During a recent conversation with a friend regarding what we are missing in Newcastle food-wise, we both bemoaned the lack of something geared towards healthier choices. While Heaton and Gosforth have a Naked Deli, we struggled to suggest anywhere other than Camber Coffee to a gym bunny friend of ours. I’m loathe to use the term ‘clean eating’, especially when we’re also discussing veganism, because of the ‘fad’ connotation. I have no issue with those who want to reduce/cut out fats, etc., I am just wary of a) purporting to know anything about that sort of diet and b) I (kind of) follow the notion that everything is OK in moderation.
When I discovered Aurora Kitchen had opened last week behind the Sandman hotel near St. James’ I knew Many would be interested to find out more. Attached to a gym – so a similar set up to The Pineapple Cafe in Alnwick – Aurora are serving up a range of dishes that are focused on eating healthy. I messaged ahead of my visit to see whether vegans were accommodated and was told that they were keen to create an even larger selection of alternatives as they appreciated how beneficial a vegan diet can be to the environment and to the body. Hurrah!
I popped along for my supper with a friend (also vegan) and we both ordered from the standard menu. There are markings for vegetarian options but nothing as yet to denote vegan. Everything is available to takeaway too, so those on the go can pop in and grab something from their selection.
I chose the Naked Burrito Bowl and asked for the chicken to be subbed with falafel instead. While the presentation of the falafel was a little ‘unorthodox’, the flavours were spot on. The tomato and bean stew it was served with had a good kick of chilli. I was also informed that their flatbread was also vegan.
My friend chose the Beetroot Burger, which was topped with all manner of accompanying vegetables. You can’t have a burger and not have fries, and Aurora offer a sweet potato version as a lower carb alternative. Unlike the burger I recently had at The Herb Garden at the Harbour, this was a well made patty that held together during the eating.
Other vegan choices include a Sweet Potato Curry and a Falafel Board, which features our absolute favourite product – hummus! The menu features lots of steak, eggs, halloumi and Quorn, so there’s plenty for all dietary choices. Prices were reasonable too, especially given its city centre location. We found the staff helpful and friendly, and there was a relaxed atmosphere. With free wifi available I’ll be popping for a working lunch from time to time.
I was told that once Aurora find their feet operationally they are planning on adding another 8 vegan choices to their repertoire after inviting in a vegan chef from Australia to consult on their menu. This will include more breakfast and main courses, which is great news.
While we were there the chef came out with a sample of some sweets he was working on. Made with a mix of Medjool dates, peanut butter, and dark chocolate, these were rich and decadent. Even Dinky was keen to give them a try!
We’ll keep you posted on as and when the menu expands but, in the meantime, if you fancy a healthy alternative in the city centre you should give Aurora Kitchen a try.
Thanks for reading,