Bear & Natural Kitchen, Heaton – Review
Following on from our rather successful visit to Pulp Fiction Future Food before I started Veganuary, I decided to try out more of these ‘clean eating’ places. I’d been actively avoiding them after consuming a really bland burger at The Naked Deli in Gosforth, fearing that all healthy vegan food would be equally tasteless. Finding that I enjoyed the dairy and meat-free food on offer at PF showed me there was a world of fresh tasting dishes out there for me to sample, if I’d only get over my pathological dislike of raw ‘Bounty’ bars and protein snacks that look like they belong on a bird table.A friend told me a new cafe had opened on Heaton Road serving things along a similar vein, so I decided to give it a try. I found myself in Bear & Natural Kitchen after a lunchtime rush and was faced with a depleted fridge. There is, however, an extensive menu available for those wanting a protein fix revolving around meat, but for vegans the options are more limited. If you don’t eat eggs, for whatever reason, things like their pancakes are off-limits.
I asked what I could order, stating I was vegan, saving me the time of wading through the options and trying to cobble something together myself. The Winter Vegetable Soup (£3.50) was ok, as was the Sweet Potato with their own homemade beans. I enquired about the pizzas on offer, which have bases made from chickpea flour rather than standard dough. Usually made with protein powder (which contains whey), they were able to adapt the recipe to omit this on request. Without the mozzarella the Vegetarian was therefore suitable for me.
Similar to Al Volo’s Farinata, I found Bear & Natural’s pizza to be extremely filling. Topped with lots of fresh vegetables, many in the cafe were asking to take theirs away as they couldn’t finish them Wimps.Food is made to order and you can sit in or take away. There are salads and meals on offer to ‘grab and go’, but there weren’t many left when I visited. With a steady stream of folk wearing gym kits, they’re clearly popular with those who are wholeheartedly embracing their New Year’s Resolutions. I hope this continues as it is nice to see a new independent supported within its local community. The menu is thoughtfully labelled with the nutritional content of the food, which is not often seen when dining out. If there’s a substantial vegan option created in the future for breakfast I think I’ll drag Mr. Canny along.
Thanks for reading,