As of today, I’ve been vegan for 6 months and 13 days, and it’s been one interesting and eye-opening journey. There are so many more companies catching on to the vegan wave and starting to offer more cruelty free and vegan options in all aspects of our lives, the most important one being food, but the hidden ones like makeup, skincare and household products are also things we need to think about. I’ll come onto those soon enough, but first I want to share my experience of dining at Bread Street Brasserie at one of their Vegan Nights.
Catering companies and restaurants realise there is a market for offering a fully vegan menu, once a night to gauge interest. So far, I’ve been to three different monthly-vegan dinners and each one offered a different dining experience. The first of which was Vegan Night at Bread Street Brasserie, the winner of OpenTable’s 2016 Diner’s Choice award and restaurant to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Bread Street in Edinburgh.
I had bought itison vouchers in advance to dine with the OH, but he had to work at the last minute, so I ended up going with Lucie of Call Me Dumpling. It was my first vegan proper sit-down dinner with more than one course, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
With it being a restaurant, it was your typical routine: let the front desk know of your reservation, get seated, choose dishes for each course from the menu and get served. We were also served glasses of bubbly and a roll with vegan butter once we sat down.
I had high hopes for the menu on the night we visited as I was aware apple crumble was on the menu for dessert! Not for any particular reason, but I hadn’t had a proper apple crumble in years and it’s one of those childhood, nostalgic dishes that I hadn’t given a thought about but hadn’t yet navigated as a vegan!
For the first course, both Lucie and I decided on mushroom soup with croutons which was lovely. I enjoy a good mushroom soup. For our mains, I went for the Thai green curry and Lucie had the stuffed aubergine with couscous, ratatouille and mixed herb crust. I think it was safe to say we both enjoyed our meal. The presentation was lovely, but it was just as you would expect. I can’t say that I was too overwhelmed with the choices and the curry was a bit spicy for me, but it wasn’t bad either.
Mushroom soup starter with croutons
Lucie’s stuffed aubergine
The one thing that I was quite disappointed with was the apple crumble. After having said that the mains were nothing to brag about, I was kind of expecting a run-of-the-mill apple crumble because that’s what I’m used to. I imagine the chefs in the kitchen tried to add a bit of excitement to this well known dish, but it ended up putting me off the dessert a bit.
Apple crumble with custard vegan vanilla ice cream
I was really looking forward to the crunchy crumble topping but was met with a sort of granola-like topping with oats and sultanas. The apples were well cooked and melted in the mouth and were a lovely contrast to the icy ice cream and hot custard, but I felt the granola topping was a bit lacking. Maybe I’m a bit more pernickity now since becoming vegan, but I feel with vegetables there is so much variety and ways of cooking it to make the main course more exciting, but we got somewhat unsurprising mains whereas I felt that the apple crumble should be the one to be something familiar and should be the one that non-vegans are able to find comfort in.
It might have just been the time that we decided to go that I can’t say I was too impressed, but for £17.50 for 3-courses per person, I wouldn’t say that my experience was terrible. The July menu sounded better with dishes such as crispy Provencal risotto balls for a starter and stuffed crispy flat cap mushrooms for a main.
If you’re planning a visit and aren’t sure if you will like the food, the menu is posted on their website (this can be viewed here) in advance of the Vegan Night which is hosted on the first Thursday of every month.
Bread Street Brasserie can be found at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on 34 Bread Street, EH3 9AF. To make a reservation, call 0131 221 5558.
Have you been to a Vegan Night at Bread Street Brasserie? What was your experience like? Did you enjoy the food?