This week, I was kindly invited to All Bar One on Greek Street in Leeds in order to try out a few of the new vegan offerings on the menu (as well as a few familiar ones). If you’re an avid reader of my blog, which anyone with sense is, you may remember that Liam and I dined at All Bar One for Valentine’s Day as their Veganuary menu was running through both January and February. We had a really lovely meal and positive experience, so I was super excited to get back to this great restaurant!
With the recent boom in veganism, a lot of places have been jumping on the bandwagon, which is obviously a generally super positive thing. However, I have seen people commenting lately that a lot of the vegan food available is “junk” based – burgers, nuggets, loaded fries, etc. So, I was very pleased to see that All Bar One have all the bases covered: whether you want something indulgent, or something based more around… well… actual vegetables.
To start/share, there are three vegan options. We had already had two of them before because they had featured on the Veganuary menu, and they were both delicious, so we were more than happy to have them again. The Chilli Non Carne Tacos are a definite must if you do decide to dine here! We did notice that when we had this dish back in February, we received 4 smaller tacos and this time we received 2 larger ones. We both said that we had preferred it as 4 smaller ones, but, obviously, it’s delicious either way. Just a preference! We also got the classic simple Bruschetta starter, which is with Crushed Avocado and Tomato Salsa. Very simple, but very satisfying, and a great start to our meal all around. The other vegan choice is some Tempura Mushrooms, but we incorporated this into our main dishes later on in the evening…
All Bar One was super excited to share the updated menu with me that now includes a “Nutritious Powerfoods” section. They are, essentially, 4 different vegetable/salad based dishes and then you have the option to add more things to them. Unfortunately, most of the things to add are meat, dairy, and fish. The vegan option is the Tempura Mushrooms, which is why we saved that until later when it came to ordering starters. They actually didn’t really work well with the dishes at all, and they were served without a sauce so I wouldn’t recommend them to be honest. I would prefer the option to add some nicely marinated & fried tofu – as I’m sure many vegans would also prefer over mushrooms! You can also add rice to your Nutritious Powerfood meal, which I did as I personally have a big appetite, so a salad for dinner generally wouldn’t be enough for me. Along with the rice, the portion sizes were perfect and it was exciting to try the exciting and delicious flavours All Bar One had come up with!
So, the 4 Nutritious Powerfood bases are: Supergreen Noodle Laksa (which I actually had back in February), Avocado & Black Rice Salad, The Power of 5 (pictured above), and Moroccan Squash Salad (pictured below). Each base is completely vegan. I really enjoyed the Supergreen Noodle Laksa (a hot dish) that I had the last time, and that is definitely a dish that I would order again now that I’ve tried a few of them. This time, though, I went for The Power of 5 (a hot dish): a combination of vegetables in a rich sauce with fried rice noodles on top. This dish is really flavoursome and it works really well with rice… I don’t really get the fried rice noodles thing, though. Maybe it’s more for presentation, but for me it doesn’t add much character or texture to the dish and it was sort of just in the way!
Liam chose the Morrocan Squash Salad which was absolutely DREAMY. We actually preferred each other’s choices and swapped dishes… This salad comes with the most delicious coconut and turmeric sauce which I couldn’t get enough of – and I always appreciate pomegranate seeds! I would certainly order this dish again, particular around lunch time (this one is served cold, so I probably wouldn’t opt for it in the evening). We were going to add the Tempura Mushrooms to this one, but, it just didn’t really work. It also seemed a shame adding something deep fried to an otherwise light and nutritious meal! I would definitely appreciate some tofu with this dish for sure.
Now for dessert, which Liam was more than happy about because the new vegan update on the dessert menu is… a Chocolate Pot! Liam loves a choc pot, and this one definitely did not disappoint. It’s a nice size – not too big for how sickly it could potentially get – and comes garnished with fresh summer berries. It’s definitely good to have the option of something more indulgent like chocolate, rather than just fruit (or sorbet, which is the other vegan dessert option). Another dish we would wholeheartedly order again!
Pictured above are the meals Liam and I had back in February – 2 dishes which survived the post-Veganuary edit! The Supergreen Noodle Laksa, now on the Nutritious Powerfoods section, which I really recommend, and the Vegan Burger, which Liam really recommends. It’s definitely one of the best vegan burgers that I’ve ever tried, actually. One slightly confusing thing… the burger comes served with chips, but chips are not labelled as vegan, or even vegetarian, on the menu. When we asked why, it was explained to us that in their restaurant – and in the majority of All Bar One restaurants – the chips were definitely vegan and cooked in a separate fryer. However, because they cannot guarantee nationwide that this happens, and menus are published for all branches, they are not labelled as such on the menu. Seems a shame some vegans have to miss out on chips. Another quick gripe I have with the vegan labelling on the menu is that in the Nutritious Powerfood section, the Tempura Mushrooms are labelled as vegetarian and not vegan. I was informed that this was a mistyping… it just puts you at unease slightly when everything else is properly labelled vegan.
Which brings me to something I’m really excited to share with you! All Bar One now have vegetarian and vegan labelling on the wine section of their drinks menu! This is only on the wine for now, and not on beers/ciders or cocktails, but it’s an excellent start and much easier to choose a wine when you can see what’s on offer in front of you, instead of the poor bartender having to reel off descriptions of every vegan wine. This was a really great touch to the meal at All Bar One, and it’s something that will certainly be well appreciated, I’m sure.
So, the verdict is in: post-update, the All Bar One menu is even more vegan friendly than it already was, and it’s extremely delicious. It’s gonna be my go-to from now on, whether I’m dining with vegan friends, or with my omnivorous family! Fantabulous vegan dining.