Thursday 26 June 2014

Black Cat Cafe

On Monday myself and some friends from Brighton Vegan Meet Up got together and headed up to London for the day. The purpose of our trip? Cats! Black ones to be precise. As we're a pretty kittie obsessed group hell bent on eating everything vegan in our sights Black Cat Cafe seemed to be an obvious spot for a day trip. Situated in Hackney on the sight of the sadly closed but much loved Pogo Cafe Black Cat is co-operatively run and 100% vegan.

After much train drama we arrived around two o'clock and dived straight into the lunch menu ordering different things so that we could sample our way around what they had to offer.

I chose the BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Burger which came in focaccia and with chips and salads on the side.

I definitely enjoyed this but I had to remove some of the jackfruit to up the mayo / tomato to spicy barbecued jackfruit ratio as it was obviously too spicy for me, when will I learn?! Justine happily helped me polish off the jackfruit though and she loved that there was a wheat free meat sub on the menu. Out of the three salads I enjoyed the spring cabbage slaw with apple and cucumber the most, in fact I could have eaten a whole bowl of the stuff it was so yummy. The other salads were carrot and seeds and quinoa and sprouts both of which were enjoyable but obviously I preferred the chips!

Justine ordered the Garamlette, Black Cat's clever name for their chickpea flour omelette, which was full of peppers, onions, asparagus and corn.

As you can see it looked really good although it's not something I'd order myself as chickpea flour or tofu omelettes are a go-to weeknight meal for me.

I was definitely a little jealous of Rachel's order as she picked the Seitan and Mushroom Pie with mash, peas and gravy but I was lucky enough to get to eat a chunk of it as she declared it to be too big for her.

It was super delicious, the pastry was light, the mushrooms were plentiful and the chunks of seitan scattered throughout were tender and flavourful. The mash looked really creamy too and I think I'll be ordering this if it's on the menu next time I visit.

As well as being a cafe Black Cat is a well stocked vegan shop selling mock meats, imported and locally produced vegan treats, cookbooks and zines. This section has an impressive range of treats spanning from Ten Acre crisps to Bajadera, a favourite Croation chocolate of mine that I'd never seen in the UK before.

On the other side of the space are fridges full to the brim with mock meats and cheeses. They also do coffee with an impressive selection of non dairy milks to choose from.

The homemade sausage rolls were super tempting too...

...but my eyes were drawn towards the just-delivered desserts.

I picked out a Rocky Road bar and a Lamington.

I was immediately drawn to the Rocky Road slice because whilst I love the rocky road style bars I can buy down in Brighton this one was made the traditional way with marshmallows, let's just say I wasn't disappointed by it's deliciousness!

Whilst I'd heard of Lamingtons thanks to my Australian blogger buddies I'd never eaten one before and gawd damn, it was delicious! It's made up of moist white sponge enrobed in chocolate and then covered in desiccated coconut. So delicious! I would like to eat another right now please.

We had such a great time at the cafe, the volunteer running the show on the day was super chatty and friendly and I only just realised whilst writing this that Black Cat are also not for profit which has made me love them even more! We were also all very impressed by the amount of cats we saw wandering past the large open windows and we had to keep halting our conversations to point them out and comment on how adorable they are. We heart all of the cats!

If you're in London I would strongly suggest a visit to Black Cat, get the pie, eat all of the Lamingtons, enjoy!


  1. One of my good friends works at Black Cat but I still haven't been! Looks like you had a pretty fab meal.

  2. Wow, the name of the place and the dishes both sound great!
    I think I like yr meal pick the best. Definitely would have gotten at least a rocky road bar too!

  3. Yay lamingtons! I'm glad you enjoyed it! We don't have many Australian foods because we have been so influenced by other cultures, so lamingtons are totally our claim to fame (along with the pavlova...though I've never come across a decent vegan version of that)

  4. The seitan and mushroom pie looks like it wants to get eaten by me! And the sausage roll!

  5. Oh my, this place sounds amazing!! I shall have to visit next time I'm in London (although that's probably a long way off...). Does jackfruit live up to the hype?

    1. Yes! I've cooked with it before and enjoyed it but for my gluten free friend it was even cooler as she can't usually eat mock meats!

  6. At least I know, thanks to you, that when I finally do move back to London/Brighton, I'll be able to eat! :-)

  7. what a fun excursion. It's cool that they also have a little shop to buy vegan goods and goodies. I made lamingtons when I did Around The World in 30 Days, and they were great - but I have never seen one for sale in the US.

  8. I keep meaning to go here!
    Your blog always makes me hungry!

  9. holy crap that seitan pie looks amazing. I would've totally gone for that.

    And the rocky road, because hell yeah!

  10. Oooh Lamingtons - I recently bought "Adventurous Vegetarian - Around The World" from Amazon - which has a lot of vegan recipes in it .... and there is one for Lamingtons!

  11. Loving your blog!I am Australian living (and blogging!) on the Isle of Wight and I miss lamingtons!

  12. Yummmm! Where is this place? she says as she googles...ah it is close to my future home! I want to gooo and get a rocky road thingy and a Lamington!

  13. Great to hear about this place. I have good friends who live in walking distance and we used to go to Pogo (and Pumpkins before Pogo) a lot. I'm also delighted to hear about that Croatian chocolate. My sister brought me some back from a holiday and I loved the packaging as much as the gorgeous chocolate!

  14. Holy cow, (no pun intended) I've never seen a non-dairy listing like that in any cafe I've ever seen, even the 100% vegan establishments. What a luxury to have all those choices! Plus, that rocky road bar? Yeah, I think I'll need about a dozen of those, stat.


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