Harmonium, Edinburgh.

Last night we decided we’d drive through to the burgh to try out the new vegan bar/restaurant Harmonium.

Harmonium can be found on Henderson Street in Leith. It’s a gorgeous wee building, kitted out very naturally with lots of wood! I believe it’s been open about 4 weeks, so very much still in its infancy!

We arrived at 6.20, which was 20 minutes after the kitchen opened. The place was pretty quiet with a few people sitting at the bar and a couple of tables worth of people eating. The staff were very friendly, but if I’m totally honest a little bit vague. We were walk ins, who hadn’t booked a table (in case anyone doesn’t get the ‘walk in’ terminology). The staff informed us they had nothing until 8.30pm, as they were expecting 8 people in approximately 5 minutes. Ok…fair enough…we hadn’t booked, it’s a chance you take. But…this is when it got a bit weird for me and they lost me.

They told us we could take a seat and have a drink whilst we waited and if something became available earlier we’d be taken. Great! Totally fair! But…then they sat us at a table, and told us we could eat at this table….they gave us menus…πŸ€” I’m not going to lie, I’m now lost. I assumed they were fully booked until 8.30? But…she then explains…they cannot take our order as the kitchen will be busy when the 8 people arrive, in about 5 mins, so they can’t take our order until the kitchen serves the 8 people and it gets quieter! 😲

That made no sense to me, as they had a table…and kitchen staff and we were there…ready to order…and the 8 people weren’t anywhere to be seen yet!

Thankfully, they spoke to the chef who clearly seen the madness in this idea too and agreed to make the food if we ordered. So, we did so…without haste!

Liz went for the fillet-o-tofish, with added vegan cheese and chips and I opted for the tofu katsu curry with brown rice! Mini me didn’t fancy anything really, so she ordered some chips and orange juice only.

I was well impressed with the alcohol free beer and my other half really enjoyed her red wine. Sadly, she cut her lip on a chipped wine glass, but they replaced the glass and gave her a fresh serving of wine, so all well that ends well. πŸ‘

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Let’s get to the food….

The tofish was absolutely gorgeous. Tasty AF! The batter was to absolutely die for and the bun was lovely and soft. Sadly, the chips were freezing, but again…they sorted that out without any bother!

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The katsu is what I actually drove through for, so I was extra happy it was on the menu. It did not disappoint!

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The sauce was exquisite! I loved it, not too spicy but super aromatic. The breadcrumb coating on the tofu was lovely and although not extra firm, the tofu itself was lush. I’m a tofu addict though, and would eat it in any form!

My only criticism is that the portion sizes are small. The chips are sparse on the side and even the separate portions are very small…about 1/3 the size of a Mono portion. The rice was kind of congealed and there was hardly any at all, no where near enough to soak up the sauce. And…the meal was served just warm, a long way off hot! That didn’t bother me last night, as we were starving…but I may have sent it back on another occasion.

The service is a bit sporadic, they forgot our daughter’s chips and took ages to get us mayo, etc. But…they are just open and probably getting to grips with full service on busy nights etc. I’m sure it’ll come together! Oddly enough, quirky service seems to be the norm in vegan establishments….that and short troosers! πŸ˜‚ (you’ll be looking for that now).

We didn’t manage a dessert as they’d ran out of chocolate cheesecake (which is odd considering the kitchen had only been open an hour when we were ordering dessert). The sweet selection isn’t up to much, but hopefully they’ll work on this. High street chains have more impressive vegan treats, but give the place time…it’s only 4 weeks old and the main menu is extensive already!

Despite the wee niggles, we had a gorgeous meal and we would definitely go back!

I’d give harmonium a firm 7 out of 10 right now….which I’m sure will improve with time.

They need some music too. I can’t recall hearing anything!

Overall, big thumbs up to a vegan restaurant in auld reekie. They’ve got a long way to go until they’re as pro vegan as Glasgow, so this is a welcome addition to the city I’m sure we all agree!

I love tofu!

My name is Bobbie and I abso-fucking-lutely love tofu!!! Just got to get that out there!!

Today was a quiet day. It started with our usual smoothie….plus an extra two smoothies, as B was smoothie mad today! She couldn’t get enough!! Our favourite is strawberry, blueberry, oatly chocolate, wheatgrass, oats and chia seeds. That being said…B made a gorgeous wee concoction of banana, strawberry, pineapple juice and wheatgrass today and it was devine. She definitely has a flare for flavour combos. I hope she’ll make great cocktails when she’s older! 🀣

Dinner was something new, thanks to The Buddhist Chef. Crispy tofu in a sweet and spicy sauce. We served it with rice noodles, but it would go beautifully with wholewheat rice too.

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This has immediately catapulted into one of my top five meals!!! This will be served a lot in our house. I honestly think omnivores would like this too – tofu often puts people off, but this was exceptional. The texture was just right.

As you may or may not know, depending how well you know me, I have a few pets. I currently have three dogs and two cats.

How to feed my pets is a topic that really irks me. I am not at all comfortable with being a hypocrite…and I am on this front. I don’t consume, use or purchase animal products….I do not believe on ending a life….but, I buy dog food for my dogs. I buy the flesh (and fuck knows what else actually) of other animals to keep my animals alive. πŸ€” This is something I’m not comfortable with. But…I had these pets before I was vegan (or even veggie with Luka). And, they rely on me to provide for them.

For dogs…who are scavengers by nature…it would be entirely possible for them to survive off of a vegan diet. But, cats…who are object carnivores…could not survive without taurine in their diet, which is found in organ meat. 🀒

My dogs are all geriatric, and being perfectly honest I cannot afford the vegan dry foods on the market…but…I also hate buying dog meat, as I know logically this has to be the lowest of the low in terms of welfare.

So…for now…I compromise. I feed my dogs a small amount of meat processed food and add fresh fruit and veg (and wheatgrass) to their meal. I do this for several reasons; to reduce the amount of animal products I have to buy Β for them; to use up waste products and reduce the amount going to the landfill (Bette will also get a rabbit in our new home to aid this); and to improve the health content of the meal by adding fresh produce. Because fresh produce is ALWAYS best!!

I think that’s a fair compromise. Sure, it may not be vegan enough for the militant vegans…but, I follow the path that makes ME feel content. If I can lay my head down at night and sleep feeling comfortable with my decision, then that’s what counts to me.

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The dugs definitely think it’s a good idea!

Perhaps us vegans should only have vegan pets. I’ve actually heard this being banded about. But…for me, I love dogs and cats and my life wouldn’t be complete without them in it. So, I’ll need to continue to find a way that works to allow us to cohabit and enjoy each other’s company.

If you’re content walking a rabbit round the park, knowing that he fits in to your vegan life…fabulous for you, but I’d feel like a bampot and I’d miss my dugs!

The motto of my story….don’t try to mould yourself into someone elses standards, make your own. Do what’s right for you…whilst always striving to do as little harm as possible.

Peace out. ✌

Father’s Day…and he did it vegan!

Today was Father’s Day….if you didn’t know that (and you’re in the UK) then you’ve missed it….and your poor Dad is probably heart broken! πŸ˜‰

I am in the fortunate position (unfortunate when you need to buy presents) of having two Dads in my life. My own Daddy (Rab) and my step Dad (Michael).

Today Bette and I met my Dad at the market at silly o’clock πŸ˜ͺ. He loves a good pruch (those of you who aren’t Scottish will have to google that) round the many stalls at the market. He buys all sorts of rubbish, but insists one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

After visiting two markets, I managed to talk him into a vegan lunch! My Daddy does not understand why anyone would be vegan or vegetarian. He just doesn’t get it and I’m tired of trying to explain it. So, he cooks and buys vegan for us….but eats whatever he likes otherwise and we’re all fine with that. Btw….he is the biggest softy ever when it comes to animals too. He stopped today for 10 mins to give water to a dog tied up outside the supermarket. He stood pouring water into his hand for a full ten minutes whilst the dug drank. He feeds a family of foxes and has done for YEARS….but….vegans are mental! πŸ˜‚

Despite this, he accompanied us to mono today. Mono is a gorgeous little vegan bar/cafe in Glasgow.

We enjoyed jackfruit burritos, mac and cheese and their gorgeous chips….followed by a banana split and warm apple pie with ice cream. I didn’t manage any pics, which is a poor show for a blogger….but, I was too busy in the moment. 😊 However, I did manage a snowball to take away!!

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My Daddy Bear & my wain in Mono.

In my usual fashion I forgot to post the cards to the men in my life, so i wrote my Dad’s as he strapped B in her carseat and posted Michael’s on the way home.

Michael spent the day climbing or walking his dugs, I’d imagine. I did however see a startrek tattie at the fruitmarket and sent him it….he’s a big fan (of startrek, no tatties!). I considered buying it, but it wouldn’t have lasted until I next seen him!! 🀣🀣

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After a play on Glasgow Green for a few hours, Bette and I headed home for dinner.

Tonight, if I do say so myself, I made an amazing curry. Dead simple….sweet tattie, mushroom, onion, peppers and frys chicken strips in a lovely coconut curry sauce.

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Behold…my fantoosh fabulous curry, with bulgar wheat.

The heat today haa been exhausting, and I’m no doubt burnt….being ginger and scottish does that to you!

Tonight…I’ll leave you with this….

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Do folk carry aboot their own lavvy roll?? πŸ€”

N’night….😘

My baby is 4!

Today my little love turned 4. It’s hard to imagine life without her in it, but at the same time it’s hard to believe it’s been four years since I first met her.

She is, without doubt, my greatest achievement.

She is my little eco baby…she’s made very little impact on the world in terms of her carbon footprint. She was breastfed until she was 3 years and 3 months, she was cloth bummed and she’s been a vegetarian since she was in utero! Who knows where life will lead her, but to me she’ll always be special. She is a really loving and caring little girl. She has a gift with animals and her character is phenomenal. I truly believe she’ll end up on the stage!

Yesterday we celebrated her birthday with her Papa (My Dad) at the Farm Park. She had a blast (there was of course no vegan scran) and today we celebrated her birthday again with her Gran & Granda (my Mum and step Dad), her Granny B (My Gran), Uncle Chris and Aunty Megan and her wee cousin: Violet and Granny L (my step Gran).

We had a bouncy castle, which gave us ALL hours and hours of entertainment! I actually think the adults possibly enjoyed it even more than the wains…if that’s at all possible.

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We all played outside the entire day. She was very much a happy wee girl.

My Mum, as usual, outdid herself with her food. She made us Sweet Potato and White Bean Chilli with brown rice and the most amazing guacamole. She had picked every item to ensure it was all vegan. The only thing on the table that was not suitable for us was the cheese and chive dip (and later, the chocolate fountain!).

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After the main she did crisps, dips and bread sticks with olives etc. Again, She had made the dips herself and ensured everything was SFV.

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She also made us vegan ice cream sundaes with chocolate ice cream, fresh fruit and oatly cream! (Forgot a pic…was far too excited).

We finished off the meal with a gorgeous coconut milk cappuccino and a vegan nut bar!

Overall, she did an amazing job of catering for us.

She said it took her 3 hours doing to shopping as she had to read every packet. But…she pulled it off. 10/10 for the food Mum…and 5 stars for the entertainment!

It’s been a fabulous weekend. Tomorrow we’ll be doing nothing as we need a rest from all the excitment.

On a side note. I tried the most amazing puddings yesterday….

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The BEST pudding ever!!!

You can buy these in Sainsburys. They’re Β Β£2 for 4…but trust me, they’re worth every penny. (I demolished all 4 πŸ™ˆ).

I don’t usually post pictures of Bette on here….but today is Bette day, so it seems fitting.

Happy BETTEday baby. When I count my blessings I ALWAYS count you twice.

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Goodnight from a very tired family. βœŒπŸ’—