I often opt for a vegan option. Mainly because I’m inquisitive as to how good it’d be. But apart from residencies at pubs in London, like the Spreadeagle and Club Mexicana, I’ve not seen a decent vegan pub grub menu. Not one with plenty of vegan options anyways. That was until I tried The Barley Mow in Westminster.
Barley Mow is a typical pub from the outside.
And to be fair the inside too. It’s a local boozer. One which shows the football and has all the jolly punters drinking away the evenings, and generally having a good time. However, the General Manager, Mark, decided he wanted to up the gastro pub standards. Being a vegan himself Mark knows the value of a good vegan range of dishes and so set out to be able to offer london vegans all the pub classics they might miss out on.
The vegan menu features 5 very different dishes, from tofish to tacos and a Buddha bowl.
They’re all served in true pub portions (plentiful), but actually look better than traditional pub grub. What’s more, it’s all homemade from scratch which is amazing for a pub. Many order foods in pre-prepared, only needing to reheat and unwrap. I used to work in a couple, so I know how nice it is that they really do seem to take their time over making these new options themselves.
The Tofish and chips blew my mind.
A seaweed wrapped, beer battered tofu, it had a fab texture (no soggy tofu here). It actually tasted almost a little like fish too, from the seaweed of course. I couldn’t really believe it. The home cooked chunky chips were fab, and the vegan tartare was super creamy – pretty sure the difference to a normal version was tiny. One amazing pub grub dish, which even being a lover of fish, would order again for sure.
The Tacos were a fave too. Ok, tacos aren’t too tricky to make vegan. But these were seriously good. The taco shells weren’t overly crispy, which I really liked as a crunchy shell makes it hard to keep everything together. The filling consisted of a mix of kidney beans, red peppers, onions and courgettes, which was soft but had that Mexican taste, and was delicious. There was plenty of guacmole atop and salsa on the side too, which is a must for Mexican. Some pretty awesome tacos – would highly recommend these over any meat option.
The mixed bean & mushroom sausage and mash was a good vegan version of the classic.
I’m a big fan of a good veggie sausage however I’d never had sausages made from butter beans, kidney beans and portobello mushroom before. These were super tasty and had a great texture. The mash was really creamy too, which made this another great dish.
The Buddha bowl is my kind of choice. It’s a huge bowl of turmeric roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, harissa and butternut squash, with homemade guacamole, hummus and toasted seeds. A fab mix of colours, and textures, with plenty of flavour. It was seriously delicious and very fresh.
I think although this would quite often be my first choice through my love of roasted veg and hummus, I’d definitely recommend pushing the boat out and trying the other vegan pub grub alternatives. They’re just a bit more surprising, which is nice to have the option for on a pub menu. Although you obviously can’t be wrong with a Buddha bowl like this.
As for drinks…
…because it is a pub after all, there are vegan beers on the menu, as well as plenty of gin & tonic options. The sacred g&t was my fave, served with a cinnamon stick and star anise.
and the team…
The team were fab! They were really knowledgeable and helpful. Always there and on the ball. Great service and passion!
- Price: The vegan mains are priced at £10/£11, with the tacos at £3 each. Fantastic prices for the quality and portions.
- Food: The whole new vegan menu is superb. SO much flavour! And that’s coming from a meat-eater..I’d definitely go for one of these over a meat dish.
- Drinks: There are vegan beers and G&Ts on the menu. Try the sacred.
- Atmosphere: Local pub, super friendly, and the team are really knowledgeable and helpful
- Wait: It does get busy on match day, so do book if you can.
Are you a vegan or do you just opt for the odd vegan option?