There is nothing I like more when the Winter months are approaching and the temperature is beginning to dip than a nice cosy pub that serves delicious food, delicious vegan food of course. Last week we visited The Old Bull and Bush in Hampstead to try their vegan food and we were very impressed by the amount of thought that had gone in to designing this wholesome vegan menu.
There were quite a few vegan options for starters, mains and dessert, as well as additional sides that could be ordered too, which we were happy about, as we arrived very hungry and ready to eat! To start we ordered some drinks a strawberry and pomegranate cider, (complete with fresh strawberries), that the waiter was only too happy to confirm for us was vegan, as well as an Elderflower Sherbet, a non alcoholic drinks, consisting of elderflower, cloudy apple and finished with lemonade, in a glass decorated with lemon slices. It is always nice as the designated driver to have a drink that is a little bit different from the norm, this drink was so refreshing and a great sober selection, for anyone who doesn’t want to drink.
When it came to ordering our food it took us, what felt like a lifetime to order as we just could not decide all of the options sounded so tasty. We eventually decided to go for the falafel, which came with a Lebanese style dip and toast to dip with, it was absolutely delicious. The falafel was excellently seasoned and cooked just to our liking. The dish was presented very well and it made for a very tasty start to the evening.
Alongside the falafel we ordered the soup as I was craving a hearty wholesome soup, the soup of the day was white onion, which I don’t believe I have ever had before but had my heart set on soup so ordered it excitedly. The soup, served with toasted ciabatta was delicious, it surpassed all of my expectations, the onions we sweet where they had been sweated down and the soup was outstanding. It was the perfect consistency and the perfect warming starter that was made even better with the addition of the toasted ciabatta for dipping.
For mains, we opted for the roasted butternut squash and sweet potato tart and the spiced coconut curry. Both seemed so satisfyingly warming, exactly what we were looking for. There were other options we were also torn between but agreed we would have to come back at another time to test them out!
The tart pastry is hands down the best pastry I have ever eaten, it was perfect! It made the most decadent casing for this decadent tart filled with roasted butternut squash, moreish confit tomatoes, seasonal leeks, sweet potato and roasted peppers all topped with an incredible leek sauce.
The tart was a surprisingly filling tart too, however I of course had room to taste the curry and the delcatable pan fried broccoli side that was served in a chipotle dressing sent from the heavens. We kept dipping our food in the dressing as it was absolutely delicious and next time we agreed we would order a side each, though the sides are a very good size for the reasonable price, (we are just hungry people!).
The spice coconut curry came presented in such an original way with a scorched red chilli offering extra height and spice to the dish, I did try to eat the whole chilli but a few bites were more than enough, even for an experienced spice girl like me! The curry was so satisfying, perfect for this time of year, ultimate soul food with the aromats of Ras el hanout running through this wholesome dish, or roasted squash and sweet potato accompanied by perfectly sticky jasmine rice.
We were finally full after devouring these mains which meant we didn’t have room for a dessert but we liked it so much and will be returning again so soon that we don’t feel like we are missing out (too much). I would recommend this as a place to go for a romantic meal or a family dinner, both were being accommodated for whilst we were there and the waiters were so attentive and kind.
I believe Leo was the gentleman serving us and he was superb. So willing to help us with any questions we had nothing was too much for him, always with a smile on his face. With the decor so gorgeously cosy, the staff so attentive and kind and the food so unbelievably tasty, this is one of our favourite new finds in London and we intend to make it a regular restaurant for us!