Opening disclosure: I am in no way vegan. I don’t think I even know the full dos and don’ts of it all. Just because it’s the trend of today and tomorrow, I don’t think I ever will. But still, Natural Healthy Foods looks good so off I go.
Vegan, plant-based, gluten-free, organic, locally-sourced, healthy living, sustainable… You name it, NHF is it for the healthy lifestyle lovers, both long time and new 2018 vegans.
It’s pretty tucked away in both locations, in DigBeth and their new eatery on Navigation St, Suffolk St Queensway opposite The Mailbox.
Trip one was lunch with a friend as an alternative to much loved brunch spot, Coffee Architects in Leamington.
It’s an airy, industrial yet wholesome space, plain in decor but warm in service with tremendous food presentation. Plus mini whole foods style shop as you enter. *insert list of really expensive whole foods like chia seeds here.*
Lunch is a buffet style service, open plates, slates and bowls piled HIGH with deliciousness. Hot, cold, dips and desserts. It’s pay per weight, a vegan pick and mix if you like.
I spent just £9 something on this bowl of goodness (god I felt like a goddess after my one vegan meal) but could easily have piled it up to the top of their average £16. I thought it was genuinely really good value for such a varied amount of food clearly prepared with love and attention to flavour.
One small ask: please can I heat my food up in a microwave? Those hot plates don’t quite do the job.
Followed by this Ferrero Rocher slice at a slightly eye watering price for my afternoon cake; £4.50. However it was probably filled with that many obscure nuts and cacao powders I probably shouldn’t moan. Plenty of other good looking sweeties too. Vegan brownie and carrot cake come at me.
Following my first visit, I was invited back to try out their newly launched brunch menu, available Saturday and Sunday from 9.30-11am. Slightly early in my brunch book but hey, these brunchers have probs been to bikram yoga at 8am, dahling.
Brunch, you may say, is definitely the alternative choice.
Now for me, tofu is the devil. So there’s certainly no possibility of me eating it SCRAMBLED in the ‘natural healthy breakfast’.
Tempted by the acai bowls (I promise not just for the pretty pictures 🙄), I decide against them as it’s a shivery Sunday morning and this girl needs warming through. Here goes then… beans and aubergine bacon.
Now I don’t know about you, non-vegans, but when you have first-hand knowledge of and favour the ‘real deal’, sometimes things just aren’t what they seem.
Although the baked beans are well cooked and have clearly been prepared with more care than your average tin, my palate won’t relax and fully enjoy this new version. A different kind of sweetness perhaps? Or perhaps they soak through the gluten free bread a tad too much, resulting in a soggy base?
Aubergine bacon. Well, I certainly rate their creativity at creating the appearance of your average rasher, and it was a welcome texture contrast to the pile of sweet beans. But I can’t say I’m sold.
I’ll happily put my hand up and say brunch at NHF is not for me. Maybe I should give it another go with an acai bowl or something, but for now, I’ll just be continuing my way around other Brum brunch hotspots.
Lunch, however, I’ll be back for. With lunch boxes starting at just a few £s, it’s definitely a sure fire way to become full vegan goddess in the office (for an hour or so anyway).
Suffolk St Queensway