Veg out review of The Robe Room

Veg out review of The Robe Room at National Justice Museum, High Pavement, Nottingham

 

Last week I noticed a banner attached to the steps of the National Justice Museum (Galleries of Justice as was), it beckoned me inside to try the new café run by Beccy’s Global Kitchen. Some of you may know the name if you hang out around Nottingham because for a number of years Beccy Spurr has run ‘pop up’ cafes all round the City.

roberoom4

Jill Carter of Pulp Friction (A Project that provides opportunities for young adults with learning disabilities to develop work-readiness, social and independence skills) and Beccy have forged a formidable partnership to run the café. Serving up great tasting veggie and vegan food, with the help of a team of young adults.

 

 

See the whole review online Nottingham Post

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robr room3

 

Well, that only meant want thing…”lunchtime’. I was directed to the back of the entrance hall and in to the café. In front of me was a chiller cabinet full of platters of sandwiches; so as well as serving the public the café also runs an outside catering service too.

 

 

 

The menu looked varied and interesting with a good mix of veggie and vegan options. It changes regularly as its dictated by the food that arrives via the ‘fair share East Midlands’, a scheme that enables cafes to use surplus supermarket food.

menu robe room

After much deliberation I opted for the ‘A.L.T’; a vegan take on the classic BLT with Aubergine taking centre stage. I also spied a rather swanky coffee machine serving the very lovely Stewarts coffee, so a soya cappuccino was quickly ordered.

robe coffee

 

Also on the menu were various sandwiches, soup, ‘not’ hot dogs and other light bites; all very reasonably priced. As well as a selection of cakes, muffins and sweet treats

coffee

My cappuccino was the first to arrive and served as a rather tasty starter! It certainly whetted my appetite for the main event and that didn’t disappoint either. If you are the person who says they don’t like aubergine, maybe it because it hasn’t been cooked properly. It has to be roasted until the point of collapse and then smothered in flavour. This was exactly what the cafe had done to the A.L.T. It was soft and unctuous and bursting with smoky Asian flavours, that worked will with the vegan mayo and salad. I could have eaten it twice over

aubergine robe room

The café has only been open a few weeks so it needs a few more finishing touches, like pictures and paintings and I believe some comfy sofas are being delivered soon. But there is plenty of room to meet a few friends, enjoy some healthy veggie or vegan food and still have a considerable amount of change left over.

robe room2

It has a lovely atmosphere and is set in a wonderful building, it is free to enter and is open everyday between 10am and 4.00pm during School Holidays and 10.00am and 4.00pm Wednesday to Sunday at all other times.

 

 

If you like to eat in a place with a conscience then check out the Robe room

Veg out restaurant review- Gusto, West Bridgford

Veg out restaurant review- Gusto, West Bridgford

I’d heard mixed reviews about the new Gusto restaurant in West Bridgford (the site of the former Monkey Tree pub), so it was an obvious place to visit to check out their veggie options.

GustoThese days all the info you need is online, a quick look at their menu and I was pleasantly surprised to see a note about vegetarian cheese. That’s something I don’t see every day. It makes life so must easier as a vegetarian to know which of the cheeses are suitable.

As I was making a booking for a large number we had to pre-book which gave me an opportunity to talk through the veggie options. The restaurant was really accommodating and helpful; their goat’s cheese is veggie friendly so that could be substituted for all the other cheeses. They also suggested an option that wasn’t on their regular menu

 

So on Saturday night 11 of us arrived and we were quickly taken to our table. It was a higher than average table with bigger chairs, and when you’re only small they are a bit tricky and heavy to manoeuvre; needles to say lots of shuffling took place!

gusto inside

To say the place was buzzing is an understatement. It was chocker, but that meant (as with many modern establishments) it was very noisy, making it hard to hear everyone.   The noise levels weren’t helped by the occasional clatter of plates and cutlery being dropped by the staff as they descend the stairs with large, full round trays.

NP Gusto

 

My review is also online at the Nottingham Post and will be in the hard copy tomorrow

http://www.nottinghampost.com/gusto-in-west-bridgford-was-really-accommodating-and-helpful-says-veggie-food-reviewer/story-30277092-detail/story.html

Our order was checked for any changes and after 20 minutes or so our starters arrived. My generously proportioned roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad was delicious and looked very healthy. It also happened to be vegan. The other winners were Caesar salad with chicken, mussels, hummus (with a huge flat bread!) and garlic mushrooms. The pate however didn’t pass muster as it was lacking flavour and would have benefited from more bread, but on the whole we were a happy bunch

 

On to the main course I plumped for a dish suggested by the restaurant that wasn’t on their menu ‘sweet and sour aubergine with polenta chips’. I’m not a big sweet and sour fan (it often tastes artificial) but when the plate arrived it smelt amazing, more Asian spices than saccharin sweetness. It was a whole roasted aubergine that had been cooked to the point of collapse; in my opinion the only way to eat aubergine. And the polenta chips were unbelievable; crispy on the outside soft and squidgy in the middle. A big hit with everyone that tried to steal one off my plate

gusto aubergi

My fellow dinners enjoyed their pizzas (lovely thin crispy bases), roast chicken and meatballs. A couple of friends said their tagliatelle and prawns and the cod and lentils were unexpectedly sweet.

 

We toyed with the idea of having the chocolate and hazelnut brownie, the sticky toffee pudding or the mini doughnuts with cream and chocolate sauce. But in the end we were just too full.

 

Overall the restaurant coped well with a large party on a very busy night and for the most part our food was very tasty. I really enjoyed my vegan meal and would be happy to order that again.

 

A few of things to note though; As a veggie/vegan it would be really helpful to have the ‘V’ or ‘VG’ symbol on the menu when making food choices. It looks like the on line menu has changed and my delicious salad is now longer listed, might be worth checking with the restaurant. And my main course wasn’t on the menu so if you are struggling to find veggie and vegan dishes its always worth ringing the restaurant and having a chat. Gusto in particular is very on the ball and helpful.

Veg out restaurant review – the Stratford Haven, West Bridgford

Veg out restaurant review – the Stratford Haven, West Bridgford

 

tofu-steakLast month I was asked by Castle Rock Brewery to be on their judging panel for new vegan and vegetarian food that may eventually find its way on to their menus. It was a great day and the winning dish was a tofu steak made by Tom the head chef at the Stratford Haven.

 

So with that in mind I decided to pay the Stratford a visit, unfortunately the Tofu steak was not on their Christmas menu, but a nut roast was!

stratford-xmas-menu

stratford-haven-001-455x338Now anyone who knows the Castle Rock pubs will know many of them are famed for their beers rather than their food and I think the Stratford is no exception. It is a very busy, lively pub at the best of times but even more so at Christmas, so we tucked ourselves away in a quietish alcove and got ready for our pre-ordered festive menu to begin

 

stratford soupThe piping hot parsnip and apple soup soon arrived and it looked so appealing. The small bowl hid some wonderful little details, like the crispy croutons and the curly parsnip crisps. The soup was really smooth, rich and tasty. It was served with a hot white crusty baguette, which of course we ate but wished we hadn’t as it filled us up to much!

 

np-onlineMy review is feature online at http://www.nottinghampost.com/is-this-the-best-veggie-christmas-menu-in-west-bridgford/story-29996754-detail/story.html.  And will also appear in Wednesdays Nottingham Post

Nottingham Post article

Nottingham Post article

On to the main course; the nut roast. Now as a lifelong veggie I’ve had my fair share of nut roast and this was probably one of the best. It was incredibly savoury, flavoursome and substantial with a nice rich winey background flavour and topped with crispy parsnips curls. And the accompaniments really showed it off; the roasties were crispy and plentiful, the stuffing was crunchy and herby, and the veg was deliciously al dente and included carrots, Brussels and cauliflower. Hidden underneath the nut roast was spicy braised red cabbage. And all smothered in a jug of veggie gravy

stratford veggie meal

It’s not very often that a veggie dinner is equal (in looks and substance) to a meat version but in this case I think my meal looked better than my partner’s steak

 

We could have had a third course and if I’d had room I might have gone for the Christmas pub (there was also vanilla cheesecake, Christmas Sundae and cheese and biscuits). But no ‘v’ symbols were shown and I would have needed to make sure they were all suitable for vegetarians. But as I said we were both stuffed and felt two courses were more than sufficient.

 

The price was also very reasonable; £15.95 for two courses or £18.95 for three. However it wasn’t clear if the ‘Afters’ of coffee and mince pies were included in the price or extra. As it happens we were so full it didn’t matter

 

There is no dedicated restaurant area like there is at another local Castle Rock pub, the Embankment so you may struggle to enjoy a quite meal for two. But persevere and you will taste some of the best vegetarian food in West Bridgford

Where  do you think is the best place in Nottingham for a

vegetarian Christmas meal?