On the 1st July 2017 I was told to visit Kells Lane Food Market to try out a new vegan business that was launching at the event. That day I met two lovely people passionate about veganism and serving up excellent food free from cruelty. You can read about my first experience of Vegano here.
Fast forward 18 or so months you’ll find husband and wife team Russ and Nat have officially opened their first restaurant today (23rd Jan). We were invited along ahead of the launch for a sneaky peek of the interior and the food that will be served up at Vegano Cafe in their Blandford Square location.
I happened to be Vegano’s first customer when they launched at Kells Lane so it seemed apt I was their ‘first foot’ at their launch event. We were impressed by the decor but, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything less than stylish based on how much attention to detail Nat and Russ put into their food truck. The same colours and theme tie the two together, and the horse box will still be a regular at the Quayside market and other events despite the new location.
The menu, for the first few weeks at least, isn’t going to be rigid. The plan is to serve vegan breakfast options in the morning, some of the classics like their popular burgers over lunch and then revert to a special menu on an evening. The restaurant will be running different opening hours during the first week, too. This allows the team to bed into service and find their feet operating in this new way for them. Wed-Friday Vegano will be open 10-6, while on Saturday they extend opening to 8pm.
What about the food, I hear you shout! We were served up taster plates of food you’ll see on the menu. As Nat has Italian blood running through her veins she knows her stuff when it comes to good pomodoro, so the different Bruschetta we were offered were spot on. Pizettas were served with a classic marinara sauce and no vegan cheese because there was no need for any extra adornment.
We tried out vegan scallops made with mushroom on black pudding, as well as homemade meatballs. Both were excellent and I’m looking forward to trying them out as part of their menu once everything is up and running.
Vegano are also stocking doughnuts from Glazed, a local business which also attends the Quayside market. What has become evident to me in the time I’ve known Nat and Russ is that they care and support other independents. Rather than be territorial, Nat is full of praise for other vegan restaurants like Grumpy Panda. It’s this generosity of spirit which warns you to them and makes you feel welcome in their new home.
Desserts were Tiramisu and Chocolate Torte. Both were well executed and moreish. Due to my dislike of coffee I tried the torte and felt the coulis and ice cream accompaniment stopped it from being sickly.
I have come across as a total fan girl, I know, but we’re genuinely excited and happy to see Vegano grow in the way it has. Going in during service will give us a better idea of what the menu is like and we’ll be doing this soon. All I can say is that we wish Nat, Russ and the team all the best and hope the community rally round to support in the upcoming months. For more information check out their website here.
Thanks for reading,