Review: Violife Vegan Cheddar Cheese

If you’re anything like me, the thought of vegan cheese sounds wrong, gross and ultimately pointless.

BUT

I made the decision to do Veganuary, and since doing that I thought I would try my best to find a cheese alternative to curve the cravings I would (and ultimately did) have.

Violife cheddar was the winner. While I still wouldn’t recommend snacking on a slice on its own, as a topping or filling it’s the best substitute I could find.
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The taste is hard to describe. Yes,  it’s cheesey, but there’s something artificial about it. The best way to eat this cheese is melted on a toastie. It melts well and exactly the same as ordinary cheese, it tastes nice, and it’s not too expensive.

My recommended serving for a delicious vegan toastie would be: 2 slices of bread, 2 slices Violife cheddar, tomato purée, Italian seasoning, 1 toastie/panini maker and you’re golden.

If you are looking for a vegan cheese either because you’re vegan, trying veganuary, or are lactose intolerant, I would definitely try this cheese. It’s available at any Holland and Barrett.

 

 

 

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Revolucion De Cuba – Glasgow

 

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The taste of Cuba has landed in Glasgow thanks to this new eatery. I was lucky enough to sample their cuisine, cocktails and service before their official launch.

Revolucion de Cuba has fun, Caribbean vibes with bright and funky decor. The minute you walk in, it’s easy to tell the new restaurant is going to be a winner in Glasgow. With an impressive cocktail menu and drinks selection, Rev De Cuba is following in the footsteps of the likes of Missousla and Las iguanas, by not only being a great eatery but also a sought after night-out destination.

Let’s get onto the food:

The first dish I sampled was a taster of their shredded pork with special seasoning. The season includes orange and lime power, cumin, garlic, paprika and chilli. It was delicious, I would definitely recommend sampling it.

Our selection of tapas was:

Sticky chicken skewers
Pork belly skewers
Calamari
Battered prawns
Cajun cream mushrooms
Cauliflower wings

The food at Revolucion De Cuba is very good. Great tastes at fair prices. Although the restaurant is, in fact, a Britain wide chain the food is all freshly prepared by knowledgeable and talented chefs.

My meal highlight was the Cajun cream mushrooms. They were creamy she so full of fantastic flavour.

Rev de Cuba is definitely a place to check out if your in the city centre.

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Riverhill West Nile St. – Glasgow

I recently visited Riverhill twice in a short Space of time. The first time I went there for lunch on a whim after a stressful day. The second time was for an early breakfast before a day of travelling. Both of these visits were absolutely fantastic.

The first time I went, I had the meat and cheese platter. The platter was delicious with tasty cured meats, rich tangy cheese, and sour dough.

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Meat and cheese platter

 

The second time I went I had the breakfast potato naan, stuffed with salmon, avocado, cream cheese, and chili jam. I also had the poached eggs. The whole breakfast was so tasty and fresh. The naan was a delishously different dish that I would urge everyone to try. The poached eggs were perfecy light and fluffy. Wash it all down with a cold glass of their freshly squeezed orange juice.

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I also had the opportunity to try the scrambled eggs of the day which were filled with feta and spinach. This was an inspired breakfast dish which I hope is added to the permanent menu.

Riverhill is a modern and peaceful eatery which serves fresh food with a smile all through the day. I will definitely be back.

 

 

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Cafe Andaluz – Glasgow

This beautiful little eatery in Glasgow’s West End is authentically Spanish and elegant. Tucked away on Cresswell Lane, opposite the famous Ashton Lane, Café Andaluz and is understated authentic tapas and Mediterranean restaurant.

Café Andaluz has a wide and varied menu of both tapas and sharing paella dishes. With their fantastic weekday deal of 3 tapas and adessert for £14.95 per person, it was the perfect opportunity for me to try as much as the menu as possible without breaking the (already very broken) bank account.

I obviously examined the menu before I went to Café Andaluz, so I chose:

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Ensalada Marroqui – Sweet potato, parsnip and chickpeas, mixed with parsley and coriander, and tomato dressing.

Queso De Cabra Al Horno – Grilled goats cheese topped with orange and chili marmalade.

Vieiras Con Serrano – King scallops served on basil and creamed leaks with crisp Serrano ham.

And for dessert…

Churros – Crisp, soft fried dough pastry, topped with sugar and cinnamon, served with a hot chocolate dipping sauce.

Everything about this meal was top class. The sweet potato dish was a delicious creation with great warm Autumny flavours mixed with hot Spanish spice. The king scallops were phenomenal, the smokey ham complemented the sweet creamed leaks sauce, and soft and salty scallops were juicy and fantastic. The topped goat’s cheese was a weird yet wonderful thing. The orange marmalade made the dish almost a dessert, but the strong goat’s cheese took it to a weird but tasty level.

The churros – although a little bit light – were so sweet and flavoursome. The chocolate sauce was rich and beautiful. Overall, it was a very good dessert.

Café Andaluz is a fantastic Glasgow restaurant, with a relaxing atmosphere and deliciously fun food.

 

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Birdtree and Bellfish @ The Lorne Hotel – Glasgow

The exclusive Lorne Hotel have officially opened their brand new restaurant the Birdtree and Bellfish. Their menu consists of some traditional Scottish dishes and delicacies  with their own added gourmet twists.

Having been to their grand opening night – which featured DJ sets from Capital FM hosts – I was lucky to try a variety of different dishes from their impressive new menu.

Stovies Soup

The delicious dish everyone’s gran could effortlessly whip up – only in the form of a light and ulta-tasty soup. It’ll warm the cockles of your hard Glaswegian soul.

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Venison Burger and Irn Bru Fish and Chips

A juicy and rich venison patty with red currant chutney, Bread Meats Bread eat your heart out. Combine Irn Bru with fish and chips and you create a strangely tasty Scottish treat. Your hair will turn ginger and you’ll be screaming “Och aye the noo” by the end of it.

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Cheese and Leak Mashed Potato

Perfect thick and creamy mash with a ‘grate’ cheesy taste.

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Italian Beans in a Spicy Tomato Sauce on Toasted Focaccia Bread.

Birdtree and Bellfish proved they can also cook up a fantastic vegetarian dish with this scrumptious option.

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I thoroughly recommend a trip to Birdtree and Bellfish if you are spending anytime in Glasgow.  The food is fun and tasty, and with the beautiful backdrop of Glasgow’s West End, you can’t go wrong.

 

 

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Review: Halloumi – Glasgow

It’s not often I get excited for a restaurant before its even opened yet, but the minute I saw the big blue ‘Coming Soon’ banners for Halloumi – a Greek tapas restaurant – I instantly knew that I would have to go when it opened. The reason I was full with excitement about this new restaurant is because I absolutely adore halloumi cheese, and I adore Greek cuisine so, really, it was a match made in my heaven.

Luckily enough, I had the opportunity to go on Halloumi’s grand opening night. Unfortunately there were a few teething problems that put a slight dampener on the evening: drinks orders being forgotten, dishes being forgotten and then being served slightly cooler, the DJ playing the music slightly too loud for comfortable chat. But – and this is a big Greek but – the dishes very tasty, well thought-out, and authentic.

Dish 1

Warm pitta bread with a selection of delicious hummus and dips. What a great start to the meal. The hummus were thick and flavourful and the pitta was deliciously warm and soft.

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Dish 2

Lamb meatballs in a traditional Greek sauce. The meat balls themselves were rich and mouth-watering. The sauce tasted a lot like ordinary tomato, but it was still nice.

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Dish 3

Spanakopita – this is filo pastry with feta cheese and spinach. I love spanakopita and I would say this is the nicest I’ve ever had. All the flavours and textures were on point.

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Dish 4

Watermelon and cold halloumi slices. I admit it took me a while to really get into this. I’d only ever had hot halloumi. But this mix was actually refreshingly nice. The salty cheese works surprisingly well with the sweet juices of the watermelon.

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Dish 5

Greek Chicken Skewers. These were my meal highlight of this evening. Succulent, tender, and beautifully chargrilled with herbs and spices, the chicken was a show stopper.

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Dish 6

Greek deep fried donuts. These were sensational, crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside, these donuts were a real treat for my extremely sweet tooth.

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Despite the issues with the service on the night – which I think was down to opening night nerves – I believe Halloumi is definitely a place that’s going to do great things in Glasgow.

Find this and other great reviews on Scottish Food Review.

 

 

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Atlantic Bar and Brasserie – Glasgow

 

snails better

I honestly never thought I’d find myself day-dreaming over the exquisite taste and texture of L’escagot (snails) but here I am – in my post dinner glow – wishing I could have another plate.

Atlantic Bar and Brasserie, located a short walk from George Square, is in a tier of its own when it comes to fine French dining. I had been invited to an evening of blogging and tasting, and after reading the menu online I was incredibly excited to experience their food.

The restaurant was beautiful, with a modern stance on the classic fine dining décor, the feeling was that of relaxed eloquence.

I had never tried snails before but they were a fantastically fun start to the meal. Cooked with garlic, parsley and a touch of white wine, they had a deliciously understated taste. Even my vegetarian boyfriend, who joined me on the evening, said they were delicious.

To start I had the gently seared Scottish scallops, with apple sauce, black pudding, and sauce vierge.  The scallops were phenomenal.  Soft and full of taste, they left my mouth watering for more. The full-bodied taste of the black pudding, and sweet apply sauce complemented the scallops tremendously. It was an inspired Scottish twist on a French favourite.

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Scallops 

I chose the slow braised beef casserole with Burgundy red wine, smoked pancetta, sautéed pearl onions, and button mushrooms topped with courgette, swede and creamy mash as my main.  That’s quite a mouth full – in every aspect.  This is a dish fit for a king. The beef was melt-in-the-mouth delicious. The sauce was thick, rich and bursting with flavour and life. I’m always apprehensive of restaurant mashed potato because I’ve rarely experienced places that can make them creamy enough, and not rubbery on the outside. But, the mash at Atlantic was light and creamy while still being thick enough to mix with the casserole gravy without turning into a watery mess. This main was a treat for my taste buds.

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Casserole

In my opinion a dessert isn’t a proper dessert if there’s no chocolate. So, for my final dish I chose the baked dark chocolate cheesecake on an almond crisp base with caramelised orange slices.  One word. Unreal. The thick chocolate top was dark and rich with the perfect amount of sweetness to create a godly dessert. Godly.

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Cheese Cake 

Food Highlight

My meal highlight was definitely the scallop starter. I wish the dish never had to end and the black pudding was a delight.

Drink Highlight

Having been able to sample the fabulous cocktails at Atlantic, my personal favourite was a tie between two . I couldn’t decide between the divine Atlantic Margarita – topped with strawberry whip- and the exquisite Strawberry and Rosemary Mojito. Both taste amazing and are a lot of fun.

Special Mention

My special mention goes to the vegetarian starter, which I did not order but did try. It was a half chargrilled globe artichoke served with a warm pommery mustard vinaigrette. This was the starter my boyfriend chose and he assures me it’s unlike anything he’s ever tried. Fresh and tasty, this dish is a great choice.

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I’d like to extend a huge thank you and well done to the amazing staff at Atlantic Bar and Brasserie. The evening was fantastic and the waiting staff were on point.  Fantastique!

 

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 It’s Don’t Byrne it herself! Cheers! 

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Khublai Khans – Glasgow

Marcel Boulestin, the host of BBC’s first ever cooking show, once said: “Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.”

This principle looks to be the founding pillar of Mongolian restaurant, Khublai Khans, in the heart of Glasgow’s merchant city. The restaurant is based around the eating habits of the brave Mongolian warriors, which is mirrored throughout their décor.

While this restaurant conjures visions of battles and war, it is also an incredibly fun and creative experience. At Khublai Khans you create your own dinner. You choose your base, your meat, your herbs and spices, your marinade and the lovely chefs cook your creation for you on a giant flat barbeque in front of your eyes, it’s a spectacle.

Before you read on, these are some of my creations:

plate 1 plate 2

The Base

Here, you have a choice of rice, thick udon noodles or thin rice noodles. You can also pick what veg you’d like too from their vast selection. Don’t overfill or you’ll leave yourself too full to head back and create another. The menu has a few different options, but I would recommend the ‘BBQ Only’, this gives you unlimited trips to the buffet area, meaning you can concoct as many different meals as you like.

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The Meat

The amount of options they have here will leave any meat lover weak at the knees. There’s the normal selection of steak, chicken, pork, turkey and lamb, but there is also zebra, kangaroo, rabbit, and wild boar. They also have a great selection of seafood, including prawns, squid, octopus and haddock.

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The Herbs and Spices

With around 20 different herbs and spices you can give your meal a real kick. Some options include garlic, paprika, rosemary, coconut, and ginger. Go wild.

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The Marinade

You can let your creativity flow with the vast array of sauces. Make your meal light and fruity with the addition of mango sauce or rich and hot with some Thai green curry. These are only two options to choose from, there are plenty more to suit all taste buds. Being creative with the marinades, herbs and spices can get you a fantastic dish that’ll get you plenty of insta likes.

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Khublai Khans is a fantastically fun night out with lovely staff and an ingenious dinning idea that was delicious while being great fun. While a dinner meal for two can set you back upwards of £40, it is definitely worth the money.

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The Project Café – Glasgow

Glasgow’s Project Café, located a minute walk from the famous Glasgow School of Art, describes its menu as ‘small but mighty’, with a distinctly art school feel, the café is a welcome haven from the busy city.

With vegan and vegetarian food, The Project Café serves a various menu of wholesome meals that change regularly. There are glass jugs of water and cups placed by the door for anyone to hydrate themselves, aiding to the community spirit atmosphere of this little city centre café.

For my lunch at The Project Café I chose:

  • Spicy red pepper and lentil soup – served with seeded bread and butter.
  • Broccoli and blue cheese pastry – served with a leafy salad and light mustard dressing.

As it was pay day for me I opted for two plates to treat myself, but for anyone looking for a light lunch any one of these two dishes would do for a lunch time fill-up.

The soup was thick and rich, with a dense consistency. It was the perfect choice for a cold day like the day we visited. The spice provided an Indian curry flavour while the lentils gave the soup its thick texture and the red pepper its sweetness. The generous portion and the huge slice of seeded bread served along-side made it a hearty and soulful soup.

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The fantastic soup

The warmed broccoli and blue cheese pastry was full of flavour. The crunch of the cooked broccoli blended well with the strong creamy cheese. The blue cheese taste was very understated, I believe even those who dislike the cheese would enjoy the pastry. The leafy green salad was served with a light mustard dressing. Usually I don’t like mustard as it’s too strong for me, but the dressing had just the right amount of strength that it went perfectly alongside the pastry.

The Project café is a great place to go for a relaxing meal. The café also serves hot drinks and a selection of delicious looking cakes.

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Quick Review – La Sandwicherie, Glasgow

I must confess my deep-rooted hatred of sandwich chain Subway. This stems from a revolting viral video from a few years back showing a staff member stuffing lettuce up his nose then snorting it back into the salad bar. This, along with the synthetic taste of their bread and the same disgusting smell all their chains have, means I have to look further to find a fresh sandwich.

Family run sandwich shop La Sandwicherie on Port Dundas road, located only a two minute walk from Sauchiehall Street, is my savoury saviour.

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Located on Port Dundas Road.

Providing fresh baguettes, rolls, paninis, soup and hot meals such as cooked meats and pastas, La Sandwicherie is a friendly and small city centre gem.

The shop provides a huge variety of fillings and friendly service. The staff are happy to go the extra mile to make sure you have an experience to remember.

The shop is always busy and is a popular lunch time spot for the businesses surrounding it.

My personal favourite is a baguette with brie, cranberry sauce and cooked bacon.

Support local businesses and head to La Sandwicherie for a lunch with love.

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