Wednesday, 28 January 2015

VEGAN TOON - Sky Apple Cafe

Another week, another meal out. This time, we opted for Sky Apple Cafe in Heaton, which is one of our favourite vegan-friendly restaurants in Newcastle.

Sky Apple is a completely vegetarian restaurant with a good number of clearly marked vegan options. The evening menu changes every other month so there's always something new to discover, we've been four or five times and we've never had something we didn't like yet.

First things first: drinks. I didn't take a picture of my drink, but Sky Apple serve two of my favourites; San Pellegrino Limonata and Fentiman's Rose Lemonade (I went Fentiman's). They also serve a number of vegan beers and wines, as well as coffees and teas.

We decided to share a starter, and chose these saffron risotto boconccini which, as you can imagine, resulted in me pointing at the menu and saying 'that one, please'.

Vegan Saffron Risotto Boconccini at Sky Apple Cafe in Newcastle

Vegan Saffron Risotto Boconccini at Sky Apple Cafe in Newcastle

These were mouthwateringly good; arborio rice cooked with winter veggies and saffron, filled with vegan gruyere-style cheese (which I believe they make themselves) and deep fried. The accompanying sauces were divine, a charred leek and garlic vegan mayo and a dollop of tomato and pepper pesto-style cream sauce.

For the main course, I chose a winter pie. A delicious shortcrust pastry filled with a roast butternut squash gratin and a lentil and spinach shula kulumbar.

Vegan Winter Pie at Sky Apple Cafe in Newcastle

The pie sat on top of a bed of parsnips, carrots and celariac, roasted in Middle Eastern spices with chickpeas and herbs, and the whole thing was accompanied by a dollop of (my favourite) hummus, Muhammara and a drizzle of date syrup.

Vegan Winter Pie at Sky Apple Cafe in Newcastle
The veggies were cooked to perfection and deliciously spiced - I don't like parsnips but I ate them all, they were so well done and perfectly complemented the pie. Each time I go to Sky Apple I try to pick a dish which is served with their hummus. I don't know what they do to it, but it's damn good.

Andrew's a big fan of Sky Apple curries, he gets one most visits and they never disappoint. On this occasion the curry was kashmiri, an Indian-style curry with almonds, cashews, raisins, cauliflower, button mushrooms and peas. It was a thick, rich sauce which was densely spiced and delivered a hearty warmth which was enough heat for both of us.

The most unusual thing about the curry was its accompaniments - the usual basmati rice but also aloo bonda - spiced mashed potato dipped in pakora batter and deep fried. A new one on us but one we'd definitely seek out in future.

Vegan Kasmiri Curry at Sky Apple Cafe in Newcastle

 The whole meal came in at just under £30 with drinks (Andrew had a beer) - a bargain such top quality, adventurous vegan food. Who says we just eat salads?

Emily x

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