Sunday, 21 June 2015

Eating Out in Leeds... Bundobust

Bundobust is a craft beer bar and Indian street food kitchen, which opened in Leeds about a year ago. I spent such a long time thinking "I really should go and check it out", but it was only recently that I finally got around to it. All I can say is... why did I wait so long?!

They describe themselves not as a restaurant, but as "a bar that sells Indian street food with an extensive selection of the world’s best craft beer". Now, I don't know much about beer but Mr Hatter was mighty pleased with their selection. The beer menu is superbly labelled, with a note to say that everything was vegan unless otherwise stated. Mr Hatter chose the Coriander Pilsner, which I believe was on tap that day. He was very impressed. I opted for a cocktail instead, once I was finally able to make a decision!



BRAMBLE

Classic British cocktail. Portobello Gin, Creme De Cassis & lemon juice.



So pretty! The guys at the bar did forget to bring me my cocktail until Mr Hatter went to remind them, but they were very apologetic and I can confirm that it was worth the wait!



Food-wise, we decided to share a variety of dishes so that we could try lots of different things. Again, the menu is brilliantly labelled, clearly stating which dishes are vegan and/or gluten free.



ONION GOBI BHAJI BHAJI (v, gf)
The ultimate bhaji. Onion, cauliflower & spinach. Served with a tamarind & red pepper chutney.

VEG RICE DRY FRY (v, gf) NEW
Basmati rice stir fried with green chilli, mushrooms, peas & peppers.

BHEL PURI (v)
Samosa pastry, puffed rice, turmeric noodles, red onion, tomato & tamarind chutney. Served cold.

DHAL & RICE (v,gf) NEW
Black lentil curry cooked low and slow with ginger, garam massala & chillies. Served with basmati rice.

POPCORN & POPS (v, gf)
Popcorn & mini popadoms tossed in green chilli & garlic oil.




We picked two each (mine were the Dhal & Rice and Popcorn & Pops), and shared the Bhel Puri - although we did both have a taste of everything. 

The Veg Rice and Dhal & Rice were both full of flavour and would be great as a quick lunch - you probably wouldn't even need anything else with it. The Popcorn & Pops tasted brilliant but unfortunately I found them a little on the greasy side. The bhaji was wonderful, and the tamarind & red pepper chutney sublime. Mr Hatter doesn't like chutney but he raved about this one!

And finally, my favourite - the Bhel Puri. I really wasn't sure what to expect with this dish. A cold dish made of pastry, puffed rice and noodles? I had to try it... Oh my. The textures came together beautifully and the tomato & tamarind chutney topped it off perfectly. I need to eat more of this wondrous dish.



The atmosphere in Bundobust was lovely and chilled. It felt like a very laid back place to go and grab a nice drink and a bite to eat. We did go quite early though (maybe 5pm?) as we were on the way to the cinema. I can see it getting pretty busy later on in the evening.

I'll definitely be going back and would recommend it to anyone looking for good vegan food in Leeds, or even just a place to get a nice relaxed drink.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Goody Good Stuff Sweets

A while ago now, the lovely people at Goody Good Stuff offered me a sample pack of their various sweets to review. Obviously I accepted! (Who turns down free stuff?!) I came home one day to find this waiting for me:


How cute?!

I had previously tried some Goody Good Stuff sweets, but some of their range used to contain beeswax. However, vegans of the world can now celebrate as they have replaced the beeswax with a blend of coconut oil - yay! Gummy sweets for all!

Goody Good Stuff make jelly sweets, based around a natural plant based gel rather than gelatine. Their sweets are free from all major allergens, use natural colours, and have been 100% vegan since January 2015.

Anyway, on to the tasting!

First up had to be the "Cola Breeze" fizzy cola bottles. These tasted great and had just the right amount of sourness. I enjoyed the texture, but it's not quite how I remember cola bottles. That could be because I've not had them for years though! A big thumbs up on this flavour.


Next were the "Koala Gummy Bears". I really enjoyed the flavours in these, they really did remind me of gummy bears! I used to love gummy bears... and the TV show was ace too!


Here we have the "Sour Mix & Match" - wonderfully sour and deliciously chewy. Cheeky Koala optional.


I wasn't really sure what to expect from the "Strawberry Cream" but they were nice. I preferred the strawberry drops to the cream ones, as they had a better (in my opinion) texture, but I enjoyed the taste of both.


"Summer Peaches" were a sneaky cinema snack when we went to see Mad Max (which is AMAZING!). Another sour bag, another win for me! Mr Hatter isn't a huge fan of sour sweets so I got these all to myself!


The "Cheery Cherries" were brought out for a night in playing Heroes of the Storm - welcome to my geeky side! Despite not being one of the sour flavours, these were up there as one of my favourites.


The "Sour Fruit Salad" came on a business trip to London with me - it's a good job I had my little koala friend to keep me company! These sweeties didn't last long...


And last but not least, we have the "Tropical Fruit" sweets. I wasn't as keen on the flavours in this bag but I ate them all so that says something!


All in all, I had a wonderful times trying out all the different sweeties. I'll definitely be buying some of the sour ones again, along with the cherries and gummy bears. If I had to pick a favourite, I think it would be the "Sour Mix & Match"... mmm, I could eat some sour sweets right about now...

Oh, did you notice my mission to get the cute koala toy into each photo! I think I can count that mission as accomplished!







Please note: I was sent these sweets to sample and review for free. All opinions are my own.

The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival

Today I shall try to catch up on some of the blogs that I have neglected to post due to that pesky thing called life. I'm not really sure where to start, so I'm going to start at the end and work backwards, because... LOGIC!

As you may have noticed if you follow me on Facebook, I went to The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival last week - as a stallholder!


This was a huge thing for me. It was my biggest event yet, and my first all-vegan event. I had a few mishaps in the kitchen while I was getting ready (you know those days where everything that can go wrong will go wrong... yeah, that happened), but despite being terrified I had an amazing day. The atmosphere was wonderful, the people we spoke to were all lovely, and there was some super tasty food! (Food is all I ever really want from a vegan festival...)

It was so busy...


Everyone seemed to be having a really great time, and there were a lot of people with questions about vegan baking, which was great! I found a lot of older ladies asking me how to bake without eggs - it felt very strange to be the teacher in that situation!

I bought some new bits and bobs for the stall, seeing as it was such a huge event:

New banner!

Everyone loved this!
We took a selection of cake related items. The meringues went super quickly. After those, the cupcakes and almond raspberry cake were probably the most popular.




 



By 4pm, we'd sold out. We managed to pack up and beat the rush to get out, which meant we were home at a decent time. I even had time to take a look around for myself before we packed up, but all I ended up buying was food! (No surprise there...)

I bought my amazing lunch from the Teatime Collective stall opposite us. I'd been able to smell their burgers all day and when I finally had time to queue up for one it did not disappoint. Far from it. I would highly recommend their mushroom burger. I was so hungry by that point, I didn't even think about taking a photo though!

I also bought some fancy artisan cheese from Tyne Chease, which we cracked open last night. Very tasty - I got the garlic and herb cheese and we had it on seitan sandwiches. I wonder what we'll use the rest on... Excuse me while I dream of cheese...

Some other snaps from the day:
A rare moment of calm (snapped by my mum)
And an action shot - again, thanks to mum's photography
My lunch!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A Letter To My Readers

Dearest Lovely Readers

I apologise for the recent void of blog posts, things have been pretty hectic lately! The wait will be worth it though, I have some great posts coming up for you - including The Vegan Kind Boxes 19 & 20 (plus a recipe made with one of the #TVK20 ingredients!), Vegan Life Issue 6, my first experience as a trader at a vegan festival (!), a whirlwind trip to London, and much more!

Love, Mrs Hatter



P.S. Here are a few glimpses of some of the things that have been keeping me so busy: