Thursday 21 August 2014

Wildebeest Cafe, Falmouth

I can't lie the main reason I decided to make Cornwall the location for our summer camping trip was to visit the newly opened, all vegan, Wildebeest Cafe, which is situated in the lovely port town of Falmouth. 

The people behind Wildebeest used to live in Brighton and whilst they were here they ran popular sushi pop up Yum Tum Sushi whose food I ate and enjoyed on multiple occasions. I've been following their journey towards opening this gorgeous new restaurant since the very beginning and I was overjoyed to finally make it down there to try the food. The space is gorgeous, this couple are super stylish and have created a lovely, welcoming, relaxing space.

Despite having a peculiar phobia of chalk (seriously, don't use it near me) I loved the handwitten chalk board menu and the area people could doodle on above the bar seats. I was pretty happy nobody used it whilst I was there though or I might have had to step outside! We arrived far too early for lunch which begins at 12 and we were all happy to chill out with a drink and use their speedy wifi for 45 minutes before ordering. As we'd been eating ridiculous camping food I decided to go for a green juice as I couldn't remember when I last ate a vegetable.

It had spinach, pear, apple, cucumber and lime and was perfectly refreshing. I love a little citrus in my green juice and it wasn't overly cucumbery which I dislike. Everyone else had coffee or tea, this is Sal's chai latte which she enjoyed.

It was the food we were most excited about though and I seriously wanted to order every single thing on the menu. It was great that we had so much time to deliberate and I managed to convince Nick to share loads of things with me which meant I got to try four different dishes. Here we have the Miso Soup & Seaweed Salad and the Hoisin Cucumber Rolls from the Light Bites menu.

I loved everything about these three dishes. The cucumber rolls weren't what anyone was expecting, the finely sliced cucumber was wrapped around tender perfectly seasoned seitan. The hoisin sauce had just the right level of spice so as not to overwhelm the cucumber and, aside from being a little challenging to pick up with chopsticks, it was perfect. Seaweed salad is always a favourite of mine and the addition of a miso dressing and sesame seeds elevated it to the next level, I found this one hard to share! Miso soup, another fave, was up there with some that I had in Japan. So, spot on! We also ordered the Butterbean, Garlic & Dill dip with homemade bread.

Whilst I enjoyed this I would have preferred it to have had a more pronounced dill flavour, the garlic was a little overpowering for me. I thought that the homemade bread was excellent and Nick, who doesn't love dill, thought everything about this light bite was great.

The real star of the show was this next dish. Polenta with Pesto Tomato Sauce, Aubergine, Roast Cherry Tomatoes & Leeks.

This dish wouldn't be out of place at an upscale NYC spot. The deep fried polenta was spectacular and it paired perfectly with the pesto and aubergine and the leeks and roasted cherry tomatoes could easily stand alone as a punchy canapé. Every bite of this was exceptional and when I go back I will be requesting that this is on the menu.

One dish I actually didn't consider ordering was the Chilli which came with salsa, guacamole, chipotle cashew cheese and handmade blue and white corn tortillas.

It was beautifully presented and both Sal and Tabitha raved about it. A bottle of homemade hot sauce also appeared at the table and everyone who tried it thought it was excellent.

Dessert was another area that needed a lot of deliberation, there were five options and in the end we all went for three each. Yup! Three. That's how hard it was to choose. We all opted for the Warm Chocolate Brownie and a scoop of the home-made Chocolate and Hazelnut sorbet.

The brownie came with cream but being a cream hater I skipped it. Ice cream's better anyway and boy did we hit the jackpot with this decision. The brownie was served hot out of the oven, it was perfectly gooey and super chocolatey and the chocolate and hazelnut sorbet is the kind of things my dreams are made of. It was intensely rich, nutty and creamy, bordering on Nutella-esque in flavour but better, so much better. Honestly I'm pretty tempted to make the seven hour journey just to eat this again. Hold me back!

We also each took away a piece of the Lime Sponge Cake which made an excellent post-nap snack eaten lying on a picnic blanket in the sun back at our campsite.

We all ended up with a bit of a sugar rush because the slices were huge and because we have no self control where cake is concerned but it was delightful nonetheless!

Whether you live near Falmouth or not Wildebeest Cafe should make it onto your must eat list, it'll be worth every second of travel time I promise!

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