Eating Out Vegan in Liverpool: Our Kitchen Review (Guest Post)

When visiting new cities as a vegan, it can be difficult to decide where to eat. There’s the worry of vegan options, affordability, cross contamination and good service, but have no fear, Liverpool is more than prepared.

For years, Liverpool has been praised for its cultural excellence and quirky independent businesses, whether that be coffee shops, clothing stores or restaurants. Bold Street is where it’s at, a street filled with small shops, and speciality restaurants seemingly popping up all of the time.

This year has been particularly exciting, with LIV Organic, an organic and vegan supermarket, opening, as well as Our Kitchen, a vegetarian and vegan only restaurant with not a piece of meat in sight.

Our Kitchen Review

Our Kitchen Liverpool

Location

Located at the top of Bold Street, Our Kitchen stands out as an elegant and luxurious lunchtime choice. Its appearance is simple yet bright, with colourful lights on the ceiling and flowers on each table. Though it’s small, it feels open and comfortable, and the atmosphere is relaxed.

Menu

The large menu is double sided; one side for veggies and one side for vegans, a rare treat compared to the one vegan options you may find in many places, and there’s even a children’s menu with veggie sausages and more. Our Kitchen boasts a large drinks menu too, with their speciality being juice shots and smoothies. I braved the charcoal smoothie, and it was amazing despite the unappealing black colour.

Food and Pricing

The vegan menu offers a variety of options from small plates such as hummus and pitta or mini bean burgers, to buddha bowls and duck style stir fry.  The price is excellent for the standard of food, with small plates being around £4, and larger meals being between £6-10.

I have tried the black bean buddha bowl, a mix of beans, rice, veggies and sauce, which was so huge I couldn’t finish it. As well as the mini bean burgers which were amazing. I was given 3 bean burgers consisting of a bread bun, cheese and burgers, which were actually a fairly decent size for £4.50.

Service

Service is fast, I’ve been at quiet and busy times and never waited more than five minutes for my order to be taken, and no more than fifteen minutes for food to arrive.

Shop

At the back of the restaurant is a mini shop, with vegan wines, snacks and bottles of their smoothies and juice shots. I love this idea because it means you have the chance to pick up some treats after your meal or just pop in for a take-out smoothie.

I’d highly recommend Our Kitchen as a place to put on your ‘must go to’ list when visiting Liverpool, and definitely try the charcoal smoothie if you’re brave enough.

Author Bio

Guest post by Emma Dukes – visit Emma’s blog here.

Tesco Vegan Ice Lolly Range Review

Wondering whether or not to try out the range of vegan lollies and ice creams available at Tesco? We’ve reviewed each variety to help you decide.

Tesco Free From Choc Sticks Review

These Choc Sticks are really tasty, with a thick layer of dark chocolate and rich, creamy vanilla ice cream inside. Swedish Glace sell a similar product, but Tesco’s are slightly larger and have more chocolate – definitely our preferred option. These go down well with non-vegans.

Tesco Free From Toffee & Vanilla Cones Review

These cones are a fun alternative to Cornettos. The ice cream tasted completely authentic, and the toffee flavor is sweet without being too sickly. The cone tastes a little ‘off’ and is crunchier than usual, possibly because it’s gluten free. The bottom of the cone contains a generous amount of chocolate.

Tesco Free From Strawberry and Vanilla Cones Review

Tasty ice cream with a strong strawberry flavour, these are perfect for summer. The cone has the same issues as mentioned above, but that doesn’t stop these from being delicious.

Tesco Free From Fruit Splits Review

These vegan fruit splits aren’t currently offered anywhere but Tesco and they taste pretty much identical to the dairy versions. Perfect if you’ve been missing these. The outer layer is nice and fruity, and the ice cream inside is sweet and creamy.

Tesco Free From Ice Lollies Review

These free from ice lollies are similar to Wall’s Mini Milks, with four chocolate and four strawberry in each pack. The taste and texture are authentic and they’re nice and creamy. Would be nice if a vanilla flavor was included too, but that’s our only complaint with these. Small size makes them perfect for kids.

If you’re looking for authentic vegan ice creams and lollies at a pretty reasonable price, we’d definitely recommend the Tesco range.

What did you think of these ice creams and lollies?

Let us know in the comments below or on social media.

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Tesco Free From Jalapeño And Chilli Cheddar Review

It’s time for our second Tesco vegan cheese review. This time we’ll be telling you all about the Free From Jalapeño And Chilli Cheddar. This is an interesting cheese that’s pretty unusual – read on to find out if it’s worth buying.

Texture

The texture was good, and the cheese is easy to grate and slice. It’s not at all rubbery or chewy, so we’d say it’s pretty close to having an authentic texture.

Taste

The cheese has a strong cheddar taste, and the jalapeño and chilli flavouring isn’t mild. It might be too much for people who aren’t keen on hot foods, especially when eaten alone.

We thought it was really tasty when used on top of vegan lasagne, adding a nice kick that you wouldn’t get from a plain vegan cheddar.

It also tasted good on crackers, as a pasta topping, and in sandwiches.

We’ve seen a few complaints about it tasting too ‘chemical’, so there are definitely mixed opinions on this one.

Melting

Tesco Free From Jalapeno and Chilli Cheddar Melted

The cheese melted well, bubbling up nicely and going brown around the edges when done under the grill. We’d recommend using a medium heat to allow it to melt properly without starting to burn.

It also works well grated and melted into cheese sauce, and on top of pizza.

Should I buy Tesco Free From Jalapeño And Chilli Cheddar?

Overall, this is a really versatile vegan cheese that tastes good, has an authentic texture, and melts well. The jalapeño and chilli flavouring makes it stand out from other vegan cheeses, although some people might find it too hot.

Our score: 8/10

Definitely worth a try if you’re a fan of cheddar and fancy something a bit different.

Have you tried this, or any of the other vegan cheese from Tesco? Let us know.

We’ve also reviewed the Tesco Free From Grated Mozzarella.

Tesco Free From Grated Mozzarella

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Tesco Vegan Mozzarella Review

Tesco recently released a whole range of vegan cheese, including some varieties which haven’t been widely available until now. Today we’re reviewing their Free From Grated Mozzarella Alternative. Read on to find out how it tastes, how it melts, and whether or not we’d recommend buying it.

Taste

Tesco vegan Mozzarella packet

The cheese has a pleasant, mild flavour, with a hint of saltiness. It’s also quite creamy. The flavour is fairly similar to real Mozzarella, but you’d probably tell the difference in a taste test. The flavour is nice in its own right though, so it’s worth trying even if you don’t especially miss Mozzarella. If you’re not a fan of strong, cheddar-style vegan cheeses then this is definitely a good option.

Texture

The texture of the cheese is good, no complaints here. It’s not quite the same as cheese you’d grated yourself and the pieces are very uniform in shape, but that’s no big issue. The fact that it’s pre-grated makes it really convenient for topping pizzas. Could be a good option to take to Pizza Express, who allow you to bring your own vegan cheese to be added to your pizza.

Melting

We were pleasantly surprised by how well this cheese melted. It worked perfectly under the grill on a medium heat, bubbling up and turning slightly brown on top in the way that regular cheese would. We found that texture was a little sticky if too much cheese was melted onto bread, but a moderate amount was fine.

Tesco vegan Mozzarella

It melts!

We’d say that this Mozzarella is ideal for topping pizzas, pasta bakes and jacket potatoes. It also makes a tasty cheese on toast!

Our score: 8/10. We’d recommend giving this vegan Mozzarella a go if you’re a fan of mild cheese. 

Have you tried any of the new Tesco vegan cheese yet? Which is your favourite? How do you think they compare to Sainsbury’s? Let us know below or on social media.

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Tesco Free From Strong Soya Cheddar Style Spread Review

Tesco have recently introduced an alternative to mature cheese spread in the form of their Strong Soya Cheddar Style Spread. Part of their growing free from range, it is now available in most Tesco stores. Read on to see what we thought of it.

Ingredients

The spread is predominantly a mixture of coconut oil and soya protein. The coconut oil element echoes the composition of the recently introduced cheese alternatives from Sainsbury’s. The full ingredients are listed below:

Water, Coconut Oil, Soya Protein Concentrate (11%), Salt, Spirit Vinegar, Lactic Acid (Dairy Free), Yeast Extract, Flavourings, Sugar, Thickener (Carrageenan), Colour (Paprika Extract)

Texture

Spreadability is something of an issue with this product as it has a dryness that leads it to flake and fall apart when you dig into it. With a bit of effort though it can be spread across your crackers or toast fairly evenly. Not as creamy as we anticipated though.

cracker with vegan cheese spread

Not exactly the texture we hoped for…

Taste

An authentically creamy and strongly cheesy flavour makes this an ideal mature cheese replacement for a quick snack on crackers or toast. We also found it a tasty filling for baked potatoes especially mixed with tomatoes and onion.

Verdict

We’d give this spread 6 and a half out of ten. The difficulty in spreading combined with a rather lacklustre off white colour somewhat undermine an otherwise tasty and satisfying mature spread alternative.

Have you tried any of Tesco’s vegan cheese? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media!

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Violife Prosociano Vegan Parmesan Review

We’re reviewing a second vegan Parmesan alternative today, and this one’s from Violife. If you’re interested in other options, check out our recent review of ‘Flavour Fusion’ by Good Carma – an almond-based product that’s available in a few different flavours.

Violife Prosociano comes in an authentic wedge shape, with nicely designed packaging. It’s currently sold at Tesco and in some independent food stores.

Texture

The cheese is a solid block that looks authentic. It grates easily, and there are no issues with it being too soft/breaking while grating, which is sometimes the case with vegan cheese.

Taste

The cheese has a pretty strong smell/taste, and we reckon it could fool a non-vegan. It adds some nice flavour to pasta dishes, and you don’t need to use much. It melts pretty well when mixed into sauce and has an authentic texture.

If you’re a fan of Parmesan, we’d definitely recommend giving this cheese a try. It grates well, tastes and smells authentic, and melts nicely. If you’re not keen on strong cheeses, we’d recommend sticking with regular Violife, or trying Flavour Fusion, which has a much milder flavour.

We’ve reviewed plenty of vegan cheeses, including Sainsbury’s, Lettices, and Follow Your Heart. Let us know if there are any other brands you’d like to see reviewed.

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Cauldron Vegan Burgers Review

Cauldron have recently released two new vegan products: sausages and burgers. This is a welcome addition to their range, and the products are currently available at Morrison’s, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. We gave the burgers a try – read on to find out what we thought.

Ingredients

The burgers contain a range of pulses and vegetables, including chickpeas, cauliflower, aduki beans, broad beans and spinach. This is a nice change from other vegan burgers, which tend to be mainly soy-based.

Check out the full ingredients below:

Ingredients

Chickpeas, Cauliflower (12%), Aduki Beans (11%), Broad Beans, Spinach (10%), Onions, Garlic Purée, Rehydrated Potato, Plain Flour (Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Starch, Maize, Buckwheat), Chipotle Chilli Paste (Chipotle Chilli (0.9%), Onion, Tomato Purée, Vinegar, Garlic, Salt, Coriander), Vegetable Bouillon [Salt, Potato Starch, Maltodextrin, Yeast Extract, Non Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Onion Powder, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Herbs (Lovage, Parsley), Spices (White Pepper, Mace, Nutmeg), Turmeric Extract], Rapeseed Oil, Pea Flour, Smoked Paprika (0.9%), Lime Juice Concentrate, Stabiliser: Methyl Cellulose, Salt, Basil, Black Pepper

You can clearly see the different ingredients in the burger as they’re not completely blended together, which gives it a nice homemade feel.

Texture

The burger was smaller than expected, and quite thick (the picture above shows the burger before cooking). It’s not the ideal size for eating in a bun, in our opinion. The texture was similar to a homemade bean burger, quite dense and filling.

Taste

The main seasoning of the burger is ‘chipotle chilli.’ It’s not spicy, but has a rich, smokey flavour that’s quite distinctive. You can taste the individual ingredients, particularly the beans, and overall it’s a nice flavour. This is definitely a wholefood burger, rather than a meat substitute, and we can imagine it being popular with anyone who enjoys homemade burgers or dislikes imitation meat products.

We’d give this burger a 7/10. It was tasty and made a change from the other vegan burgers that are available, but was a little too dense for our liking.

Have you tried the new Cauldron vegan products? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media.

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