The Ivy in Cardiff City Centre

The girls in work and I have very recently made it a tradition to go for a long lunch whenever we have a birthday celebration. Last month was of course my birthday (as if I haven’t mentioned it in every blog post!) and the girls treated me to a lunch at The Ivy in Cardiff.

The table was booked and some of you may know that The Ivy is renowned for being a bit more upmarket than your usual places so we dressed a little less casual than we normally would for work.

We were greeted at the door by the host who offered to check in our coats and then took us to our table. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with gorgeous wall papers and lots of plants. A quick note while we’re on decor, pop to the toilets upstairs. It is absolutely gorgeous up there and the ceiling is covered in flowers. It’s perfect for Instagramming!

We ordered cocktails while we perused the menu.

The cocktails were great. They did your usual classic cocktails like a Singapore Sling as well as signature cocktails which are a bit more interesting.

Shortly after, we ordered food. There isn’t much on the menu for vegans, but there are a few options which is better than nothing. I ordered the Keralan Curry which came with rice. I also ordered a side of thick cut chips, mostly because I just wanted to try them, and also it’s the classic Welsh staple.

I was delightfully surprised by the curry. It was delicious and full of so much flavour. It was filled with fresh vegetables including sweet potato and tenderstem broccoli. It was actually an excellent vegan option and I was not disappointed!

We didn’t get any dessert, but again, there wasn’t much in the way of vegan options for desserts. Sorbet and a plate of fruit… Not the most inspiring!

Overall, it was a pleasant experience. I really enjoyed my curry and the service was fantastic. I was lucky enough to have the girls treat me as a birthday gift, but the menu is a bit pricey. It’s a great location for a nice meal and an excuse to dress up a bit!

The Cosy Club in Cardiff City Centre

It’s taken me a while to write this post as it appears that birthday gifts and events make great blogging content!

Last month, Tom treated me for breakfast on my birthday before he headed to work. We went to The Cosy Club in Cardiff City Centre. I’ve been to The Cosy Club before and they have a decent vegan menu.

The service is always good and on this occasion it was no different. We were greeted by the host that morning, she asked us if we needed any allergen menus and she kindly gave us the vegan menu and took us to our table.

After a few moments, our waitress came over and asked us if we’d like to order drinks. Tom ordered a soy vanilla latte and I ordered breakfast tea with a side of soy milk. As we were ready with our food order too, she took our order.

Tom ordered crumpets with plain vegan spread. The option on the menu came with cinnamon vegan spread which sounds unusual and Tom wasn’t a fan but they were more than accommodating. I ordered the vegan breakfast with the addition of avocado and scrambled tofu.

Breakfast was great. The scrambled tofu was a great addition. It was full of flavour and wasn’t a standard scrambled tofu you can often find at restaurants these days. The falafel was great and I loved how crispy it was. And as a lover of carbs, the potato rosti was a great equivalent for hash browns.

Tom enjoyed his crumpets and coffee. He’s not a big breakfast eat so he always makes me look greedy when we go out for breakfast which I’m totally ok with.

The Cosy Club is a good chain for vegans. There’s a good range of options and they are tasty. The service is great and every time I’ve been there, the staff are friendly and helpful. The location is great for those who are shopping in the city centre so I recommend a visit if you’re looking for a convenient breakfast spot.

Suncraft in Bristol

Last week, my sister @vgnnatalie treated me to a lovely birthday meal in her hometown of Bristol. We had intended to go to Koocha, but sadly they were closed on that day so we went to Suncraft which was only around the corner.

Suncraft is on a main road and has a bright yellow exterior that can’t be missed. We met up early so we must have walked in around 17:30 and the restaurant was nice and quiet. We were greeted at the door and asked where we would like to sit. We chose a small table for 2 in the middle of the restaurant.

They had an extensive menu that sounded delicious. I had to reign my sister in as she wanted to try everything!! We settled on order 3 main dishes and 2 sides:

  • Kimchi Fried Rice
  • Corn Arepas
  • Tofu and Mushroom Satay (Special Dish)
  • BBQ Korean Tempeh Bites
  • Sweet Potato Fries with Chilli

It was divine. Everything put in front of us was full of flavour and so enticing. I absolutely recommend the BBQ Korean Tempeh Bites, I could have ordered more if we hadn’t ordered so much food already!

The Kimchi Fried Rice was so satisfying. It had the perfect level of spice, without being too hot nor lacking in flavour. There were beansprouts in their fried rice which I don’t think we see enough of because I love beansprouts, and the crispy seaweed on top was a fantastic addition.

I was surprised by the Corn Arepas. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but it was actually really nice. There was a sweet potato patty type thing on a bed of black beans with an almond feta which was really lovely.

The winning dish for me was the Tofu and Mushroom Satay, which I foolishly didn’t picture individually. It was absolutely incredible. The satay sauce was unreal with the perfect balance of creaminess and peanut flavours. It does help that I’m a huge fan of tofu and mushrooms too. The rice was cooked perfectly and the whole dish was just top of the bar.

The service provided was great. They were attentive and ensured we were well looked after, from asking us if we wanted individual plates as we were sharing and simply checking up on us after our meal. We ordered so many dishes that we didn’t finish it all, but we were able to take it come in vegware takeaway containers.

I highly recommend a visit to Suncraft. Check out their social media and website for more details but you will definitely not be disappointed!

Got No Beef in Cardiff City Centre [2]

In early December, I posted an exclusive first look blog post about Got No Beef before they opened their doors to the public. Since then, they have opened for the rest of the world and I cannot stop visiting! I am obsessed!

I’ve ordered something new each time and every visit the food is incredible. It is of such great quality and tastes amazing. The family work so hard and are so friendly. It’s a lovely experience!

The full menu is so extensive and I urge you to take a look. You can find the full menu on their Facebook page which is linked here and on their website.

Visit 1

The first visit was a quick lunch visit the day after they opened. I ordered the GNB Chick’n Burger. All their mains come with fries so there’s no need to order separately which is SUCH a nice change from every other restaurant you go to.

The chick’n has fast become my favourite dish on the menu. The texture is incredible and the flavours are so good. I highly recommend it, especially those who are going to try out Veganuary! It’ll really hit the mock meat spot.

Visit 2

The second time, I went with my brother for an early dinner and ordered SO MUCH FOOD! We shared it all so that we could try as much as possible and, again, it did not disappoint.

We ordered the Original Sharing Platter which consists of Shrimp, Potato Skins and Cauliflower Wings.

For our mains, we ordered the Loaded Mac Dog and the Freedom Burger, and we even upgraded to loaded fries for one of our mains to get the full food experience.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… This is the most Instagrammable food you will ever see. But not only this, it is the most delicious vegan food you will ever taste. Everything is bursting with flavour and really hits the spot.

Some of you meat-eaters out there might ask why vegan want to eat things that look like meat… The simple answer is that some of us want to eat meat and enjoy the flavours but we don’t want to contribute to the cruelty and murder of animals for it.

I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the Freedom Burger but it was glorious. The smokey flavour and texture of the burger was delicious. I still truly believe that Got No Beef burgers are the best vegan burgers around.

The sharing platter had a bit of everything on it. The shrimp had an incredible texture, the cauliflower wings had a nice subtle kick to it and the potato skins were delicious.

The hot dog was great too. I love the idea of loading it with mac and cheese and it wasn’t too much, the perfect ratio. It was really filling with the texture of the hot dog being quite heavy. It wasn’t my favourite thing on the menu but it was still fantastic.

Visit 3

A few days later, my friends and I had our Christmas catch up so we went to Got No Beef as they hadn’t tried it yet and I had been raving about it.

GNB has a great drinks menu which includes cocktails and mylkshakes. 2 of us ordered Singapore Slings and then the other ordered a mint oreo mylkshake.

Her 1 year old daughter absolutely LOVED the mylkshake. There was some serious mess made with fingers and straws all over the face. I think she only managed a few sips herself and the rest ended up down her daughter’s dress.

The cocktail was lovely and didn’t taste too strong, which could be considered a downfall for some but it meant that I was able to enjoy it without feeling like I was drinking a strong alcoholic drink!

We all ordered Chick’n burgers, but mine was the hot one, and we ordered the cauliflower wings to share but I specified to have hot sauce on the side instead of a mayo or ranch sauce.

We finished the meal with a caramel cheesecake and churros. I forgot to take a picture of the cheesecake but it was a big hit! The churros weren’t bad either! Lots of chocolate and whipped cream, so who can say no to that?!

Everyone loved their food. They were amazed by the chick’n and were so surprised but how good it was and how much like chicken it was. All round, a fantastic review from the omnivores!

Visit 4

My addiction to Got No Beef has well and truly started by this point. I work a very short walk from Cardiff City Centre and it’s only 10 minutes for me to get to the restaurant.

I ordered a take out lunch of 2 chick’n strip and fries with a drink for £7. There was a bit of a wait at lunch time as the restaurant was full of customers but it’s to be expected when you’re ordering from a restaurant, not a take away.

My colleague didn’t want to get GNB, so she made the trip to Grazing Shed at the other end of Barrack Lane. I must have only waited around 10 – 15 minutes for my lunch, whereas she waited 30 minutes for hers!

I took my lunch back to the office and showed it off to everyone! They all looked impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed my food.

They have recently started offering a collection service via online orders! This will be so handy for those who don’t have much time for lunch so I recommend checking it out. It will save you on having to wait in the restaurant too as it will be a quick grab and go!

Visit 5

I’m going to finish this blog post on my fifth, and most certainly not my last, visit to Got No Beef.

I did a lone trip and ordered myself the GNB Hot Chick’n Burger again and an Oreo mylkshake.

As I continue to state, the chick’n items are my favourite dishes on the menu. The Oreo mylkshake was delicious and made a great American diner style dinner of a burger and a shake! Truly delicious and never a disappointment.

For those of you trying out Veganuary next month, this is the perfect food spot for you in Cardiff. After trying all the dishes on the menu, you won’t get that hankering for a meat fix ever again!

Veganuary Tips

Going vegan has never been easier! Over the last few years, supermarkets and restaurants have been more and more accommodating with their products and offerings so you will always find an option somewhere!

During Veganuary, lots of restaurants even participate in offers to encourage you to eat with them and try a vegan dish which is actually really great.

Here are some of my top tips to kick start your Veganuary!

  1. Do your research – it is really important to make sure you stay healthy and eat all the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs in order to maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle. I recommend checking out The Vegan Society nutrition page as a jumping off point!
  2. Plan your meals – it’s so much easier when you first become vegan to plan your meals. Look online for recipes of things you’re unsure of, I recommend BOSH!. These days it’s easy to find meat replacements such as soy mince and vegan sausages.
  3. Herbs and spices are your new best friends – As much as I love the taste of vegetables, they can get boring and not everyone loves them. Make sure you experiment with different herbs and spices to flavour your food as best you can.
  4. Follow vegan food groups on social media – The vegan community is an amazing one and everyone is so supportive. I highly recommend following groups such as Vegan Food UK, Accidentally Vegan and Veganuary across their social media pages to get inspiration!
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself – The important thing to remember is that no matter what you do, you’re trying your hardest. It’s easy to make mistakes so keep calm and carry on!

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on my post and I’ll do my best to give a helpful reply!

Good luck on your vegan journey and I hope it’s so good that you’ll want to stay vegan forever!

Got No Beef in Cardiff City Centre [EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK]

I had the absolute pleasure of being one of the first people to see and sample Got No Beef, a new 100% vegan restaurant, in Cardiff City Centre.

The Story of Got No Beef

Got No Beef is a family run business, based in South Wales and they are 100% vegan. Before opening this restaurant, you may have seen them at vegan events and vegan festivals up and down the country, selling their incredible double stacked burgers.

They’ve now decided to settle down in Cardiff City Centre and set up base for their delicious burgers, and many more additions to the menu!

For regular updates, make sure you Like them on Facebook and Follow them on their Twitter and Instagram accounts: @GotNoBeefUK.

The Location

If you’re familiar with Cardiff, you may know a little street in the city centre called Barrack Lane. This street houses other restaurants and is only a short walk from both Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen St train stations. Got No Beef is situated on the end that’s closest to Debenhams.

For those of you who drive and park in St Davids 2 Car Park, the restaurant is a very short walk from the shopping centre.

The location is great as it’s so easy to find and get to. It really is in the heart of the city centre.

The Food

So down to the most important part… the food!

As well as maintaining their stamp on having the BEST vegan burgers (my honest opinion, and I’m sure shared with many others), they have left no corner unturned when putting together their new menu. There are plenty of options, you will be spoilt for choice.

I was treated to a feast of dishes which included Cauliflower Wings, Loaded Fries, Mac & Cheeze, Beer Battered Cod and 2 Hot Dogs…

I don’t even know where to begin… Incredible doesn’t even cut it.

Let’s start with the immaculate presentation. If the food isn’t the most instagrammable food you’ve ever seen, then I have no idea where you’ve been eating. The attention to detail was so clear to see, even down to the fabulous grease proof paper with the logo emblazoned all over it.

Now for the taste… YUM! My favourite dish was the loaded fries. BBQ Jackfruit and Cheeze sauce all over the fries with spring onions and slices of chilli. The beer battered cod had an amazing texture and it wasn’t greasy which is a pet hate of mine. The mac and cheeze was lovely and the ‘bacon’ bits were a delicious addition.

The Verdict

I may be a little biased, but Got No Beef is absolutely incredible. The quality of the food and the service is like no other. The restaurant looks fantastic with their gorgeous plant wall at the back and the rustic aesthetic really bringing that comfortable vibe.

This family have clearly poured their heart and soul into the building of this business and they deserve every success. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it is truly wonderful to see local vegan businesses finding their feet in Cardiff and paving the way for the rest of the country and even the world to follow.

Make sure you follow all their social media pages at @GotNoBeefUK to ensure you don’t miss out on any important updates.

I urge you all to visit and support this small, ethical, local business. You won’t regret it!

Luna’s Vegan Corner on Wellfield Road, Cardiff

Last Sunday, we took a trip to Wellfield Road to try Luna’s Vegan Corner. It’s always a bit of a nightmare to park around that area but we managed to find space on Albany Road and we made the short walk to the restaurant.

We walked in around 11:20am and as they’d just opened, there was plenty of room in the restaurant. A few tables were already taken up by a few families and a lovely Dalmatian. We seated ourselves and someone swiftly came over with menus!

There was so much to choose from, it was difficult to decide! I browsed Instagram to have a look at what others had eaten and that didn’t really help matters!

I settled on eating from the main menu instead of the brunch menu and chose the Arancini to start and the mushroom fettuccine as my main.

The arancini was delicious! Cheesy flavours and tastes and fried to perfection. I absolutely loved it. The fettuccine was lovely, with a mix of different mushrooms and very creamy.

Tom decided on the grilled tofu and asparagus to start and the tomato fettuccine as his main.

Tom said the tofu and asparagus was lovely but was a little bit oily due to the amount of oil drizzled on the dish and the bed of pesto that the tofu was sat on. His pasta was also lovely, but was lacking in additional vegetables as it was simply fettuccine in a tomato sauce.

My sister decided on the mushroom bruschetta to start and the burger and chips as her main.

Kirsty adored her bruschetta. It was a risky order as she hadn’t seen any pictures online but she loved it. I tried some and thought it was delicious. I think the crispy, toasted bread was amazing. The burger was a veggie patty sandwiched between 2 onion rings and lettuce. However, unexpectedly, there was a slice of cheese on both the top and the bottom which isn’t listed on the menu and as Kirsty isn’t a fan of cheese, it took her by surprise. She enjoyed it all the same.

As the restaurant started to fill up a bit more, we noticed that people had been ordered Sunday Roasts! We were a little disappointed as if we had known it was on the menu, we definitely would have ordered it. I’ve seen pictures on Instagram since and am filled with envy!

At least if nothing else, it gives us an excuse to go back and I’d urge you all to do the same!