Herbivore By The Seaside

After last month’s Day of The Dead sell-out success at the wonderful Blue Honey Night Cafe, Herbivore is heading west to the sea front in Penarth and the opulent surroundings of The Fig Tree restaurant. As usual it’s five set courses of creative vegan cuisine. A couple of dishes from the back catalogue, a couple of new ones to reflect the location. Full menu and booking details here.

Lovely local leaves

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Pleased to say we’ll be using lovely green leaves from Cardiff Salad Garden on this week’s Herbivore menu at the Embassy Cafe. Not only are they probably the tastiest and freshest I’ve tried but they are grown less than a mile away in Bute park by a not-for-profit organisation that works with refugees, asylum seekers and individuals with mental health problems. It’s win-win really.
This week will also see the return of the romanesco cauliflower and the legendary tower of mango soup. Full menu here.

Herbivore042: Almost Dead

It’s been a bit quiet on the Herbivore supper club front lately but we’re back on course with a collaboration with the lovely Blue Honey Night Cafe slap bang in the centre of Cardiff on 31st October.  A Halloween/Day Of The Dead feast – five courses of creative vegan cuisine with a distinctly Latin American flavour. There will be pumpkin. Menu etc. here.

Eat Your Greens

greeenbunchWhen you’ve been cooking vegetables for as long as and as frequently as I have it’s refreshing to come across something new. I think I must have had Chrysanthamum greens before in an oriental mix but never new what they were so I was intrigued to find them on the list of available produce from Blaencamel Farm – a fixture at Riverside Markets and one of my favourite suppliers.

Used across South Asia in stir fries, soups and salads, and sometimes referred to as chop sue greens in the Western world, these attractive leaves have a fragrant, grassy, delicate flavour with a touch of bitterness. I’m going to serve them on top of wasabi & spinach cakes with a tomato & miso sauce. Full menu for this weekend here.

Flower Power

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A versatile weapon in the Herbivore kitchen, the nasturtium. Keeps blazing strong into the autumn when so many other plants have fallen by the wayside and is useful in many ways. This weekend the leaves and flowers are going to garnish the white bean and chard cassoulet: the warm pepperiness providing a sharp contrast to the smoothing sweetness of the sauce. Meanwhile I’ll be pickling the seed pods to use as a British version of the caper – little blasts of salty heat to pep-up autumn and winter dishes. This weekend’s menu here.

If it wasn’t for those pesky birds..

The pesky birds of Pontypridd seem to have developed a taste for gooseberries, red currants and black currants this year. Serves me right for not stocking up the bird feeders I suppose. Still, there’s enough for a batch of Gooseberry & Nigella Seed Chutney (adapted from my favourite tomato chutney recipe – thanks Cinnamon Club). The remaining black currants will make their way into an almond cake. Full menu here

Sorry to say there will be no supper club in July. Last week’s sell-out Twisted Bistro was a big success but there’s just too much other stuff to fit in next month. Herbivore will be on the road again – this time up to MOMA in Machynllteh for a one-night-only “culinary intervention” at ceramicist Lisa Krigel’s exhibition on Thursday 27th July. More details on that coming soon. Watch this space for details of the next Cardiff event too.

Mangos!

The short and sweet alphonso mango season is upon us and I have a box of carefully wrapped specimens from mumbai releasing their gentle floral perfume in the kitchen. I’m going to pair them with elderflower syrup as a topping for a cardamom and almond milk rice pudding. Also on the menu this week is another favourite of mine: panel – chickpea fritters in a roll, the classic street food of Palermo, Sicily. Full menu here.

Easter Closing & Beyond

Herbivore won’t be trading on Easter Sunday (16th April) at the Embassy Cafe. Will be in residence 22/23rd April as normal then will miss the next three weekends as I’m off to Sicily to cook and have fun. Well, someone’s got to. Re-open Sat 20th May.

Hand Picked Menu

Chef Manuel & I have been putting our heads together and wandering the fields, hedgerows and shoreline to come up with a menu for our collaborative supper club coming up at the Embassy Cafe on the 19th of April.

Once you start looking there are so many different green shoots out there just waiting to be picked so it’s been a process of narrowing down what we want to use and trying to predict what will be ready for harvest at the Amelia Trust Farm, Blaencamel and Riverside Market Garden.

It’s still a bit of a work in progress but you can see the prototype menu here. We only have a few spaces left for this one so act quickly if you want to come  – email me: simon@theherbivore.co.uk

Herbivore 038: Hand Picked

Herbivore back in town to team up with Chef Manuel for a unique collaborative supper club. We’re going to be scouring the hedgerows and sea shore and engage in a bit of “pick your own” at some of our favourite farms and gardens to bring a special six course menu, all vegan, to the Embassy Cafe on Wednesday 19th April. Full menu to come soon but in the meantime we’re already taking bookings. It’s £25 per person with a small corkage charge for alcohol on the night. simon@theherbivore.co.uk