Food

Tuk Tuk Vegan Treats


Today’s post is long awaited and delayed, so for that I apologise! I have been preparing for the move to my new flat, new course at university, and being a busy bee at work, but I am so passionate about dedicating my time to this blog! I am super grateful for anyone that continues to support and engage with Urbanity as it continues to grow!
I divulge. Basically, this post is a delight to write because a couple of weeks back I was surprised with a wonderful invitation to try out the vegan menu at Tuk Tuk, an Indian Street Food style restaurant  in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. Lucie (from Tetris and Cheesecakes), Emma (from Edinbug) and I dined on a feast of meat/egg/dairy free dishes at Tuk Tuk, and here is my review! You can also read Emma’s post here, accompanied by her wonderful food photography skills that sadly I don’t possess! 




On a cool summer’s evening, we met at the delightfully decorated restaurant, colour schemed in orange and other earthy tones, splattered with authentic Indian curios and with an overall modern, contemporary feel. We explained to the staff about our vegan blogging experiment, and were disappointed to find out that their isn’t actually a separate ‘vegan menu’, but instead the dishes are all on one menu, just labelled with different allergens/dietary requirements, so it took a bit more searching than expected. In addition, there were no vegan desserts (but we were pretty full anyway!) however overall the experience was really positive. We tried lots of new tastes and textures, chat with the lovely staff, got to know each other’s vegan experiences and chatted about all things blogging. Pictured here is Lucie’s yummy looking icy mint mocktail, too pretty not to take a snap! Emma had a bottle of Limca and I opted for chai tea, then we decided to order a selection of tapas style treats, including a delicious Chana Puri (chickpea and spicy pancake deliciousness!) and Aloo Bindi (Potato and Okra curry) along with a few other little dishes and some rice, poppadum and naan bread. Word of warning: Tuk Tuk are right to suggest a maximum of 3 dishes per person. More than this plus sides left us needing to be rolled home!

I enjoyed trying something a bit different to the usual curry takeaway experience, nothing was too greasy/oily and meat/fish/paneer was replaced with an abundance of veggies and legumes, sometimes the dishes lacked flavour/seasoning, but everything was pleasant. We also sampled some  golgappa, which are pictures her. Hard to describe, but the Edinbug put it perfectly: 
“The description of golgappa on the menu wasn’t hugely helpful (“you will have to taste it to experience it” is pretty much all it says) but seen as it was vegan we decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try. It ended up being cold crispy puffs, served with a small dollop of sticky rice inside and some spicy sauce on the side. I poured a little sauce into my puff and ate the thing whole in one bite – it was certainly an interesting experience and one worth trying!”


All in all, I am really thankful to Tuk Tuk for having us, and I hope they like our feedback so they can further develop their vegan options. It is great to see lots of both local and chain restaurants being more inventive for vegetarians and vegans, as it clearly no longer a niche market. At the moment, I am around half and half with vegetarianism and veganism, because I found personally that veganism became too restrictive and triggering for me, but I will certainly continue to eat yummy vegan food and use cruelty-free products as much as I can, and hope to return to the lifestyle soon.



Ruth @ Urbanity xxx


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Edinburgh’s Best Coffee Shops

I am no stranger to a Starbucks, Costa or Caffe Nero, for convenience, location, choice, price and consistency.  However, lately I have been trying to make more of an effort to get my caffeine fix at independent coffee shops instead.

Since moving to Edinburgh, I’ve really enjoyed sampling the huge selection of artisan coffee roasters and cute wee cake shops all over the city. There’s no way I like to spend my mornings off work more than catching up with friends over a cappuccino, or blogging away in a quiet corner with a chai latte. 

Here I’ve compiled my Top Ten independent coffee shops in Edinburgh. What are yours?




1. Best for homemade cake and cosy seating: Lovecrumbs (Westport/Grassmarket)



2. Best for ethical treats and health foods: Earthy       (Canonmills & Portobello)


3. Best for the most delicious local coffee: Artisan Roast (Broughton Street, Stockbridge, Bruntsfield)




4. Best for coffee on the go: Machina Espresso (Brougham Pl)


5. Best for a sit-down lunch: Burr & Co (George St)


6. Best for breakfast and brunch: Project Coffee           (Bruntsfield Place)


7. Best for seaside afternoon tea: Porto & Fi                  (Newhaven Harbour)


8. Best for charitable, enterprising caffeine: Social Bite          (Rose St & Shandwick Place)


9. Best for true coffee connoisseurs: Brew Lab                       (South College St & Queensferry St Lane)


10. Best for customer service and decor: Black Medicine Coffee (Nicolson St and Bruntsfield Pl)


(Pictures from company websites)


Ruth @ Urbanity xxx


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The Pitt Street Food Yard

Last Saturday my friends were working at an Artisan food truck in Leith food market, The Pitt Street Food Yard, so I decided to check it out for myself, and my god it was worth the hype. 

Walking down this industrial-meets-residential street, you wouldn’t expect a thing, until you turn a wee corner, and a friendly face welcomes you to a summer foodie festival, hidden away in an up-cycled yard.

In fact, I loved it so much that I went there for lunch and dinner. Yup.




I popped to The Pitt at midday, as soon as it opened, to get a much-needed hangover cure. Firstly, Williams and Johnson Coffee Cosmall specialty coffee roastery based in Edinburgh, helped me out with a killer flat white.  

Next, after having a wee look round the stalls, which included The Big Blu (wood fired pizza truck), Barney’s Beers (delicious brewskis) and Spice Girl (Mexican food for vegans and carnivores alike!), my hangover was officially cured by the legendary Parmesan and Truffle Fries (with herbs and blue cheese sauce might I add) made my my friends at The Buffalo.

Funk music was playing over the speaker system, the sun was starting to shine and Leithers began to pour in for lunchtime cocktails and fresh local nibbles. I was so annoyed at myself for never having been to this Pitt Street food haven before, despite living right around the corner! 





Later that evening, Jack and I returned to The Pitt for another round! By 8pm, it was absolutely kicking; the tunes were flowing as much as the prosseco, and we could hardly move for people. The boy went straight for a deep fried buttermilk chicken burger with spicy korean sauce with a side of -you guessed it- truffle parmesan fries, from Buffalo. 
I opted for Yaki Udon with vegetable gyoza from Harajuku Kitchen. I went to their restaurant in Bruntsfield a while back and loved the sushi, so I was excited to try more Japanese yummies.



The highlight of our foodie adventure, however, was the cake sundae bar by SugarDaddies bakery (everything is gluten free and many things are vegan!). The cake-masters were so friendly and kind despite the busy-ness and the heat,  and we were blown away by the choose-your-own topping selection. I had red velvet cake, with salted caramel frosting, chocolate sauce and sprinkles. Finally, we died a tragic food-coma death. May we be remembered for our excellent taste in fries.




Ruth @ Urbanity xxx



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Burrito Heaven

Last week I got a masterclass in making delicious fresh burritos at the new Mexican joint Bar Burrito on Lothian road, Edinburgh. I’ve always been fond on Mexican food and love making my own dishes, but have never attempted the holy grail, The Burrito, before! However, after that night, along with a great bunch of other Edinburgh Bloggers, I am confident in how to wrap the (nearly) perfect burrito, filled to the brim with rice, beans, veggies, salsa, guacamole and cheese! Photo by Talor Gilchrist, who organised the event and blogged all about it here!   

                                                                   

I used to go to Pinto in the same location all the time to feed my guacamole addiction, so when it closed for refurbishment, I was horrified. However, it was quickly bought over and transformed by Barburrito, who claim to be the UK’s first (and best!) burrito bar, established in Manchester back in 2005. The new interiors are absolutely fab, with bright reds, earthy browns and natural greens everywhere. Our tables were even adorned with ice cold beers, chips ‘n’ dips, Mexican sombreros and fake moustaches. What more could a burrito lover ask for?


After some blogger chit-chat and an introduction to the company, we were given tasters of each individual ingredient that customers can choose from, including spicy chorizo, 4 different types of salsa, creamy cheese sauce, classic chicken, pulled beef/pork, garlicky mushrooms, crunchy slaw and so much more.  Next we were shown how to wrap the perfect burrito. I was rather intimidated by all the steps, and we were all certain all our delicious burrito fillings would just explode from the foil! But after a bit of practise with rice wraps, we were ready to create our own behind the counter.
  
I went for rice, mushrooms, onions, peppers, pinto beans, medium hot salsa, guacamole and grated cheese. It was bloody amazing. Food-porn worthy. The half-burrito I promised to bring home of the other half vanished into my stomach. We all really enjoyed the food, the company, the interiors and the amazing learning experience. Thanks again, Barburrito!

Ruth @ Urbanity



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Foodie Heaven at Revolution Bar

Revolution Bar (or as I still call it, ‘vodka revs’) may be know for it’s delectable flavoured vodka shots and indulgent cocktails, but did you know they pride themselves on great food too? On Monday, me and my other half were treated to a meal from the brand new menu- Massive Tastes- to see what we thought. Read on to see my review of the food, the service and the atmosphere. 

You can book a table now at http://www.revolution-bars.co.uk 

At first glance of the menu, I was already thinking with my tastebuds. Tantalising starters, sandwiches, burgers, mains and sides, with a large selection of desserts too. Unfortunately, there were no vegan options, but a few vegetarian choices here and there, which Jack and I opted for; the halloumi with chips, and the bean burger with sweet potato fries. The bean burger was delicious, with sweet potato and black beans, served in a really soft bun with humous and vodka salsa. Of course, as always, the stars of the show were the fries, with the most perfect crunch around the outside and soft fluffy sweet ‘tato on the inside. HEAVEN.
The halloumi was cooked to perfection and fried in beer batter (yes, you heard me right!). It was so flavoursome and filling, the perfect alternative to a traditional fish supper. Served with mushy peas and tartar sauce (which I hate but Jack gobbled up!) and presented really nicely, it was definitely a good choice, 100% recommend.
For sides, we went for a nice green salad with house dressing, and the very inventive ‘cauli-slaw’ (cauliflower coleslaw!) . Both delicious, but definitely not needed as we were so full from the massive portions that we took half of them home for midnight snacks/breakfast!

The service was the highlight of our night. A gorgeous, friendly waitress gave us some great chat and basically catered to our every need, it was fabulous. The other staff were all smiles, and our food and drinks were served really fast and piping hot. So no qualms at all there, you are guaranteed a pretty great experience at Revolution Bar. Good food, good atmosphere, great drinks.
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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