Eating Vegan in Bangor

I’ve wined and dined in a few places in Bangor already, some when I was visiting over summer, and some in the last 3 days…. But here’s my impressions so far.

#1 = Blue Sky Cafe www.blueskybangor.co.uk

This one comes in at number one for me. Locally sourced, organic, delicious food at its best. There is a woodburning stove which looks great and I bet it’s so cosy in winter. I had a tofu ciabatta, followed by a slice of cake. I can’t remember what the cake was, but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had… But the ciabatta was AMAZING and such a big portion. I’ll definitely be coming here again.

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#2 = Kyffin www.kyffin.blogspot.co.uk

This is the first place I ever ate in bangor, and wow what a find. It’s just by the cathedral end of the High street, tucked away opposite varsity. God knows how we found it but my mum had looked it up online and we were following her iPhone maps until we got there πŸ˜€ Te determination paid off, as it was absolutely beautiful food. The staff were really friendly and there is loads of seating in a relaxed and cosy atmosphere. It was a toughie between this and Blue Sky as to which got #1, but I reckon Kyffin could creep to #1 by the end of the year. A little expensive but definitely worth it, especially for their beautiful juices.

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#3 = Noodle one www.noodleone.com

Voted the best restaurant in bangor, we had to give it a try. I went here with my mum and got tofu noodles. Always a win as I am a HUGE fan of noodles. They were perfect, but were really just like anything you’d expect at a noodle bar. No complaints!

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#4 = The Feral Cat www.feralcatbangor.com

Interesting, as all three of the above eateries were closed on Sunday when I moved to bangor, so me and my parents wondered around and this seemed to be the only place ope n! Previously called The Fat Cat, but reopened under new management in the last few weeks, it is definitely still in transition. The menus says ‘The Feral Cat’, but the windows say ‘The Fat Cat’. Confusing! It didn’t look promising from outside but once you enter it’s really nicely decorated, with big chunky furniture, and the food was great. Definitely a step up from normal pub grub. I had the vegetable burrito minus the cheese, and we also had warm bread with marinated hummus and olives for starter! I can definitely see myself going drinking in this place, and another bonus- the portions are HUGE. We also got ‘the best seat in the house’

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In love with Mr Risotto

I’ve been in a risotto mood recently, and in the past 2 weeks have had 3 risottos. That sounds really bad actually now I put a number on it! Whoops!

I made a butternut squash risotto (recipe here) and a mushroom risotto (recipe here). They worked really well.. And are always a big hit with the meat eaters so this is definitely a dish worth making if you’re trying to impress.

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I served with a rocket salad with balsamic dressing. For veggies (not vegans) you can serve rocket and Parmesan salad to go nicely with this dish).

I just subbed butter for dairy free butter and nobody would be able to tell the difference! A simple way of making something vegan!

We also went to a restaurant in Manchester for my little sisters 17th birthday. It’s called Rosso, and is apparently owned by Rio Ferdinand! Fancy! I had a chickpea soup for starters (sounded questionable but the flavours were AMAZING), and a tomato risotto for main. Oh an two cocktails to wash it down! Yuuuuuuuuuuuummmm!!!

The food was excellent, easily a 9.5/10, the only thing was that there were no veg deserts, but we didn’t have desert because we were so full, so I can’t really complain!

It was quite funny because they made the tomato risotto especially for me, as the menu risotto was a creamy chicken one. My dad had the chicken one and when serving they said they couldn’t tell which risotto was the vegan tomato one… Pretty obvious by the distinct difference in colour ( as you can see on the photo below haha!). So that was quite funny!

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All in all, been having a massively successful time with risottos at the moment- you should give it a go! Mmmmmmm

Weekend of Food

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It has been gorgeous for the last few days in Sale. The sun has been shining and the skies are the purest blue. Saying that, I look out of the window to a thick cover of grey cloud. I predict heavy rain followed by icy weather = me falling over on the way to the museum tomorrow.
So as the temperatures hit -7, our boiler cuts out! Brilliant. So I ate my breakfast sat on a chair in front of the open-doored oven πŸ™‚ I am not sure why I added this photo of our veg draw, but doesn’t it look yum?!?!

In other news, I’ve been eating excellently this weekend.
First stop was 1847 on Saturday, it is the same chain as the one I reviewed in October (here), but it was the restaurant in Chorlton. It felt more cosy and less posh than the restaurant in the city centre, but as usual the food was to die for!

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I had sesame crusted tofu with lettuce wrap and soy sauce, and oh. my. god. It was heavenly!
Following the starter was the Spinach and Mushroom Strudel with seasonal veg. There was beetroot but in a way I’d never ever tasted before and it was amazing! It reminded me of those beetroots I still have from the Able & Cole box, I should’ve used them yesterday with our Sunday nut roast!
Then, we went to the Tea Hive again, but this time just to pick up some cakes that we could have with coffee when we got in :)how sophisticated are we?!??
I went to unicorn to get some humous and inevitably ended up getting cake from the deli counter. I got a ‘mocha cake’ and stupidly thought it was just a chocolate cake, but when I unwrapped it there was a coffee bean on the end! My heart sank a little when I remembered mocha is chocolate coffee (duh! I know this especially from working at Starbucks but didn’t really do the math). I don’t usually like coffee cake. I think chewing coffee generally doesn’t appeal to me. But surprisingly, it was well nice. The chocolate was smooth and melt-in-your-mouth, and the coffee wasn’t overpowering at all.

So after that fiasco, I came home and generally lazed around (I’d been in work since 6.30am so I was allowed to laze :D), then later on at night we all got a bit peckish and I knocked up this beauty:

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It was salt and pepper chips (with a massive kick) and kale and grated purple carrot, which were both steamed for 5 minutes then mixed together with a little S + P. It was simple and good food, so satisfying to eat. πŸ˜€

We also had our cousins dog Freddie staying for the weekend, so I thought I’d give him a shutout to end the post πŸ˜€ …

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Mince & Pizza

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I came home last night to these beauties! Mince pies made by my little sister Phoebe!
I don’t normally like mince pies because they’re so stodgy and heavy and after one bite you are sick of it… But these were so good! The only non-veggie part of the recipe was the brushing with egg at the end, so she just missed this bit out! I think they were a winner because she didn’t but too much mince meat in, and the pastry was really crisp rather than soggy and thick.

I am therefore now converted from an anti-mince-pie person, to a everyone-should-make-mince-pies-at-Christmas person! Can’t wait for the next batch πŸ˜€

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In other news, I went to a restaurant I’ve been dying to go to for ages. It’s called Dough and it serves pizzas with toppings ranging from steak to dairy free mozzarella!

The pizza on the top right, (full English pizza!), was obviously not mine, but it was so cool! Tom ordered that and I’ve got to admit it was an awesome pizza!

I had the not so exciting Fungi pizza! It had dairy free cheese on and was aaaabsolutely delicious! It was all garlicky and I finished the whole thing (Tom couldn’t finish his-what a girl!).

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And as for me, I’ve not been cooking much recently 😦 booo! I get home at 6.30pm so my mums already cooked by then! (Not that I’m complaining). Here’s one of my favourite things to come home to… Sausages and mash! For anyone thinking “why do you eat fake meat when you don’t want to eat real meat…isn’t that a bit pointless” all I’m going to say is 1) meat tastes good, it’s not the taste I wanted to cut out and 2) the reason I’m veggie is to do with the ANIMALS (whether it be welfare, health, sustainability etc), this isn’t animal so to me I’m getting the best of both worlds πŸ˜€

Right, I need to get back to the museum now, sorry for the lack of posts recently but I’ve been really busy, and haven’t stopped to think nevermind blog!

There will be lots of posts around and after Christmas I assure you, so keep checking back πŸ˜€ in the meantime, why not check out some of my older posts and knock up a veggie meal for yourself? You might even enjoy it! πŸ˜‰

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The good and the bad of eating out vegan

I just found this post in my ‘drafts’ from last week! I was sure it had been published but obviously not… so here we go (bearing in mind this was last week)

I have been dining, cooking, cake eating and event running… Oh and I’ve been working at Starbucks and the museum. I have been SO busy! I was under the impression that a year out meant I’d have loads of free time but for someone like me I don’t think that’s possible.

We have just had our first VegSoc food stall, and it was at the UOM Asian Food Festival. It was an experience! We learnt a lot about what we would do differently, like not make enough food to feed a small country. But we made a profit for the society so are more than happy with that πŸ˜€ I ended up being sat on the stall for 7 hours! Wowwww! But I definitely think if food like this was available around campus I’d be the first in queue to buy it.

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We had Quinoa and buckwheat as the base of the box, then customers selected a humous (standard chickpea, jalapeΓ±o and red pepper, or sundried tomato humous), and 2ish veg to go with the falafel. Then we topped with spinach and tada! They could also choose for it to be served in a half pitta, or just as a salad box. YUM.

Accompanying our savoury salad bar were boxes of amazing cakes by one of our members, Jenny. She runs the Cottage Cupcake Co. and brought along some chocolate brownies and berry cupcakes. They were amazing, and I even bought a load to take home as they were too good to miss out on!

Visit her site here for amazing baking delights (and vegan!).

So that was a mainly successful day, but at the weekend I had less luck.

We went out for a meal at the Horse and Jockey, and it was terrible! Every restaurant I’ve been to I’ve written a review on here, but I didn’t want to write a whole post on how bad our experience was, so I’ll just have a massive rant on the end of this post! Skip to after the stars if you’re not interested in the restaurant from hell.

There was this restaurant, the Horse and Jockey in Chorlton green, which has vegan meals on its menu, and says ‘vegan’ next to appropriate ones. Great! A restaurant that caters for vegans ( we thought ). We phoned up 3 days before going, and booked a table for a Sunday roast. You have to preorder your roast because otherwise it sells out apparently. My mum is following world vegan month for November, so we both ordered nut roast. We asked on the phone if the nut roast was vegan, and were assured it was. We repeated that there were TWO vegans, and they said that was fine. Brilliant!

We arrived to a beautifully decorated restaurant, right on the green and surrounded by autumn leaves. I was so excited because last time we ate in this restaurant (2 years ago now), it was gorgeous so we expected nothing but the best from this place. We walked to the desk, gave our name and the waitresses face fell.
“I’m so sorry, but the nut roast isn’t vegan”.
For. Gods. Sake.
At this point, it all went downhill. They didn’t really know what to offer us, so they sat us down and we said we’d just have the roast without the meat (as that’s what we sometimes do at home). In the end she spoke to the chef and they gave us the vegan chickpea burger with Sunday roast veg. OK, this could work.

Because we preordered everything else, within 10 minutes the food was on the table. Rather strange and I’m not sure if I liked it, you were sprung into eating when you’d only just taken your coat off. The rest of the families roast dinners arrived, then along came our vegan option which I can only describe as a mess.

The veggie burger was drowned in what looked like thick tomato soup, they served it with a Yorkshire pudding and some potatoes. The veg was basically a pile of swede with a few carrots thrown in (I think they got the carrots & swede classic the wrong way round, should have been way more carrots).

I said surely the Yorkshire puddings aren’t vegan. I asked. They had egg in. My dads eyes lit up at the thought of extra yorkies for him!

We tucked in, trying to be positive, but with little hope left. The burger was a stodgy thick block of chickpea, with no flavour. The tomato soup style gravy was thick, heavy and very spicy. My mum hates spicy food so was disappointed that they said they’d just give her the Sunday roast with a burger, but had in fact smeared this horrible sauce over it.

All in all, the meat roasts were distinctly average, and the vegan roast below average. I wouldn’t pay to go there, in fact I don’t think I’d let them pay me to go because it’s not worth the hassle. The staff seemed to be hassled by us, and it wasn’t a good atmosphere. They knew they’d disappointed us, so didn’t even ask us how our meal was when collecting the bill.

Hmm… Won’t be going there again!

******************RANT OVER******************

So yeah, on a lighter note, things are going fantastically at the museum, getting lots done. But still loads to do. I also have just got a new iPhone and it is so fun! It was an upgrade so didn’t put me out of pocket…bonus! The camera on it is so good, so will be posting a few new photos from now on πŸ™‚

I’m off to the museum now, but will post some new recipes in the next few days when I get chance. My mum made a gorgeous risotto last night, yum yum yum!

Have a nice day, I’ve decided I’m having a great day today πŸ˜€

Spoons & Mushrooms

 

 

 

For a Sunday morning breakfast, I massively recommend the Tea Hive in Chorlton. Me and my mum had mushrooms on toast, and my sister and dad had bacon and mushroom butties. The bread was amazing, and they do vegan cakes there (an dairy/egg cakes too), so I ended up having breakfast AND cake, what a pig!

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Then we went to a furniture dealers to look for a new table, and it was so cool!
It was full of school chairs actually, which was pretty funny. They had all those classic primary school wooden chairs too (that have probably been replaced for plastic ones in today’s schools).

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And there was junk everywhere, but amongst the mess were these reeeeally cute little spoons. Everyone reading this probably thinks I’m abit weird now, but they were so cute and I carried them round the warehouse like a little kid, and when it came to us paying for the table, I asked the guy how much they were, and he gave me them for free! (And the table was only a tenner, so it was bargains all round!) I got home and framed the spoons, and felt like that was a very productive day πŸ˜€

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I have a heap of scrap fabric at home, and I picked up about 5 frames from Wilkos about 4 years ago, they were Β£1 each so I just bought them (I knew they’d come in handy one day!).

First I wrapped the piece of glass in fabric, then I threaded some cotton through the spoon handles, and hung them in front of the fabric. I put the glass back in the frame, and secured the back on. And tada!

They look really effective, and it was all free (kind of), or is stuff you could easily get on the cheap.

Thought of the day : Recycle, Reuse & Reduce!

Vegan at YO! Sushi

I went to YO! Sushi. Now I am back, I feel a bit guilty. I love sushi (see my sushi recipe here), and know it is EASY to make vegan. They cook all their food in the same pans as they cook the other dishes (inc. meat :S), and there was something that made me guilty about eating there :/ Their staff were not veryΒ knowledgeableΒ about what they sell. At one point, a guy came over handing out free samples of a new rice dish, informing me it was vegetarian and probably vegan (I didn’t chance it though), and he came back a few seconds later saying it had fish in it! Hmmm…….

Anyway, if you don’t mind contaminated food, and you’re prepared to ask for specially made dishes, then this is what I got:

Miso soup to start (they told me this was vegan)

Firecracker rice (the photo above is of my mums salmon rice, as I ate mine way too quick to take a photo!)

I ordered this Vegetable Futomaki, with cucumber, pickled onion, tamago, avocado and carrot, but I asked them to make it without the tamago (japanese omlette). This was really nice πŸ™‚ I also got some avocado sushi.

I didn’t get desert, but this ‘Mochi’ was in the dietary info folder that they let me look at, and it just said Contains: Soy. There is no milk/eggs/meat in it, which suggests it’s vegan. But they didn’t let me see the ingredients so I left it! I don’t normally trust ANYBODY, but I was a bit too trusty at this place I think haha! So all the above I was told were vegan, and I still for some reason seem skeptical.

But anyway, there are options out there if you ask! πŸ˜€