In trendy Barbican, a small, unassuming vegan restaurant can be found tucked away in a hidden corner, almost out of sight.
Stem and Glory, with light wooded tables, white chairs and greenery, this impeccably designed restaurant glows with an air of sophistication. One would imagine a vegan restaurant of such class to be pretentious and only for those strict vegan kinds, but contrarily its anything but.
When we arrived at Stem and Glory, we were welcomed by friendly staff who showed us to our cosy table and provided menus to us with a smile.
The food menu, although only a single page is quite overwhelming at first glance. As a vegan with an average palate, I was slightly overwhelmed as to what to choose. The dishes were unique and I hadn’t heard of many of the combinations before.
Nevertheless, we settled on a starter of Kimchi pancakes to share (the waitress told us they were one of her favourite dishes.) As the restaurant wasn’t busy, the service was lightning-fast and even before our drinks came, the starter arrived.
These four mini pancakes came tastefully laid out with a pickled salad at one end, and a leaf and jang sauce drizzled on either side of the pancakes.
What an unusual combination, but what charm. The flavours work magic together and even my meat-eating husband was impressed. With unusual combinations from the soft chickpea pancakes, tangy pickled salad and chilli jang sauce, all the complex flavours marry together to create pure deliciousness.
Next came mains. I immediately ordered the luxury lasagne. As a vegan, lasagne is one of those hard to come by dishes due to the cheese content, so when I was told this one was made with cashew nut cheese, it had to be tried.
This slow roasted aubergine and zucchini dish; smothered in cashew béchamel and layered with celeriac sheets was simply delicious. It also came with a side salad and a multispeed cracker covered in pesto puree, charmingly tasty and different.
My husband opted for the spice bao burger, a homemade bao bun filled with pulled BBQ jackfruit, pickle, cucumber and lime mayonnaise. This dish came with an accompaniment of roast potatoes and a side salad.
Sometimes it can take a lot to impress an omnivore, but this dish didn’t disappoint as my husband gulped it down without a second thought.
It’s also worth mentioning the delicious drinks we had. What more can be said here, I love wine, they have vegan wine, heaven. There is also a selection of craft beers, as well as some interesting limited-edition beers sourced from two of the best cult brewers in the UK.
All in all, my experience at Stem and Glory was genuinely a positive one and I cannot fault the restaurant in any way.
This vegan establishment is shining a small light in the world by providing delicious food, flowing wines and a fabulous atmosphere, all whilst being animal cruelty free at the same time.
Be sure to support them, I’m certainly keen to go back to trial some other vegan dishes as soon as time allows.