Having more Sunday lunch options for vegetarians and vegans in the North East is something I actively want to encourage. Risotto or salad are not suitable meals to have on the Lord’s Day. We may not want to eat meat but we can eat lots of other alternatives instead. With a new Linda McCartney ‘Beef’ Roast available in supermarkets and Nut Roasts not too difficult to knock together it seems a shame we can’t walk into a pub and see a ‘proper’ dinner option on the menu.
Recently opened Aurora Kitchen have recently launched a Sunday Lunch service and I was thrilled to hear they were tackling vegan Yorkshire Puddings as part of their offering. Having been impressed by the food on our first visit I had high hopes for roast dinner.
I took along my meat eating son and sister so they could give me their opinions on the other options. The Teen ordered Slow Cooked Pulled Pork while Lucy chose the Chicken Breast. It was good to see gluten free Yorkshire Puddings and gravy mentioned as I know many people with intolerances also struggle with this Sunday institution.
As a vegan people will expect me to think that any meat is an unappealing sight – which is true to an extent – but I don’t think the ‘dollop’ on the Teen’s plate would look appetising to anyone truthfully. Even he raised his eyebrows, but he said it tasted so much better than it was presented as on the plate.
My sister opted for the ‘clean’ version as she’s a big fan of sweet potato. She left most of her meat as she said it was dry. The mash was creamy and the gravy thick and ‘meaty’, but the side portion of vegetables were disappointingly on the overcooked side.
Having made my own vegan Yorkshire Puddings I know how hard it is to perfect the recipe. It took me months of soggy bottoms and pancake-like attempts before I managed the ones pictured above. Without eggs getting a rise is an art. While mine aren’t exactly like the original, they are pretty good. Unfortunately the ones from Aurora had a hard exterior which made them difficult to cut. Inside was quite stodgy still, but my sister said her ‘regular’ version was like this too. Room for improvement but still pleased to see them on the menu.
The Caramelised Onion Roast was quite bland and the gravy was thin. I felt the whole plate needed a good season, to be honest. I dislike food waste so ate it all, but there were times where it felt like a chore to finish the nut roast in particular.
The restaurant was very busy and I’d suggest making a reservation if you’re wanting to see for yourself what it’s like. Only the Teen seemed really happy with what he ate and I couldn’t help but feel that lunch at The Ship would have been more enjoyable for me. £9.95 is a reasonable price for a city centre pub lunch, although clearly there was a lot of work to be done in terms of the standard and quality of the food on offer here.
Thanks for reading,
Wanting a Sunday lunch now? Check out our Newcastle vegetarian and vegan guide here.