I never thought I’d go to a vegan restaurant. Not that I never wanted to, I just never needed to. But as a baby free day approached, I found it really difficult to find somewhere to eat that would give me a good choice of diary and soya free food.
Amongst the small handful of vegan restaurants in Newcastle comes along The Ship Inn. A small pub that has opened itself to vegan food, making it exciting and delicious. Just their social media photos look pretty impressive, even their Sunday dinner sounds yummy, which can include (all their dishes change regularly) walnut, mushroom and ale suet pudding, with all the trimmings, including gravy!
The place, located in Ouseburn has your typical local pub look; wooden walls, and mismatched chairs, posters dotting the walls and funky copper lampshades.
The bar serves local beers and craft ciders, as well coffee and cakes.
The team is lovely. They bring a real friendliness to the place, definitely makes you want to return. It is laid back, but not so much it is unprofessional. I can imagine that they are all friends out side of work too.
I’ve never really expressed my love for beans, but I really like them and eat them regularly at home. Beans are the main ingredient in a lot of the foods here as they are, in my opinion, the best way to bring texture to food without meat. A lot of mushrooms are used too, and nuts. But The Ship Inn is better than the typical five beans chilli, or anything I’ve attempted at home, with the likes of smoked tofu and chilli dim sim dumplings, and mushroom, onion, sage and walnut bangers served with mash, it all sounds pretty tempting, don’t you think?
So, I scoured the menu, guessing what I maybe able to eat. When it comes to dairy free, the next best thing is soya so it can be very difficult eating out and finding substitutes. But the team where extremely helpful with my allergies. They went through each dish with me and suggested alternative sauces to help make it a meal I could really enjoy. In the end I chose the quesadillas and Stu went for the burger.
For drinks I went for a strawberry and lime cider and Stu had a pint of Wagtail, which he described as a fruity and light bitter. We relaxed whilst we waited for our food to be freshly prepared for us.
The Ship Inn seems brings a mixed crowd of people. First of there’s us; a couple going out for a nice lunch, then there are friends catching up over a bottle of wine, older couples, business people, families with children and big crowds of fashionable students. It really caters for everyone.
The quesadillas were plentiful, full of beans, which were falling out the sides of the tortillas, charred, almost burnt but caught just in time, which tasted great. The mix of beans were coated in chilli which gave a warmth to them. The salad was coated in a decent dressing, and the sweet potato fries, well, they were pretty incredible. Defiantly up there with all the fries, sweet or not, I’ve ever had. A plate of them would have done fine.
The normal chips were also delicious alongside the burger, a pinch of salt and they were heaven. The burger, doubled up inside a seeded bun made with sweet potato and beans was very enjoyable. The texture was spot on with the crunch from the pickles and the sauce which brought a creaminess to the whole thing, it didn’t matter that there was no meat here.
If you visit, stay for dessert, we would have if we had the time. The brownies sound amazing, you can even have ice cream! And if you’re having that you might as well try a coffee too, they have soya or almond milk. You can also bring your dog!
This has certainly opened my mind to vegan restaurants, and would recommend anyone to give it a go. They are doing it well here, it’s flavoursome and as much as I love meat, I really didn’t miss it here.