Vegans do not miss out, it is official. I mean, any sane person would take one look at this food and agree. The Black Cat Cafe in Hackney is a non-for-profit, cooperatively run eatery with a lovely relaxed vibe. It’s worth visiting at the weekend for a full on breakfast alone. Involving mushrooms, scrambled tofu, bacon, sausage, beans and a whopping great pancake, you won’t be disappointed. Based on this, it was pretty obvious that the “Artisan vegan ‘meats’ supper night” was going to be a joy to behold!
Viewing the menu caused immediate excitement, which swiftly turned into an aggressively contagious case of eyes-bigger-than-your-belly-syndrome. Ordering everything but the soup, cries of “what have we done?!” soon emanated from our table. However, like true soldiers, we dug deep and ploughed through it. There is very little that descriptions of the food can add to the photos. So feast your eyes…
The mozzarella sticks were deliciously crunchy and melty and tasted great with the bacon.
Nachos topped with salty mince and melted cheese with a side of fresh guacamole was a triumph.
The chorizo baguette was spicy and flavoursome, great with the accompanying fresh salad and fries.
The sliced Yuba meat tasted delicious with the sweet vegetable mash and rich gravy.
The Buffalo wings were something else! The tofu was prepared on a bamboo “bone” and was covered in a sticky, BBQ flavoured sauce along side some fresh, crunchy broccoli.
Plates were cleared aside from two small doggie bags! A long discussion ensued on whether or not it was possible to squeeze in some cheesecake. But as soon as one spoonful was sampled, it was easy to forget the full tummy and polish it off! So much flavour and a delightfully creamy texture. YUM!
It was an honour to be able to meet the excellent chefs behind this meaty feast. Their passion for cooking vegan food, that is enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike, was clear. They echoed a sentiment which is central to my greedy gob philosophy; this kind of food demonstrates that being vegan does not have to meant leaving behind foods you are used to eating.
Javier Suarez, Jonathon Brayley and Nacho Gómez. The complete dudes responsible for the compassionate meat feast!
For many people, transitioning from meat eater, to a diet which excludes animal products, or for those who think being vegan means eating only salad and seeds, this kind of food provides the proof that delicious dining can be compassionate. Almost any animal based food dish can be recreated, minus the use of our furry, scaly or feathery friends!
So when the next supper night at the Black Cat Cafe happens, gather a bunch of your most skeptical buddies (or maybe you are one of those skeptics) and dare them to sample this unquestionably delicious food!
Check out Part II of this epic journey!