Review: Ultimate Vegan Cafe, Lichfield

If you’re a vegan living in Staffordshire, you’ve probably heard about Ultimate Vegan Cafe in Lichfield by now — it’s had great reviews on social media so far. The cafe offers a great range of vegan food, with plenty of gluten-free options too. It’s accessible, family-friendly, and has a great town centre location.

We’ve visited UVC several times now, so thought it was time for a review!

Keep reading to find out exactly what we thought of the menu, the space, the service and more.

Atmosphere

The cafe is beautifully decorated and feels really light and spacious. There are plenty of tables and it’s often full, although rarely feels too crowded.

Seating is a mix of smaller tables, long benches, and high tables with stools. We found the stools a little uncomfortable compared to the other seating options, but this is really down to personal preference.

There’s a lovely green theme with lots of hanging plants, cool wall art, and an overall ‘trendy’ feel. The cafe is located in the town centre with plenty of parking close by so it’s easy to get to.

Food

So, how was the food?

Everything on the menu looked simple but delicious, with options ranging from ‘tofish’ and chips and vegan burgers to all day brunch, jacket potatoes, and sandwiches. We thought the range was really good — there’s plenty to appeal to both vegans and non-vegans and the prices are very reasonable.

We sampled the Tofish and Chips first. The ‘tofish’ tasted very authentic, the chips were delicious, and everything was beautifully presented. This dish is definitely a highlight as you can’t find anything similar nearby.

Next, we tried the Homemade 5 Bean Chilli. This is a lovely, hearty option — perfect for colder days. It comes with a generous portion of nachos and has a delicious, fresh, home-cooked taste. This is an option that should go down well with both vegans and non-vegans, like much of the menu.

We also tried out the vegan burger, which was equally delicious and well-presented. Portion sizes are perfect, not too big and not too small.

UVC also offers a great range of milkshakes, soft drinks, and alcoholic drinks. Check out the amazing milkshake below if you’re looking for a sweet treat.

You can also purchase a selection of cakes, available to eat in or take away.

There’s a kids section on the menu, which is perfect if you’re visiting with family. The cafe is completely wheelchair accessible and family friendly — they even stock complimentary homemade vegan dog treats!

Verdict

If you’re looking for a friendly cafe with delicious, home-cooked vegan food at affordable prices, we’d highly recommend a visit to UVC. The menu is varied enough to appeal to almost any taste — vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or otherwise.

The atmosphere is great, and staff are friendly and attentive. It’s fully accessible and there are loads of lovely, thoughtful touches that make it a really special place to visit.

We love this place and will definitely be eating here for many years to come.

Check out Ultimate Vegan Cafe on their Facebook page to find out more and see the full menu. The cafe holds regular special events, so it’s definitely worth following their page to stay up-to-date.

Have you visited Ultimate Vegan Cafe in Lichfield? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

Plamil So Free Vegan Chocolate Review

Looking for vegan chocolate that’s available in loads of delicious flavours, with reduced sugar and organic options? You’re in the right place! This week we were sent a selection of chocolate bars from the Plamil So Free range. They’re all totally vegan, use certified cocoa, and are made using 100% renewable energy.

We were really impressed by how wide the chocolate range is — there are loads of different types and a selection of these bars would make a great gift. Keep scrolling for our thoughts on each bar.

So Free Organic Milk Chocolate Alternative

We started with the milk chocolate alternative. It was really tasty — a good balance between chocolate-y and creamy. We really liked the thin bar, and think this would be perfect for snacking or baking.

So Free Tropical Orange Organic Dark Chocolate

Orange chocolate is always a winner, and this one was really tasty. It’s got a strong orange flavour that works really well with the dark chocolate — a nice one to buy if you miss chocolate orange at Christmas.

So Free Intense Mint Organic Dark Chocolate

We loved the peppermint flavour of this one, it was really fresh. We were impressed that all the flavoured chocolate bars in the range had good strong flavours.

So Free Espresso Dark Chocolate

This was definitely a favourite for us! The coffee flavour is really rich and the scent hits you the second you open the packet. It pairs nicely with the dark chocolate, and the smaller 35g bar size makes this a nice treat option. The packet says ‘No Added Sugar’, but you really won’t miss it!

So Free Cool Mint Dark Chocolate

Another 35g bar option that would be perfect for throwing into a lunchbox or handbag. Again, a nice strong, fresh minty flavour. This bar is also labelled ‘No Added Sugar’.

So Free Organic White Chocolate Alternative

Vegan white chocolate can be hard to find, so this is a really nice option to have. The chocolate is creamy and sweet without being too sickly, a definite bonus.

So Free Smooth Cocoa and Coconut

This Cocoa and Coconut is labelled ‘Less than 4% Sugars’ so it’s a great option if you don’t want too much sugar. The coconut flavour is noticeable without being overwhelming, and the texture is slightly different to the other bars.

So Free Organic Dark Chocolate Sweetened with Coconut Blossom Sugar

We really enjoyed this bar — it’s sweeter than dark chocolate usually is, without losing any of the richness. We haven’t come across any other chocolate that’s sweetened using coconut blossom sugar and would definitely get this bar again.

This range definitely has something for everyone — our personal favourites were the Espresso Dark Chocolate and the Dark Chocolate Sweetened with Coconut Blossom Sugar. We love that Plamil have so many different types of chocolate, offer low sugar and organic options, and are committed to using renewable energy.

Want to check out the full Plamil So Free vegan chocolate range? Head over to the Plamil website. You can also find Easter eggs, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day gifts, chocolate spreads, and advent calendars.

Have you tried any of the So Free chocolate bars? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media!

P.S. We were sent these chocolate bars for free, but all opinions are genuine.

Wicked Kitchen Red Velvet Brownie Review

Have you tried the new Wicked Kitchen Red Velvet Brownie yet? It’s one of two new sweet options from the range, which is sold at Tesco. If you’re not sure whether to splash out on the brownie, this review should help!

Price

The brownie weighs 390g and costs £4.50, which we don’t think is too bad. It might seem more expensive than other chilled cakes but pre-made vegan desserts are still quite rare, and this is the kind of thing you’d buy for a birthday or special treat. It’s also large and rich enough to serve a decent number of people.

Appearance

The brownie looks delicious straight out of the box. It’s a neat square that’s kept in shape by extra cardboard and is topped with red lustred cocoa nibs which make it look a bit fancy. There’s a good brownie to icing ratio and it’s easy to cut into neat pieces.

Taste

The brownie has a rich, chocolate-y taste without being overly sweet. The raspberry flavour really comes through in the chocolate and raspberry ganache. We’d say you only need a small piece, which makes the dessert go a pretty long way. The brownie is quite dense with a nice cake-y texture. We reckon any chocolate fan will enjoy this — so long as they like raspberries.

We enjoyed the brownie chilled but it can also be microwaved or heated in the oven — a nice option for cold winter nights.

Verdict

We really enjoyed this brownie and think it could make a great vegan birthday cake, office treat, or dessert for a family dinner. The price seems fair for what you get and the flavour is really good — we’re sure non-vegans would enjoy it just as much as vegans.

Have you tried the Wicked Red Velvet Brownie? What about the Charred Pineapple Dream Cake?

Let us know what you thought below and feel free to request other product reviews.

 

Free From Italy Vegan Panettone With Chocolate Review

Have you been searching high and low for a vegan panettone? Or are you just looking for a tasty alternative to traditional Christmas cake? You’re in the right place! This week we were sent the Free From Italy Vegan Panettone with Chocolate to review — keep reading to find out what we thought.

Packaging

This panettone comes in this really nice cardboard box. It’s a good size (500g) and definitely looks fancy enough to give as a gift. There’s a nice label tied to the box with ribbon and this lists the ingredients and gives some details about the sourdough method which is used to bake the product.

Appearance

Once out of the box, the panettone looks good — it’s got some nice decorative edging and a good shape, with plenty of chocolate chips visible.

Taste

The smell of chocolate hits you as soon as you take the panettone out of its packaging and cutting into the cake reveals a generous number of chocolate chips.

The bread tastes sweet but not overwhelmingly so, and the chocolate chips are rich and delicious. You can definitely tell that the product is made using sourdough — it has a distinctive ‘tang’. Overall, we’d say the taste and texture are quite similar to a chocolate chip brioche.

We thought the taste was great — just sweet enough, nice and chocolate-y, and a good texture. If you’re not keen on sourdough then it might not be right for you, but otherwise we would highly recommend giving this product a try.

Where to Buy

You can buy the Free From Italy Vegan Panettone With Chocolate at selected branches of Morrisons this Christmas. It’s also available online via Ocado or the Free From Italy website. If you’re not keen on chocolate, there’s also a more traditional version which contains sultanas.

Are you a fan of panettone? Will you be testing one of these this Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!

 

The Happy Pear Shepherdless Pie Review

Waitrose now have a dedicated vegan fridge in many of their stores, and they’ve added some great new products to their range – including this vegan shepherd’s pie from The Happy Pear. Curious about whether or not it’s worth buying? We’ve put together a quick review to help you out.

The Shepherdless Pie is a good size for a single person, and could probably serve two if you cooked extra veg to go on the side. It looks really appealing in the box and the packaging is attractive.

Cooking

We chose to cook it in the oven, but there was also a microwave option which is nice and convenient. The cooking directions were easy to follow and didn’t need any adjustment.

Taste

The shepherdless pie tasted great – there was a nice mix of lentils, tomatoes, and vegetables for the filling, and a good amount of mashed potato on top. The seasoning looked like it might be a bit too much, but the flavour was actually perfect.

The meal is really tasty, but it’s also mild enough to be ideal for children or those who don’t like intense spice/seasoning. It’s a lovely twist on a warm, comforting classic, and would be especially nice on chilly winter evenings.

Price

The price at the time of writing was £3.60, which we think is pretty decent, and a makes it a little cheaper than the Wicked Kitchen vegan ready meals at Tesco.

Our Verdict

We give this ready meal a solid 5/5 and will definitely purchase it again. Great option when you’re in a hurry but still want something that’s tasty, healthy, and similar to a homecooked meal.

Have you tried The Happy Pear Shepherdless Pie, or any of the other new vegan products at Waitrose? Get in touch and let us know what you thought!

Tesco Meat Free Fishless Fishcakes Review (Vegan Fishcakes!)

Seen the new fishless fishcakes from Tesco and wondering if they’re worth a try? Check out the review below to find out what we thought of their appearance, taste, and texture. The fishcakes are available in the frozen section, come in a pack of four, and currently cost £1.75.
The fishcakes certainly look the part and we were excited to see if they lived up to their appearance.
The breadcrumb exterior both looks authentic and is pleasantly crunchy and well-seasoned. The innards once again look the part – however, this is where the similarity ends. Our disappointment was that there seems to have been little attempt to replicate the fishy flavour of the real thing. One imagines this might have been achieved with a dash of dried kelp, perhaps?

The potato content was fine, albeit quite ‘heavy’ in texture and we missed the smattering of herbs we would have expected, which, along with the slight scent of the sea, define the taste of real fishcakes. It reminded us of the core of a chip shop potato scallop except with a more glutinous quality and no sense of a flaky fish texture.

Overall, these are an adequate carbohydrate hit, with the crunchy exterior being their best feature. Smothered in salt and vinegar and tomato sauce, they would make an acceptable quick snack but don’t really match what we hoped for from a vegan fishcake. For comparison try Quorn Fishless Fingers – a much better simulation in our opinion.

Have you tried the Tesco fishless fishcakes? Let us know what you thought in the comments or on social media!

 

Tesco Free From Cheese with Peppercorns Review

Seen this fancy looking vegan cheese with peppercorns at Tesco and wondering if it’s worth buying? We’re sharing a quick review that should help you to decide.

The cheese is coconut-oil based, but also contains oats and soya. It’s currently priced at £2.50.

Sold in a pleasingly circular package, we think this cheese would work really well as a dinner party cheeseboard centrepiece – but it’s also fun for everyday snacking. The colourful mix of peppercorns on top look cheerful and classy.

We tested it both on its own and on cream crackers and liked it both ways. It has a pleasingly firm consistency but is soft enough to spread so could be eaten in little wedges (yum!) or on crackers. Although we tried it on plain crackers, we think it would also work well with saltier varieties.

The cheese itself is very mild but still has a definite cheesy flavour. It’s the peppercorns that give it that real kick and elevate it to something a bit more ‘wow’.

Would we buy it again? Yes, definitely – a good one to have in the fridge for snacking is our verdict.

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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.