Strictly speaking, I’m not a vegan. I’m not a vegetarian either. This year however, I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to improve my physical health or “get a grip” as my supportive peers would say. To do this, I’m going ride the swelling wave of veganism find out just what plant-based has to offer.
One of my first trips was to Cosy Club, to check out its vegan menu, which just happened to win PETA Best Vegan Menu in 2018. That’s right, a full menu catering to the herbivore, complete with mini tapas dishes, sides, mains and dessert. Oh, and breakfast menu too. What a time to be alive… for humans and livestock.
The Corn Exchange is in the best shape it’s been in for ages
Strictly speaking, it’s not a club, but it’s certainly cosy. The décor is warm and inviting, with charming portraits on the wall and deep mood lighting. I don’t think it’s the kind of vibe 50-Cent was going for when he wrote ‘In Da Club’, but I think he’d like it here. There’s an opening under the dome roof that looks out over the rest of the Corn Exchange, which is in the best shape it’s been in for ages, especially if you’re into your shopping and eating. I often imagine 50-Cent standing there, rapping some of his swearwords to adoring fans down below.
The food is rich and hearty, surprisingly so for a plant-based offering. On the tapas side, the Garlic Mushrooms on Sourdough Toast is meaty and crispy, with such a lovely savoury mouthful. The mushrooms look a bit like slugs, which could be a concern for the extra-vegan, but they were so tasty. The Mediterranean Plate is really fresh, with sharp flavours from the pomegranate and tomato bonding well with the hummus. Who doesn’t love a little mezze now and again?
The mushrooms look a bit like slugs, which could be a concern for the extra-vegan
The mains are creamy and full of flavour. If you’re struggling with the big vegan switch around, Cosy Club will settle your fears; it is possible to fill up and feel good for it. The Creamy Leek Tart looked like a plant pot, but it was very good, with a hard pastry crust and piping hot joy within. The Thai Green Vegetable Curry was thick and aromatic, but it could have done with a little more heat. Kick aside, it was another dish you’d happily go for even if you were considering meat and dairy-based stuff.
I can’t quite remember what the Chocolate & Orange Torte tasted liked as it was gone in three seconds and there was an awkward moment when the waiter collecting the plate stared at the noticeable finger marks on the surface, where I’d consumed every last drop of the Raspberry Sauce. Based on the above, I’d say it was an absolute winner. Also based on the above, my physical health might not be improving anytime soon.
A really warm experience and a big tick for vegans looking for hearty, tasty plates of food
It’s a huge place with hundreds of covers, so you get pockets of nothingness as you walk through, but the clusters of activity are animated and people enjoy it here. The bar’s actually fantastic as it’s huge and the seating area wraps itself around that nice balcony bit I mentioned earlier.
Location wise, Cosy Club’s always going to have a battle on its hands, but that’s city centre life for you. On the whole, it’s a really warm experience and it’s one of the big ticks for vegans looking for hearty, tasty plates of food. If you’re barely vegan like me, it’s a good baby step towards a life being nicer to cows.