La Storia, West Bridgford

Veg out restaurant review

La Storia, West Bridgford

Back in early 2017, a few months after this family run Italian restaurant opened its doors on Musters Road West Bridgford, Alec of ‘Frusher on food’ paid them a visit and he wasn’t too complementary.  Well I decided to see what’s happened to the restaurant in those intervening two years

la storia

https://frusheronfood.co.uk/2017/01/25/la-storia-italian-nottingham-west-bridgford/

First of all it looks really pretty from the outside with all the twinkling lights and red checked tablecloths, I could be somewhere on the Amalfi coast if it weren’t for the number 6 bus going into town!

la storia

The staff were really friendly and welcoming and seated us in the side extensive (all rustic brick and vines).  I remember looking at this place when it first opened but as a vegetarian and now vegan a ‘traditional’ Italian restaurant doesn’t often have great options. 

You can also read my review at Nottingham Post online https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/west-bridgford-restaurant-la-storia-2088416

la storia

But how times have changed because I am presented with a separate vegan menu and it looks very appetising indeed, I had the choice of 4 starters, mains and desserts and felt spoilt for choice. 

la storia

After much deliberation I opted for the melon with flakes almonds and balsamic glaze. It was fresh and light, the perfect way to start a meal. 

la storia

After a suitable wait my main dish arrived ‘Melanzane fritte napolenane’; breadcrumbed fried stuffed aubergine to you and I.  It looked as good as it tasted; the aubergine was really well cooked making it soft and buttery which melted in the mouth and was served with a fennel and rocket salad.  It was a very pleasing portion but not so large that I felt stuffed which was good because I was already looking at the dessert menu.

la storia

If you’ve ever eaten out with a vegan you will be familiar with their excitement at finding a pudding option that isn’t sorbet, so imagine how I felt when I had four options.  Realistically there was only going to be one winner and that was the Chocolate and hazelnut semifredo.  It was amazingly rich and smooth and chocolately.  Delicious.

la storia

And for those interested in non vegan options my other half thoroughly enjoyed his crab bruschetta and monk fish main

The restaurant has a lovely atmosphere, the staff are the right side of attentive and the tables are a decent distance away from each other. The prices are probably a bit more than I would usually pay; £6.50 for my starter, £13.50 for main course and £6.50 for that indulgent pud. I would hope that if Alec visited again he would have a more positive experience. For me the whole meal was a pleasure to be repeated 

https://lastorianottingham.co.uk

Top restaurants in Notts for vegan food

Top restaurants in Notts for vegan food

Its over a year since I last did a ‘top vegan restaurant’ list, but what a year its been.   In Nottingham (and I’m sure it’s the same further afield) there’s been an explosion in vegan eateries as well as regular places providing separate vegan menus, from small independents like La Storia  https://lastorianottingham.co.uk  and No 12 hounds gate https://www.no12houndsgate.co.uk to the large chains like zizzi https://www.zizzi.co.uk  and Wagamma https://www.wagamama.com

Here are lots more places I or friends and family have recently visited, that have really proved themselves to be truly catering for vegans.  But if your favourite isn’t on the list then please let me know and I may pay them a visit

vegan friendly eateries

And a few chosen highlights
La Storia, West Bridgford
A traditional family run Italian restaurant that serves great vegan food, including a yummy dessert.  You can imagine yourself somewhere on the Amalfi coast

Pudding Pantry, city centre

Don’t let the name fool you, this cosy cafe offers a full range of food and regularly has vegan only nights. Check their FaceBook page for the next event.  They will shortly be opening a new cafe in Sherwood.  Lucky Sherwood!  http://www.thepuddingpantry.co.uk

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Castle Rock Brewery pubs; in particular the Horse and Plough, Bingham and Bread and Bitter, Mapperly

Both these pubs are leading the way in producing great vegan food, including dedicated and imaginative vegan menus, as well as vegan beers.

https://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk/pubs/horse-and-plough/ 

https://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk/pubs/bread-and-bitter/

Coffee House of Nottingham

You will find this gem of a place tucked away up Hurts Yard.  It serves amazing toasties, as well as sandwiches, an array of coffees and sweet treats https://www.thecoffeehouseofnottingham.co.uk

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rickshaw

 

Rickshaw Indian kitchen, sherwood

This is one of the new kids on the block.  They are a vibrant and modern indian restaurant and takeaway service that has a great selection of reasonably priced vegan options, including this lovey chickpea dish

http://www.rikshawtakeaway.com

 

 

Alchemilla, Nottingham

Opened last year by Alex Bond, this unassuming restaurant serves contemporary British cuisine. There is no hiding from the fact that this is the most expensive restaurant on my list but boy does it deliver!  They serve 5,7 and 10 course tasting menus ranging from £35  to £60.  You can also have a wine pairing menu and they start from £25.  The vegan options, as with the other meat/fish dishes deliver a unique eating experience.

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Christine’s Delights in Beeston

This is a small intimate cafe on a busy high street.  It has plenty of unusual vegan options including desserts and pastries, and their greek coffee is great too

Bread and butterflies, West Bridgford

A family owned business that has wonderfully mismatched furniture and china cups and saucers.  It also sells locally made crafts and every Saturday you can order fresh bread from bake off and pie

https://www.breadandbutterflies.co.uk

Piano in Southwell

A traditional family run Italian restaurant, housed in a beautiful Georgian building. They have a separate vegan menu with some traditional favourites like vegetable risotto, penne arrabbiata and limoncello sorbet

http://www.pianosouthwell.co.uk

Chocks away! Nottingham airport, Tollerton

Their vegan menu has just celebrated its first anniversary and can now boast vegan breakfasts, No Bull burgers, 3 bean chilli , edamame bean burgers, spicy cheese toasties, wraps, and of course amazing home made cakes!!  Its also very child friendly and relaxed

chocks away

L’olivia in Beeston

 

sushi

 

Sushimania, Nottingham

They do unlimited sushi for £16.80 per person!

 

 

 

Pistachio, Sneinton

https://www.pistachionottingham.co.uk

Sneinton Market Vegan Food Market

Nottingham’s monthly Vegan Market hosted on Sneinton Market Square the 1st and 3rd Saturday every month 11-3pm

And finally……….

A fab Sunday roast (at my house!) with a delicious Vork pie taking centre stage

https://www.vorkpie.co.uk

vork pie sunday roast

Veg out–The Avenues café Sneinton Market

Veg out – The Avenues café

 

A few weeks ago Nottingham Posts Food Sleuth thought he might have found the ‘best breakfast’ in Nottingham.  Well I think I’ve found another contender, the Avenues café,  Sneinton Market

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I’d heard much about this café from a vegan Facebook group who were regularly singing the Avenues praises, as a place that offered a no-frills vegan breakfast for a very reasonable price

The Avenues cafe

outside

So one Sunday morning I went with my other half to see for myself. The outside is ordinary and understated and the inside continues with that theme.  But don’t let that fool you in to thinking the food will be the same.

coffee

I looked at the menu but only one dish was on my mind; the ‘vegan breakfast’- 3 hashbrowns, 3 vegan sausages, beans, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, a bubble and squeak pattie, fried bread and wholemeal toast with vegan spread.  Plus a choice of coffee, tea, or juice.  All for an amazing price of  £4.50.  Only a couple of the ingredients are handmade but I suppose that’s how they manage to keep the price so reasonable

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.50.58My review also appears online at https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/best-vegan-breakfast-nottingham-costs-1499844 

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and via twitter

 

 

 

 

 

My other half ordered the standard meat breakfast, containing all the usual suspects for £4. What I also noticed on the menu was a note saying that the vegan food was all kept and cooked separately, which for someone who choses not to eat meat or any by-product is really good to know.

vegan breakfast

Even though I knew what to expect when my breakfast arrived I couldn’t believe the size of it.  It was all piping hot, well cooked and appetising.  But most importantly it was tasty. The coffee was also good, I had the standard filter and my other half had an Americano, served with a little Biscoff biscuit, which also happens to be vegan.  We didn’t feel rushed so took our time read some of the free papers listening to the chitter chatter of other diners and watched a steady stream of customers come and go.  Everyone thanked the staff for their food and commented on the great prices.

 

If I’d had room I would have ordered another coffee and a slice of vegan cake and although my purse would have coped my waistline wouldn’t.  This café is definitely a place that serves a hearty breakfast at an incredible price and the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ could have been written for it.  I challenge the food sleuth to pay a visit and maybe they will reconsider which venue offers the best breakfast.

 

Ps I was so full that the next time I had something to eat was that evening and I could only manage a salad

Veg out – the Botanist, West Bridgford

Veg out – the Botanist, West Bridgford

The Botanist on Bridgford Road opened last autumn on the site of the former ‘Fire and Ice’.  Its theme is plant based cocktails using herbs and botanicals.

But on the occasion I visited with my friend we were only interested in its new vegan menu. So with much anticipation our server brought it to us, and then it was decision time

botanist vegan We opted to share the truffle mushroom starter, I ordered the beetroot and fig tart and my companion ordered the Malaysian curry for our main course. Dessert was yet to be decided!

I also love the fact that their website showcases its vegan menu

botanist

While we waited for the first course it gave us time to take in our surroundings; lots of exposed brick, a variety of tables for couples to large groups and good music that wasn’t too loud.  They also have live music on certain nights.

And then the starter arrived and it looked so appetising.

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It had some lovely peppery rocket too and a generous portion of mushrooms.  The taste didn’t disappoint either it had a deep intense mushroom flavour, and it was certainly big enough for two (£5.25).  I would definitely order it again

Nottm Post

 

You can also view my review online at Nottingham Post

 

 

 

 

Our main courses were also a feast for the eyes.  The Malaysian vegetable curry (£9.95) had such a vibrant colour and chunky vegetables that were definitely al dente

veg out the botanist

I had a sneaky taste of my friends dish and it was very well flavoured with a nice amount of heat. The addition of peas to the rice provided a pop of colour and some much needed protein.  To make the meal more balanced the addition of cashew nuts, edamame beans or tofu would have added protein

veg out the botanist My beetroot tart (£8.95) was equally as attractive and just as tasty.

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The accompanying generous salad was light and crunchy with crisp apples and walnuts. A flavour that goes really well with beetroot is horseradish, so maybe an adaptation for this dish would be to serve a horseradish dressing.

botanist vegan

 

botanist vegan

 

My empty board says it all!!

On that note what’s your thoughts about boards, especially as a vegan if the board had previously had a steak on it?!

 

We decided it would be rude not to have a pudding, we chose to share the banana, peanut butter and chocolate ice-cream (£5.50).  It made a pleasant change from the ubiquitous fresh fruit salad or sorbet

The taste was amazing but the portion for the price was a bit meagre.  A good addition would have been some roasted or griddled bananas

Overall we were really impressed with the separate vegan menu, the service was very efficient and friendly and the surroundings were very comfortable.

Definitely a place that vegans and non vegans can enjoy

 

 

 

 

Veg out – Review of Wagamama, Nottingham

 

Veg out – Review of Wagamama, Nottingham  

When I heard recently that Wagamama was going to introduce a new vegan and vegetarian menu that was my cue to get on down there!

 

outside

Not only had the menu undergone a transformation but the interior of the restaurant had too. And it was so much cosier, great start

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My fellow vegan companion and I were handed a separate vegan and vegetarian menu with everything clearly marked. We were very excited! Our server who was also vegan was very happy to talk us through the options and share her personal recommendations. We started as always with tap water and green tea – both free!

menu

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 14.19.09My review is also online in the Nottingham Post http://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/new-vegan-menu-nottingham-wagamama-645831

Normally even at Wagga’s perusing the menu doesn’t take very long because the vegan options are quite limited, but not now we were spoilt for choice and had to keep sending the server away because we couldn’t decide.

 

In the end we ordered Yasai gyoza (steamed dumplings) and miso soup for starter (yes I know everything is cooked to order and can come at any time, but you know what I mean!). To follow Kare Burosu ramen (fried tofu, grilled veg, udon noodles all sitting in a curry broth) and yasai samla curry (tofu and mushroom coconut curry served with white rice)

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The gyozas and miso soups were the first to arrive. They were both absolutely delicious. The miso was warming and tasty and the little dish of pickles added another intense flavour. It was great to be able to have a non-fish version of this fab soup. It’s low in calorie and filling, so a great choice the calorie conscious diner. The steamed dumplings were also tasty mouthfuls, especially when soaked in the salty hot dipping sauce. They were packed with vegetables and had a great chewy texture .

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On to main course, we decided to share both dishes. The ramen dish was hot and spicy (but not too spicy) and looked so beautiful. The broth was light and flavoursome and the tofu was in plentiful supply. It was a shame I had to stop eating it and swap for the other dish. But, as soon as I tasted the samla curry I loved it. It was hotter than the ramen dish and had a thicker creamy texture. Again it was awash with tofu pieces. The dish came with white rice and next time I will ask for the more fibre rich nutty tasting brown rice.

Throughout the meal our server was very attentive and our water glasses and green tea cups were replenished on a regular basis.

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The price of vegan and vegetarian dishes ranged from £3.75 – £5.75 for starters (or sides!) to £8.50 – £10.95 for main courses. The meal came to about £27 for two, which I thought was really good value as every dish was superb. There is definitely enough variety on the vegan menu to keep me coming back