of vegan options, from starters, salads, mains, lighter dishes like salads, sides and dessert.

I ordered Island pilsner labelled vegan on the menu, alongside many other vegan drinks, but such a shame there are no vegan wines on the list, this is something Turtle Bay need to change.

I chose supervital salad (not on the online menu) with sweet corn fritters for Steven and I loved the sauce collection on the table to add to dishes, the jerk sauce was scrumptious and fiery and just to my taste.

The salad looks simple, yet with a zingy lime dressing, crunchy pomegranate seeds, chick peas and creamy avocado, it was pretty spot on for me.   The sweetcorn fritters were a generous portion and Steven thought they were fabulous, especially drizzled with the assortment of sauces.

Mains were chickpea and callaloo curry and aubergine curry for Steven (although I forgot to take photos of his).   The curries are served in a big bowl with loads of steamed rice, with flatbread and were absolutely delicious.   The chickpea curry had scotch bonnet chillies in and is quite spicy, so not for the feint hearted and as much as I loved it failed to finish it all, though not for the want of trying.

Steven ordered chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream to finish and I had a pot of mint tea, the brownie was as it should be, sticky and gooey.

I would definitely revisit Turtle Bay, I was impressed with the quality of the food, the selection of vegan options and hope they continue to add to the vegan offerings.   Turtle Bay is perfect for impromptu dining out with friends and family, where you need a place catering for dietary requirements and their allergen information is also spot on.