Vegan Review: Noda’s Waffles (Exeter)

Local social media has been blowing up with accounts of big, beautiful and entirely vegan bubble waffles. We first spotted them on Rooted Exeter and within 24 hours we were at Noda’s Waffles getting our own.

And we can recommend it! Vegans get their own menu and we can choose between at least three flavours of ice cream and a bunch of different toppings. All of it finished with whipped cream. I had chocolate with biscoff spread, nuts, pretzels, and chocolate sauce.

Kate had vanilla, biscoff spread, lotus biscuits, pecans, and toffee sauce. And she didn’t quite manage to finish. It was huge and it was glorious and we had a snack rather than a meal that night. You can of course get smaller snacks.

We recommend it. Go there now. Not only are the treats amazing but the staff are lovely too.

Recipe: Vegan Parkin

Parkin is a traditional cake for this time of year: it’s a bonfire night special. It also requires a baking technique that’s a little out of favour: you don’t eat the cake straight away. Traditionally you wait several days, but I’ve never managed to wait longer than four days. The wait develops the flavour and makes it moist and delicious. So I’m writing up this recipe today so you can have one for bonfire night. It was originally on my old blog but I’ve made a few adjustments.

6 tablespoons of vegetable oil
100g golden syrup
100g treacle
75ml of non-dairy milk
125g of light brown sugar

225g plain flour
125g oats
2 tablespoons of cornflour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a square baking tin.

In a saucepan heat the oil, golden syrup, treacle, milk and sugar. Do this very gently, on a low heat, stirring fairly often until the mixture comes together, looking wonderfully glossy.

While that is happening mix the dry ingredients together.

Once the stuff in the saucepan is ready, pour it into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Pour into your prepared tin, spreading evenly. Cover the tin with kitchen foil and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove the foil and return to the oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer pushed in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in the tin and store in an airtight container for at least 3 days, until moist.

Reveiw: An Opinionated Guide to Vegan London

We go to London a couple of times a year and we’ve never been short of places to eat when we get there. I’ve been know to make detailed maps showing the best routes between eateries, shops and our other appointments. And by ‘known too’ I mean each time, even if our visit is four hours long. Point is that I’ve never felt the need for a guide book before. But two things sold this book to me, sight unseen: the first is its title and the second is the author. It’s written by Sara Kiyo Popowa who wrote the brilliant Bento Power.

I was really excited when it came. Hoxton Mini Press wrapped it in the cutest paper and sent a little thank you card for ordering them straight from them. I recommend it. It’s a stunning little book filled with 53 restaurant recommendations, each one with at least one stunning photo. It’s almost pornographic.

As for the recommendations: well, I’m looking forward to trying a bunch of them on our upcoming trip. Some of them I’ve had on my radar for a while – I’m still bitter that La Fauxmagerie opened two days after our last visit – and some completely new to me. I couldn’t resist a little sneaky visit to one place though. I had an hour and a half’s wait between two trains coming back from Paris and I took the opportunity to jump on the underground and pick up some Crosstown Doughnuts.

I recommend both the doughnuts and the book. You can order Vegan London directly from Hoxton Mini Press.

Vegan Review: Viapino (Disneyland Paris)

Viapino is a chain and you can find them in the UK, so it’s not a great Disney tradition or anything, but it is the only place in Disneyland Paris that has marked vegan options, so that was good enough for me.

That said the vegan options aren’t massively inspiring. You can have the pasta without the cheese on top or the pizza without the cheese on top. You get the picture. I wanted the bruschetta to start so I went over to the station for that. There was only one man working the station and he wasn’t working terribly quickly. I was waiting behind two people and not going anywhere. So I switched to the pasta station, coming back for the bruschetta after I’d finished that. I waited ages again but finally got my bruschetta. It was good but hardly worth the line.

The pasta line was just as chaotic but with more people working it they managed to get me served pretty quickly. I got the arrabbiatta sauce and was asked if I wanted it spicy. Which I did. It was not spicy. In fact I found that everything that promised to be spicy in Disneyland Paris was barely touched by a chilli. It was delicious, but more as a tomato sauce.

I enjoyed the food. Simple but fresh and hearty. Getting everything was a little stressful though. I’d probably try to go back at a quieter time. That’s the Disneyland Paris location though. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go to any of the UK locations. Not when even places like Pizza Hut serve vegan cheese now. In fact that’s exactly where we stopped on the way home.

Vegan Review: Agrabah Cafe (Disneyland Paris)

Agrabah Cafe is named after the fictional city that is, of course, home to Aladdin. As such it serves Middle Eastern inspired food. Including about four varieties of hummus. So it was the first place that I booked. I knew I’d at least get to eat that.

I can’t overstate how incredible beautiful Disneyland Paris is. If you’ve been to Disney World you’ve seen how well themed it is but Disneyland Paris takes it up a notch. Agrabah Cafe is a series of small dining rooms that are themed like a bazaar complete with tantalising entrances to shops that… don’t actually exist. It’s like a fairytale.

I went crazy here. Mostly with the salads. Though there are some great vegetable dishes with the mains, especially the French beans which were fresh and perfect in a way you don’t expect a vegetable on a buffet could ever be. Also, once again, I think I ate my weight in olives.

Vegans: Agrabah Cafe is the place to eat. Great food and the theming is beyond amazing.

Vegan Review: Billy Bobs (Disneyland Paris)

Billy Bobs is in Disney Village. In fact we heard it advertised on Disney Village ‘radio’ when we were browsing the shops. It called it the largest Texan-themed buffet in Europe. Which may well be true, it’s pretty big, but is there some sort of official contest for that? Anyway. My Dad loves Tex Mex so I knew it would be a hit with him and I figured I could always snack on a few tortilla chips and maybe a bit of lettuce so we rocked up, ordered a few cokes and went to the buffet.

Oh yeah. I ate a lot of nachos. Aside from the tortilla chips, veggie chilli, guac and salsa pictured here there was also an assortment of salads and some other vegetable dishes. One plate made up was a ‘salad’ that was like 50% olives with a topping of cornichons. Vegetables too. But mostly olives. For desert there is a tonne of fruit to choose from and ice lollies which I think are probably for children but Kelsie was eating gummies for I have no shame.

Billy Bob’s, the largest Texas-style buffet in Europe, has a surprising number of options for vegans. And I would recommend a visit. It was, to my surprise, one of the best meals I had in Disneyland Paris.

Review: Captain Jack’s (Disneyland Paris)

Captain Jack’s is a a gorgeous, beautifully themed restaurant that sits along the track for Pirates of the Caribbean. It is however not well lit so please excuse the photos here.

I was very excited to learn that there was a souvenir cup on offer here. Two in fact. One styled like bamboo the other like a coconut. I got the bamboo with my mocktail inside. They actually don’t serve your drink in the one you take home, you get a clean one in a box. They’re good quality and really cool so if you’re a souvenir mug collector put Captain Jack’s on your must visit list.

Okay, so that’s the lighting and the drinks containers sorted: on with the food. There are three courses available here but I only had the main: Vegetable Curry, Plantain Banana and Captain’s Rice. Plantain is one of my all time favourite foods and I got two nice big chunks on top. That was the highlight of the dish. The curry itself was nice, pleasant, coconutty, inoffensive. And god, I wish there was some chilli sauce to go with it! It was just a little too restrained.

That said I’d still recommend eating here. For one thing vegan options are thin on the ground in Disneyland Paris but also the theming is absolutely stunning.