Suncraft offers up an all-vegan menu full of plant-based delights – it’s a sign of better things to come, writes Sammy Milton
Ah January – the time of the year that we make our new promises. Whether that be exercising more, trying out a new hobby or simply trying to be a little healthier, it seems everyone’s up for a bit of self-improvement.
One New Year’s resolution in particular seems to be snowballing – Veganuary. The idea of eating a completely plant-based diet throughout the month has taken the world by storm, and as Bristol has recently been named the best city in the world for veganism, we thought it best we jump on the bandwagon too.
I am personally not vegan. I support it in every way; many of my friends are vegan and I will eat pretty much anything, but I do love my cheese and meat. So, when an opportunity arose to review Suncraft, one of Bristol’s newest all-vegan restaurants, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to introduce more vegan food into my diet, and this seemed like the perfect way to try what’s out there.
So, slightly simmering with excitement, myself and a friend headed over on a chilly Wednesday evening a couple of weeks back. Suncraft is the sister restaurant of the much-loved and respected Gallimaufry slap bang opposite, and after many rave reviews, I was keen to try it for myself.
With an oh-so-aesthetically pleasing frontage and a bright and cheerful interior, it was jam-packed full of people enjoying steaming bowls full of vibrant food.
Seated quickly, we were handed a menu apiece, and were invited to grab a drink from the fridge and order at the bar when we were ready.
And what a menu! Mains included curries, stews and salads, with sides consisting of tasty titbits like homemade kimchi and fried tofu and some very lovely sounding desserts. After an agonising session of trying to choose (everything sounded good), I eventually chose a black-eyed bean curry topped with spiced potato and spinach cakes and a fennel, radish and mint salad, and my friend opted for the gochujang stew with Korean rice cakes, many vegetables, tofu and kimchi. From the sides we shared red onion and leek bhajis with mint and cucumber raita and the fried tofu in a Vietnamese tomato sauce.
Everything arrived very swiftly, and after the obligatory photo taking, we dived straight in. My curry was so good. Incredibly substantial, the black-eyed beans really packed a flavourful punch, and combined with the creamy potato and spinach cakes, it made for a completely reassuring and fulfilling plate of food. My friend’s stew was incredible – deceptively spicy and full to the brim of perfectly cooked vegetables speckled with sesame seeds. Our sides deserved their own spotlight – the bhajis were subtly spiced and different to what I was used to, but extremely addictive, especially alongside the raita, and the tofu was divine. Nicely crispy, it sung in its sweet and sour sauce, making for a perfectly executed side dish.
We couldn’t pass up on dessert. Banana fritters with salted date ice cream and a shard of caramelised pineapple – I mean, could you? It was the stuff of childhood dreams, wonderfully reminiscent of a snack you might have had at the funfair, with the all the elegance of a well-thought out dessert. It was gone in seconds.
The best part? Not once did it cross my mind that everything was vegan. I honestly didn’t notice, and what’s more, I didn’t care. The food was outstanding. It’s a place I would come time and time again, to eat good, wholesome and frankly top-notch food. The fact that it’s cruelty-free is a huge bonus. So, whether you’ve been doing veganuary or not, Suncraft is well worth a visit – come and see for yourself.
39 Gloucester Road,