Edinburgh was always a bit behind Glasgow, when it came to providing us vegans and vegetarians with decent restaurant options. Stepping outside the mundane selections of ‘avocado on toast’/ ‘veggie burger and chips’ seemed to be something the good folks of the Edinburgh eateries were just not comfortable with. A vegan bar seemed out of the question.
The East end has been GAGGING for a vegan venue (in the past us Leithers have had to make the pilgrimage to the city centre/West end for our daily fix). Harmonium has pitched tent in the old VDeep premises, and is the newest project from the ethically sound folks behind Glasgow’s Flying duck, The 78 and Mono.
The decor has remained fairly similar to the old venue’s appearance, holding focus on the dockland/warehouse feel of the area. Wooden flooring and tables are now ‘veganed’ up a little with cute cacti and hanging planter decorations.
The menu is extensive and, most importantly, interesting. A good four/five options for each course means that you’re getting a good variety without feeling overwhelmed (every vegan I know will tell you how exciting it is to go somewhere that you can have ANYTHING on the menu!!). Prices are fair for the city centre location, with starters averaging around the £5 mark, mains at around £9*.
After much promotion from a friend who was lucky enough to attend their opening night, I opted for the Mac and Cheese with garlic bread. We also tried the wild mushroom, kale, truffle oil and crispy aubergine bacon rigatoni. It’s rare that I visit a vegan venue without trying their mock meats, but the promise of creamy vegan cheese made the sell. It doesn’t disappoint. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, you’d have never have known that this (or our other creamy dish topped with ‘parmesan’) were vegan. My only regret, I wish I’d also had space for crab cakes main, and the bread and chorizo starter too!!
An early lunch visit meant that we didn’t dip into the bar menu. However, it is stocked with a strong selection of beers (which they make themselves), classic cocktails, and organic wines. Boozing, at it’s guilt free best.
For more vegan venues in Edinburgh, check out my post about Vegan and Vegetarian eating in Edinburgh.
Do you have a favourite vegan venue in Edinburgh? What would you like to see on a vegan menu that differs from the usual options?
*Prices are a rough guide from the menu running on the 13/07/17