Over the past few months it’s been hard not to notice the abundance of vegan food hitting north-east eateries’ menus.
As the demand for plant-based dishes increases, So… Aberdeen on Union Street has launched a vegan pop-up to whet the appetite of anyone looking to try out some meat alternatives.
Running every night this week and on Sunday afternoon too, the So… Plants menu features a range of delicious vegan dishes including mouthwatering desserts like sticky toffee pudding.
Heading along to the eatery with my colleague, we planted ourselves down at a table by the window and tried out some of the alternative dishes for ourselves.
Up first was the Chili & C’heese Fries.
Topped with a delicious, fiery vegan chili, the dish was perfect for sharing (and at £3, a bargain for its sheer size). The chili itself packed a punch and an explosion of flavours instantly hit the back of our throats which was shortly followed by a sweet burst of rich tomato flavour that balanced the heat from the spice.
The plant-based meat alternative fell apart in our mouths and my dining partner even asked for the recipe after – although the chef was reluctant to share his secrets with us. Maybe next time…
Sprinkled with Violife cheese all over, the ‘cheese’ had melted in the middle of the dish and captured some of the chopped peppers and jalapenos in the process. The addition of the Singularity mayo – which was a hybrid of Singularity Sauce Co. hot sauce mixed with vegan mayonnaise – created a sweet and tangy concoction.
Beautifully cooked, the french fries were fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, they boasted that nice comforting flavour you get when munching on a portion of freshly made chips. And they also came in handy for scooping the remains of the chili up too.
We decided to half our burgers to ensure we enjoyed the best of both worlds.
Ordering the Impossible Whopper and the Mc’Nae’Chicken Sandwich – both just £8 each – we sliced them in half and exchanged.
The vegan whopper’s burger was unbelievably close to the real thing. Complemented with chunky rounds of onion, tomato, gherkin and a tomato sauce, the burger was full of smoky flavour and the patty itself was a good thickness and texture. Made by the Vegan Bay Baker, the bun was really good quality, kept its shape and didn’t fall apart when we bit into it.
The Mc’Nae’Chicken Sandwich was equally as good and to be honest, we wouldn’t have even known it wasn’t chicken judging by the similar texture and taste. The “plant-based take on the Golden Arches” was very much that. The fried ‘chicken’ was incredibly crispy on the outside and tasty. Two buns kept together all of the fillings which included shredded lettuce, the burger itself and latherings of vegan mayonnaise. We both devoured every morsel on our plates.
Last but not least before we moved onto dessert was the Nozz Sticks.
Three chunky deep-fried notzarella (the vegan equivalent of mozzarella sticks) sticks sat staring at us.
Digging in, we both couldn’t believe how amazingly gooey the Violife mozzarella was – especially for being a vegan cheese which can get a bad rep. Having been so used to trying out plastic-like vegan cheese alternatives, my colleague declared it was the best cheese alternative she had ever tasted. There really was no telling it wasn’t the real thing.
The side sauce the sticks were served with perfectly completed the cheesy flavours. The crunchy coat that contained the soft cheese inside was a match-made in heaven for the sweet yet tangy and rich tomato sauce.
Looking for something sweet to finish our plant-based meal, we decided to opt for So’s magnum mess, rather than the sticky toffee pudding – which sounded just as tasty.
Made with vegan meringues, Magnum chocolate, ice cream and finished with a raspberry sauce, this take on the Scottish classic of Eton Mess was exactly what we needed. The luxury chocolate paired well with the light and fluffy little puffs of air (the meringues). Add ice cream into the equation and top it all off with a sweet fresh raspberry sauce, it was a dreamy chocolate concoction.
Garnished with a few sprigs of colour popping mint, the refreshing smell lingered as we tucked in – noses almost in the glass as we scooped it all up in no time.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat this week, make sure you pay a visit to So… Plants pop-up on Union Street. Bringing new and exciting dishes to the eatery which is best known as a popular lunch spot, the cafe is opening its doors late, welcoming the masses to indulge in some of the best vegan food and worldly dishes my colleague and I have tried.
My colleague also took note of the vegan all day breakfast So… will be serving up on Sunday.
While some vegan and vegetarian meat alternatives get a bad write up all too often, we had nothing to complain about with So…’s offering. In fact, even as a meat eater, it’s fair to say I’d more than likely opt for their vegan burgers over a real burger were they available on the menu week-to-week.
It’s refreshing to see a local business use innovation to try something new which we think will be truly well received by the city’s foodies.
To book your spot at So…’s vegan pop-up this week only, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Address: 269 Union St, Aberdeen AB11 6BR
So…Plants is available during the following times this week:
- Today – Saturday: 6-10pm
- Sunday: 9am to 5pm
See the full menu below: