Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

10/04/2010

Japan: Hotel breakfast buffets

Filed under: Eating out — Tags: , , , , , — Feòrag @ 01:24

I go to a lot of science fiction conventions, all over the world, and the breakfast buffet is something I universally avoid unless I’m really starving and need some beans on toast. All there is for me usually is cereal (if I’ve remembered some soya milk), the toast, beans, hash browns and maybe the mushrooms depending on how they’re cooked.

I am currently in a hotel in Ōmiya, a little north of Tokyo. I already know that the traditional japanese breakfast is miso soup, rice and pickles, plus some leftovers, and breakfast is included in the room rate so I thought I’d give it a go.

Today’s breakfast was: simmered silken tofu topped with ginger; various pickles including a bright blue plum of some sort; hijiki salad; herb konnyaku with mustard, some toasted nori (sprinkled on the second batch of tofu) and a bowl of multigrain rice. If I had brought my little bottle of shōyu with me, I’d have had nattō, too (suspect fish in the little sachets provided). To drink I had acerola juice and the coffee, which was naff, so I changed to hojicha (roasted green tea). I will be buying stocks of hojicha when I get home!

I will also be eating breakfast this weekend.

20/03/2010

Vegan Breakfast at The Auld Hoose, Edinburgh

Filed under: Eating out, Pub grub — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 14:37

Vegan Breakfast at the Auld Hoose

Vegan Breakfast at the Auld Hoose with sausages, haggis, beans, mushrooms, hash browns, onions and fried bread.


One of the things that pains me about Edinburgh is that since Susie’s Wholefood Diner stopped doing Sunday brunch over a decade ago, there’s not really been a good option for a vegan breakfast. Roseleaf in Leith comes close with their “Leafer”, if you exchange the egg for something else, but they have no substitute for the butter. It does include spinach, though, which makes me happy.

My problem is that I have not been looking under my own nose at one of my regular drinking establishments – The Auld Hoose on St. Leonard’s Street. Perhaps it’s because I’m rarely in there before 5pm, when they stop serving breakfast?

The Auld Hoose is a very traditional pub with a loud rock, goth and punk jukebox and a clientèle to match. It does good solid food, about seven different ciders (including Addlestone’s and Weston’s Organic), a respectable range of whiskies from around the world and lots of beer.

The breakfast is available 7 days a week, and is a build-your-own job. There are more than enough vegan options to go for the seven item version. The vegetarian sausages, haggis and hash browns are all vegan. I chose all three of those plus beans, mushrooms, onions and fried bread. I can’t abide the half-cooked tomatoes that are a breakfast staple, and the chips just seemed Wrong. It’s all pretty standard stuff except the fried bread which is made with baguette, and very filling. My only criticism is that is would be nice to have toast as an option. Well, spinach would be nice too, but I suspect I’m the only person outside Australia who has a thing for breakfast spinach.

The rest of the menu is quite vegan friendly too. The burgers are also build-your-own and the usual veggie burger is vegan. Very rarely they are unable to get the vegan one, so it’s a good idea to check if the staff don’t know you. If they do know you, they’ll let you know. My usual combination, when I have enough of an appetite to eat that much, is relish, jalapenos and mushrooms. There’s a vegan nut roast on Sunday and of the main courses, the five bean chilli and the veggie haggis are both vegan. Snacks, which are big enough for most people as a meal, include pakora and pole-dancing onion rings (ask for the sour cream dip to be substituted for something else) plus the ubiquitous chips.

The Auld Hoose, 23-25 St Leonards Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9QN. Tel: 0131-668 2934. [Map]

07/07/2009

London: Eat and Two Veg

Filed under: Eating out — Tags: , , , , — Feòrag @ 13:01

Note: this restaurant has now closed down. Bugger.

Look at all that lovely spinach!

Look at all that lovely spinach!

Last week, at home in Edinburgh, my partner and I had been pondering where to go for breakfast that could both cater to me, and keep himself happy. We forgot about the one place that has build-your-own breakfasts (the Auld Hoose) and so ended up having something completely different instead.

This week, we were in London, so things should have been better. I admit I’m surprised that Eat and Two Veg was the only place coming up on searches to do vegan breakfasts, but it wasn’t too much out of the way, so we went along.

It fit the bill. I got a completely vegan breakfast which consisted of some grilled smoked tofu, beans, mushrooms, toast, lots of spinach –something I’ve only seen in Australia (and one posh cafe in Belfast) before — and half a large, half-cooked tomato, which got handed over to my partner before I took the photograph. I like raw tomatoes, and ones that are thoroughly cooked, but there’s a halfway stage I really dislike, and it seems to be a standard part of cooked breakfasts. Fortunately, he likes them that way. He got his eggs, (veggie) sausage etc. We both came out satisfied and happy. There was neither too little nor too much food, it was nicely cooked, although the toast was more like warm bread, and it tasted great.

Vegan breakfast choices could have been improved if they used vegan sausages, and the main menu looked almost bereft of vegan options. We’ll go back, but only for breakfast.

Eat and Two Veg, 50 Marylebone High St, London, UK, London W1U 5HN. (Warning: the restaurant website is all Flash, so presumably they do not welcome customers with visual disabilities).

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