Is it completely unrealistic of me to expect something vegan to eat in a vegetarian cafe? I know I’m not going to get full run of the menu but I should be able to eat at least one item, right?
People, meet Orchard Vegetarian Kitchen.
During the week just passed, I agreed to have a business meeting at Orchard on Sicilian Avenue in Holborn. I had never heard of the location even though it is just around the corner from where I have been hosting London Vegan Potluck for more than two years.
Even though the few people I asked about Orchard told me it wasn’t much good for vegans, I approached with an optimistic spring in my step. When I reached the front door and started to read the menu, my spirits deflated.
Nothing on the Orchard menu is marked as vegan, an oversight I find peculiar and troubling in a vegetarian eatery. Add to this names of dishes including duck eggs and goat cheese and you can see why I was feeling suddenly less hopeful.
I soldiered on.
I asked the server if they could point out the vegan options on the menu and I was shown a handful of dishes. I opted to go with a potato dish only to be told I couldn’t order anything from the menu as it was before midday. That’s correct. They talked me through the menu only to tell me I couldn’t order from the menu. Slightly annoying.
I asked if they were serving any food and I was told by the server that they only had cakes before midday. They must have vegan cake in a vegetarian cafe, right? Wrong. My indifferent server said they had only one dairy free cake but that wasn’t suitable as it contained honey.
I know much bigger problems exist in this world, but it’s all about context people. I was in a vegetarian cafe in central London at eleven o’clock on a Tuesday and I was being told they could not serve me anything vegan to eat. It all struck me as lazy and redundant.
Actually, if you take one sentiment from this review I would like it to be redundant.