Karma Kitchen – All Vegan Indian Takeaway

I don’t get takeaways that often but sometimes nothing else will do. After a long journey back from a family wedding this Sunday we were both in the mood for some comforting Indian food without the need to put on proper trousers or cook. I haven’t had an Indian takeaway since going vegan as I wasn’t sure how to guarantee 100% vegan food. 

Luckily Karma Kitchen has just launched, delivering in a 5 mile radius from Newcastle City Centre they do an all vegan Indian menu. This includes their naan breads and sides, yummy!

We placed our order at about 6.10pm which is 10 minutes after the kitchen opens and we ordered the chickpea curry, vegetable platter with curry dips, garlic naan, peshwari naan, steamed rice and I ordered spiced onions which weren’t on the menu but I asked if they could do it and they said yes. With delivery the whole Order came to £24.30 and we were given a delivery time of 7.45pm.

The food came exactly on time and there was a lot of it!

In this photo the plate is showing half the rice, platter and chickpea curry.

The food was perfect, it wasn’t greasy and was obviously fresh ingredients. The chickpea curry was very tasty and I think next time I order it (and there will definitely be a next time) I’ll be brave and go for spicy curry rather than medium. The highlight for me though had to be the peshwari naan, normally I don’t like these and that’s why we always get two naan breads as Andy loves them, but when I accidentally tried some of Andys I couldn’t believe how lovely it was. The paste in the middle was so tasty and fresh with a delicate texture which wasn’t like any peshwari I’d ever eaten before. I was so impressed! 

In our haste to eat our dinner I forgot to take any more piccies except this one at the end of Andy looking stuffed. 

I think the next time we order I’ll order something completely different. Not because what I had wasn’t nice but because I fully trust whatever I order will be special and I want to try them all!!

I wish every success to Karma Kitchen and I feel so lucky to live in a city with so many exciting up and coming vegan ventures to support! 


Vegan Thai Food At Mantra Thai

I’ve been hearing good things about Mantra Thai for a while so decided to give it a go on Thursday night with the Husband before seeing the Nick Cave film (which is  AMAZING btw). 

Thai food is often a good option for vegans as they don’t use a lot of dairy products so you can usually have most of what is on the veggie menu and Mantra Thai’s veggie menu is vast with dishes to cater for all tastes. I spent ages trying to decide what to have as I actually wanted it all, and just when I was about to order the fried aubergine the waitress came over to say that we could have anything on the menu with tofu. Imagine that a whole menu to pour over! (Andy had decided what he wanted in about ten seconds flat so was not as enthusiastic about this as me).

Eventually we ordered the papaya salad and the BBQ tofu skeweres to share as our starters and we both went for the panang as a main, Andy ordered it hot with butternut squash and I ordered medium with tofu. 

The food came quickly and the portions we big. The papaya salad was beautiful, it had a light lime dressing which was deceptively spicy. Both me and Andy found it to be very hot but not in an unbearable way. The spice crept up on you until you were a bit giddy with a streaming nose and a tingling tounge but unable to stop pushing more in your mouth. I will definatly order this the next time! 

The skewers were also a delight. The tofu was crispy on the outside and soft and silky on the inside (how do you do that? I can’t even get tofu out the box without it falling apart). We got four skewers so they are perfect for sharing. They were light and the bbq sauce was flavoursome without overpowering the gentle flavours of the vegetables. Lovely! 

We ate everything on our plates including the side salads in almost complete silence, just the occaisonal negotiation about how many tomatoes we had left. 

Then our mains arrived. Oh happy days! 

Again the tofu was cooked to perfection and the portion size was just right, we shared a Jasmine rice which was exactly the right amount of food. I tried Andy’s butternut squash and though it was well cooked, I’m not a fan of butternut squash, so I’m glad I got the tofu. I was also pleased I ordered medium rather than hot as my tastebuds needed a bit of a break after the papaya salad. The curry was tasty without being overpowering and just the right amount of fat. 

We still had some time after our meal before the film so I ordered one scoop of the mango and passion fruit sorbet and Andy got a coffee. I was impressed by the sorbet which had pieces of real fruit in it and was the right blend of tangy and sweet. 

The whole bill came to £51.75 including 3 beers (between us not each) which I felt was reasonable for the amount we ate and the level of service we got. 

I will definatly be returning to Mantra Thai to sample the rest of the menu! 

Vegan Sunday Dinner At The Ship Inn

If you’d told me a year ago that The Ship Inn, the staple old man pub of the Ouseburn would go fully vegan and be the new hot spot of the valley I would have laughed at you, but here we are sitting in a very smartly done out pub looking at the fully vegan menu and the sign definitely says ‘The Ship Inn’ above the door.

This is our second visit since it has gone under new management and I have to say that it certainly won’t be our last. The atmosphere is friendly and laid back and the clientele is a combination of dog owners, vegans and regulars from the old management. On our first visit we sat outside in the beer garden which is a sun trap and ate outside but on this visit the rain has meant we have retreated inside for a game of connect four (provided in a pile of board games in the corner) while we wait for our food. 

On both visits we have gone for the Sunday dinner option and what a dinner it is. Often when you get a vegan Sunday Dinner you are basically given a Sunday Dinner without all the good bits but The Ship Inn has successfully managed to make stars of what are usually the supporting cast. The braised cabbage is incredible, like cabbage has spent its entire life on the sidelines learning the lines of the starring role waiting for its turn in the spotlight and its time to shine, and shine it does, it’s lightly pickled and exactly the right level of crunch.

 The first time we came we got a tomato sauce instead of a gravy and it was utterly delicious, now I love my gravy so to say that I don’t mind getting a replacement is quite the testament to how good the replacement must be. 

On this visit we got a red wine gravy which was thick, tastey and full bodied, not falling into any of the usual traps that vegan gravy can sometimes succumb to. 

I got the nut roast both visits but Andy went for the Red Onion Wellington this time and we shared. The pastry on the Wellington was light and crumbly and it filled the gap that is left by the lack of Yorkshire Pudding on a vegan Sunday Dinner (not the Ship Inns fault I’ve yet to encounter vegan yorkshires).  

If I had to nit pick I’d say the Wellington was on the small side but that’s because I’m greedy and it was so delicious I could has easily eaten two in a row without stopping for breath. 

For pudding on our first visit we had a cheesecake and a chocolate brownie sundae but we were too full on our second visit to indulge. (So maybe the Wellington is the right size after all).

I am very impressed with the food here and it’s so exciting to have a vegan pub on our doorstep, I throughly recommend that you go down and try it out. I really hope that it is as successful as it deserves to be and even non vegans give it a go to see how easy and delicious cruelty free eating can be!

Vegan Afternoon Tea At The Great British Cupcakery

It was my birthday last week and I was really excited to try the vegan Afternoon Tea at The Great British Cupcakery. Before I went vegan I used to love Afternoon Tea but haven’t managed to find anywhere that doesn’t feel like you are being short changed on the cake front when you get the vegan option. 

I found out about the Great British Cupcakery’s Vegan Afternoon Tea by chance, one of my yoga peeps is a cook there and also a vegan so we often chat about where to eat. I was lamenting the lack of Afternoon Tea options and she said that The Great British Cupcakery do them, as she is a vegan herself I knew she would understand the struggle so I booked myself in straight away! 

Everything is made to order so you need to book 24 hours in advance and it costs £19.95 for adults and £9.95 for little ones. 

When we arrived we had a table waiting for us and they had set out lovely little tea sets for each person, I ordered tea, my sister ordered the coffee and my niece had a rose lemonade. 

Our teas came out very quickly after that and mine had a birthday candle in which was a sweet touch.

It was so much better than expected. Let’s look at it layer by layer.

Sandwich layer of cucumber, tomato and hummous sandwiches.  These were delicious and my sister felt jealous that there wasn’t one on the non vegan option.

Next layer was a gooey brownie, crumbly flapjack and a plain scone. The brownie was the highlight of the whole meal for me!

Then we had a strawberry cupcake, a fruit scone and some jam and spread. The cupcake was really good, it was light and airy which just a faint hint of strawberry.

I didn’t manage to eat it all, in fact I barely made a dent in it. However I’m a firm believer that half the fun in afternoon tea is taking most of it home and eating it in front of the telly.

We had such a lovely afternoon and the kids afternoon tea was such good value, I can imagine it would be a fab place for a teenagers party. 

They don’t do champagne afternoon teas but you are welcome to bring your own bottle for £5 corkage. I would have done this if I hadn’t been working later on.

I am so happy that The Great British Cupcakery are catering to vegans so well, the vegan option was just as good as the normal version and I am sure that when word spreads they’ll be inundated which vegans from up and down the land! They also sell vegan cakes to buy at the counter but once these run out on the day they are gone so it might be worth ringing beforehand to check they have some left to avoid disappointment. 

Now if only they’ll veganise one of those delicious looking milkshakes *drooooool*