Saturday, 10 January 2015

VEGAN TOON - Painted Elephant

Vegan Toon

Last night after work Andrew and I headed to our trusty local Holland & Barrett to pick something up for tea. Unfortunately it wasn't feeling so trusty last night because when we arrived, the freezer had broken so they had very little frozen or chilled vegan food in stock. We debated going to Waitrose, but we both knew it. This meant we were going out for tea. And where better to try than Newcastle's hottest new vegan eatery, Painted Elephant?

We'd heard lots of things about Painted Elephant - all of them positive. Freshly cooked food, 100% vegan friendly and reasonably priced, what's not to love?

(Disclaimer: due to the impromptu nature of our visit, the following photos are also... 'impromptu-ly taken'. Use your imagination. Squint a bit, if needs be.)

Painted Elephant vegan cafe Newcastle

The restaurant has only been open a few weeks but it's already looking promising. When we arrived at around 6.30pm we were the only diners around, but that soon changed and by the time we left an hour or so later, there were only one or two tables to spare. Great going for a new restaurant on a very windy Friday evening - and it's easy to see why.

The menu - which changes seasonally - is varied without being overbearing. Every single dish sounded delish (except for the beetroot of which I am NOT a fan), and that was before I even looked at the specials board. Painted Elephant ran a 'tasting' evening in a different venue before Christmas and the menu sounded adventurous and intimidating at the same time, I'm so glad PE has toned it down slightly for the main restaurant menu, without losing that streak of creativity they so clearly have when it comes to cooking.

We skipped starters purely because we'd heard so many good things about the cake (!) I ordered the Buddha Burger - 'a big thai sweet potato burger with homemade basil mayonnaise and spinach, served on a freshly made bun with our 'real fries' and peppery salad.'

Painted Elephant vegan Buddha burger

After about 20 minutes the food arrived - I must say here that someone has rated PE a '2 star' on Facebook recently, stating that the service was slow. We found the staff to be helpful, friendly, attentive and - quite frankly - rushed off their feet! We were more than happy to wait for a delicious, home cooked meal, which this most certainly was.

Look. At. Those. Fries. Those fries took me directly back to my childhood, they were exactly like my mum used to make - crispy with just the right amount of seasoning and not at all greasy, I was eight years old munching away on those fries.
The salad was great with a delicious balsamic dressing and the burger was the true star of the show. Vegan basil mayonnaise, where have you been all my life? Soft bun? Check. Tasty, well seasoned, peanutty thai burger? Check. Allllllll this for around seven quid?! Check check check.

Painted Elephant flatbread of the day

Andrew went for the flatbread of the day - homemade flatbread topped with organic tempeh ragu and seasonal leaves (and I think maybe some pesto).

The flatbread was fresh and floury (and I'm guessing popular as they ran out after he ordered it!), the tempeh ragu was rich and warming, perfect for a windy January night.

Next up - cake. Thankfully we split a slice because these portions are generous. PE has a different cake every day, on Friday it just so happened to be chocolate orange. Yum.

Painted Elephant vegan chocolate orange cake

As soon as it arrived the table of six next to us piped up "Ohhhhh yeah, I'm having a slice of WHATEVER that is" so I'm guessing that didn't last much longer. It lived up to its appearance - rich, chocolatey sponge and some sort of fresh tangeriney buttercream frosting on top. It was pretty special, and a bargain at just £3.

Our whole bill was less than £25 and well worth every penny. It's great to see a new vegan friendly restaurant in the heart of Newcastle, and one which is doing so well and producing such high-quality food. Well done, chaps, I'm sure we'll be back soon.

Emily x


  1. Not heard of Painted Elephant but I love the concept and definitely want to check it out after your great review. Thanks for sharing :)

    Chloe x

  2. Thanks for the lovely review Emily. Will be sharing it around! :) x


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