Kitch Cafe – Restaurant Review

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Today I went out for lunch with my friend Leah in a cafe overlooking Canterbury highstreet on possibly its busiest day so far this year. I was very glad to separate myself from the heaving crowds and sit down to choose my lunch. Naturally I’d pored over the menu before I got there, but I still took at least 10 minutes to make up my mind.

After a great deal of deliberation I chose the Hot & Spicy Cacao, which was spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne. I expected it to be much hotter as I know from experience of cooking with cayenne that it only takes a tiny pinch to go from mild to extreme fiery spiciness, but surprisingly it was very mild – the sweetness introduced by the maple syrup overpowered the spice somewhat. I’d definitely order again, but I think I’d called it “spiced” over “spicy”.

 

 

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look at that froth

 

For my actual lunch I contemplated pretty much every vegan option on the menu, which includes both vegan options and substitutions which can be made to vegetarian dishes. Yay, variety! I went for the Supergreen Sandwich, which comes with either the Supergreen Salad or the Soup of the Day. I went for a salad – hot thick soup on a very warm day is not particularly appealing to me, at least not for lunch!

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The sandwich was so fresh and healthy, and the salty richness of the sun-dried tomato pesto has opened me up to a whole new world of pesto possibilities… I’m definitely going to have a go at making it soon. The side of salad was refreshing and the courgettes were cooked to perfection (according to my preferences which refuse to include squishy, soggy courgettes). I also really enjoyed the crunch of the flaked almonds which brought a whole new dimension to the texture of the sandwich.

The only amendment I would have made to my meal concerns the sourdough bread. While the flavour was everything a sourdough should be –  wholesome and delicious –  it was a tad difficult to chew and left my jaws in need of a rest half way through.  That doesn’t mean much though, as I still finished the whole thing and would probably have eaten another right after if I had the space for it!

Rating: 8/10

I’ll definitely be going back to try more of their vegan options soon!

Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies by Blissfully Basil – RECIPE REVIEW

Those with a sweet-tooth who have renounced dairy will at some point come to the inevitable problem: how will I bake?! In fact, I remember when I was 17 and first considering making the commitment to eating a cruelty-free diet, my then-boyfriend considered the idea ridiculous. I specifically remember him asking, with a horrified look on his face, “what about baked goods?!” Substitutes were simply not an option for him – for those who are more traditional, butter and eggs hold great importance in the field of baking.

Fast forward 4 years and I’m happily vegan and rid of the miserable male who ridiculed my dietary choices. Double win! However, I realised recently that I hardly ever bake. Well, that obviously had to change…

 

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offering a plate of cookies to my partner Adam… at about 2am

 

Being pretty much a novice to vegan baking, I naturally  had a browse of as many recipes as I could find (which consisted mainly of the ingredients I already had in my cupboard…) The decision I came to?  Peanut butter cookies. But wait! Even better! I found a recipe for almond and peanut butter cookies. And I had both in my cupboard! Amazing.

This particular recipe was written by Ashley, the owner of a blog, which is actually new to me, called Blissful Basil. It can be found here: https://www.blissfulbasil.com/soft-and-tender-peanut-butter-cookies-vegan-and-gluten-free/

While I don’t have a gluten intolerance, I opted for gluten-free flour. Aside from seeming a little more crumbly before they had fully cooled, this hardly made a difference. Rather the opposite, actually – I tried the recipe again a few days later with plain flour and preferred the previous batch!

The recipe was very easy to follow – the instructions are clear and simple, as they should be. The only problem I came across was the cooking time. The directions advised 8-10 minutes in the oven, however my cookies were still very soft at this point and didn’t quite look ready. I left them for another 3-5 minutes and found they were much better after this.

I’m sure I’ve rambled about them enough by now, so how did they look? These are my results from trying this recipe. My housemates were very happy with them, so I think they were an all-round success!

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Recipe rating: 8.5/10

Recipe source: https://www.blissfulbasil.com/

Vegan food at YO! Sushi – review

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YO! Sushi has been one of my restaurants of choice for a while now, particularly since their vegan menu expanded. Seeing a new vegan option (or more!) is one of the best feelings, and it definitely influences my opinions on a brand, restaurant or chain.

It generally takes a lot for me to visit somewhere more than once a month – my very erratic tastes and desire for variety often come in the way of becoming a regular customer. YO! Sushi is so good that I’ve been twice in the last two weeks.

Being a student, the Blue Monday offer where 45 of the dishes are only £2.90(?!) very much attracted my attention and allowed me to justify to myself yet another meal out…

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Last night I went with Adam to celebrate him handing his last assignment in. Woohoo! I tried the new Spicy Cauliflower which, in my opinion, stole the show. The crispy coating was just the right amount of salty, the spice didn’t leave my eyes watering and my throat cursing me for choosing sadistically painful menu items, and the texture of the actual caulifower inside was perfect.

I rarely cook with or choose cauliflower, but this dish has forced me to take a step back and re-evaulate my childish mistakes. The idea of liking cauliflower was pretty much ruined for me the times I was cursed with lukewarm, squishy, watery mouthfuls of it, but the crunch and freshness to this dish has totally changed my opinion on the poor, pale vegetable.

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The next dish I ordered was one I’d had before but which in my usual tradition of refusing to double-order, I had neglected for at least a year. This was the Pumpkin Katsu Curry. Another winner for me, although not quite as satisfying as the Tofu Curry Katsu, however that’s just down to my obscene tofu obsession.

The curry sauce is warming and slightly hot, and provides a nice contrast with the sweet, soft pumpkin inside crispy panko breadcrumbs. The only flaw I could add is that unlike the Tofu Katsu Curry, which comes with 3 pieces of tofu, this dish falls slightly short with only 2 pumpkin pieces, which left me slightly unsatisfied (and with a lot of plain rice).

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The last picture of this post is from last Monday, when I was in the midst of trudging through a significantly horrifying amount of assignments, I decided the best way to deal with it was to go to Bluewater and visit YO! Sushi with a friend and ignore the assignments entirely.

This time I had the new Edamame and Spinach Gyoza. As with the other two dishes, they were delightfully crispy. I think crispiness might be a key to pleasing my tastebuds. I’ll have to keep that in mind. Anyway, the gyozas were green, yummy, and £2.90, so an all-round winner for me.