Did you know that November is World Vegan Month?
I’ll be honest: I didn’t know: or not until the people at Treacle, on Broughton Street, Edinburgh, invited me to come along and try their diet-friendly menu (which has lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options), and specifically some of the vegan options. Now, I have to admit upfront that I’m not vegan – or even vegetarian. It is, however, something I’m quite interested in: Terry and I choose not to eat much in the way of meat at home, so it’s mostly when we eat out, or with other people, that we find ourselves reaching for the burgers etc. I am, however, something of a dairy fiend, and would eat cheese aaaalll day long if I possibly could, so I was curious to sample a totally vegan meal, and see what I thought of it.
First, though, the cocktails!
Treacle is a cocktail bar as well as a restaurant, and it’s not hard to see why the bar area was so busy, even on a rainy Monday evening. Our cocktails arrived in quirky little ceramic mugs, and Terry’s was actually on fire at the time (He had the Zombie, I had the Rapa Nui), so we figured our evening was off to a pretty good start!
We’d been asked to select our meals from the vegan options on the menu, so to start with, Terry went for the crispy bean curd, while I had some of the nicest chips I’ve ever tasted, complete with a sesame ketchup, which I would definitely try again – I don’t normally enjoy anything with a vaguely nutty flavour to it, but this was really delicious – so much so that I ended up stealing quite a few of the chips that came with Terry’s main course, too. And by “quite a few”, I mean, “Sorry, Terry – I hope you enjoyed that chip I left for you, though!”
As for the main course, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the treacle ramen: Terry, meanwhile, really fancied the cauliflower, bean and hazlenut burger – which was vegetarian, rather than vegan: oh noes! Luckily this was an easy fix, and the restaurant were happy to remove the cheese in order to make it more vegan friendly. They did tell us that the bun had an egg wash on top, which would obviously be an issue if we were strict vegans, but greed won out here, so we decided to cut ourselves some slack. (I’m not using the Royal “we” here, by the way: it’s just that any time Terry orders a burger, he knows I’ll be eating some of it, so it’s a joint decision. To be fair, he also wolfed down quite a bit of my ramen, so we basically ended up splitting the two meals – which was a pretty good idea, now I come to think of it…) We were impressed by how diligent the staff were in letting us know exactly how the food was cooked, though: we might not have any specific diet or food intolerance ourselves, but I have enough vegetarian friends to know how difficult they can find eating out!
After all of that we were feeling pleasantly stuffed: the restaurant had kindly offered to provide our starters and main courses compliments of the house, but the desert menu was so tempting we were totally unable to resit: aaaaand that’s where our little vegan experiment started to go wrong, because…
Belgian waffles. Which were NOT vegan, but which WERE absolutely delicious, it has to be said. So, we didn’t have a 100% vegan meal, but I think we did pretty well, all things considered, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience – both the vegan options and those waffles. Which I guess just makes Treacle a good option whatever your dietary requirements, huh?
[Thanks to Treacle Bar and Kitchen for our complimentary meal and drinks!]