All Reviews by Sarah_Lily
Kuninkaankatu 15, Tampere, Finland
The best thing about Tampere....
.... is probably Cafe Gopal.
This lovely, quaint little cafe serves a vegan buffet with an Indian theme. I found that half the buffet was traditional salads such as couscous and quinoa, and the other half was dishes such as lentil dal, chickpea curry, spinach curry and rice. They also had puppadoms and the most delicious crispy beetroot balls when I visited. You help yourself and pay by weight. I had a dish full of food and it came to 9 euros while my partner, who tends to eat more than me, had a plate piled high for 11 euros.
The lady, busy cooking in the kitchen as she worked, was really nice, helpful and spoke excellent English. Everything on the buffet was vegan when I visited which was great. She also had a counter absolutely full of cakes, with an entire shelf that were vegan. I was too stuffed to eat any pudding there and then but I got some cakes to take away which included an apple sponge drizzled with vanilla custard, a lemon and almond muffin and a fudgy chocolate, nut topped cake. They were all really yummy and only 1.50-3.50 euros each.
I would not hesitate to recommend Cafe Gopal as a great place to eat for anyone who is visiting Tampere.
Kulmavuorenkatu 2, Helsinki, Finland
Review of the Saturday breakfast buffet
I was really looking forward to visiting Cafe Veganissimo after all the good reviews on here but unfortunately, I didn't manage to make it there until a Saturday. They seem to hold a breakfast buffet instead of lunch and it's 15 euros which I found to be very expensive.
The owner seemed friendly enough but he seemed nervous speaking in English so was quite difficult to understand. He told me that all the staff and the owners are vegan and that everything on the menu was also vegan because 'that is our thing!'
The buffet was really, really disappointing. I don't think I've ever eaten such a disgusting selection of food for breakfast. There were a range of fake meat sausages in all different shapes and sizes, a very sloppy tofu scramble which was totally liquid, some strange bread cakes which were hard on the outside and like lukewarm congealed rice on the inside, some potato(?) pancakes which were strangely sweet from sweetened soya milk, jam, beetroot salad, sauerkraut and an array of salad items with various dips and sauces. The only things I found palatable were some fried potatoes, potato salad and fresh fruit. They also had muesli on offer, juice and a smoothie which I'm sure all tasted fine but wouldn't have been worth 15 euros on their own!
This strange concoction of dishes really was not my thing at all, but the cafe seemed to be rather popular with locals. They must have been raking it in at 15 euros a plate!
I'm sure the weekly lunch options are fine, but I really wouldn't recommend this breakfast at all. However, maybe vegan Finnish breakfast food just isn't my thing.....?! Go try it for yourself if you're brave enough. Don't say I didn't warn you though!
Mannerheimintie 14-20, Forum Kauppakeskus, Helsinki, Finland
If you like a lot of icing on your ca-ake....
..... join this club!
I visited Niia's cupcake stand in the Forum shopping centre earlier this week. I chose a blueberry cupcake but there were also chocolate, vanilla and chocolate orange available. They look pretty impressive, with edible glitter sparkling in the icing.
Personally, I didn't really enjoy this cake. The whole cake overall wasn't overly sweet, which for me was a good thing but the cupcake itself was tiny, almost sunk in the middle and absolutely full of icing. So much icing. The icing was unlike anything I'd tasted before in the UK - it wasn't sugary and sweet, but had the texture of whipped cream from a spray can.
I thought the selection was a bit limited, all the cakes looked the same but in different flavours.
15 North Street, Exeter, England
I joined this website purely to express my disappointment at Herbies, that's how disappointed I am! I was intially impressed, an extensive vegan selection and pleasant decor. The food however was, in my opinion, really awful. I had the tofu and satay veg on tasca bread which was basically a mound of grated carrot and some Cauldron marinated tofu in a lot of sauce like watery mayonnaise which made the bread disgustingly soggy. The salad selection was poor - rather bland and just didn't go with the rest of the food. I didn't even clear half my plate and that has NEVER happened in a vegetarian restaurant before. My partner had a "pie" which was a few roasted veg and a bit of melted cheese on a layer of filo pastry. It was just really horrible, we both agreed. Also, it set me back £15 which, although not that much, was difficult to part with in return for such an unenjoyable experience. I really would not recommend this place but clearly this sort of food is up some people's street. I guess it's a personal thing..... The Plant Cafe on the other hand......... Go on, it's worth the walk :)
Mikonkatu 18, Helsinki, Finland
Innovative vegan options in a meaty restaurant
I was super impressed that Maya Bar and Grill had a note on their menu to say that vegetarian dishes could be made vegan. I was even more impressed, once inside, that the staff seemed to actually understand what vegan means. I was further impressed by the fact that the cheese in a mexican style meal would be replaced with tofu and not just left out. And best of all, the food tasted great.
I visited Maya twice during my week in and around Helsinki. On the first visit I had a fajita which was stuffed with grilled artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, spicy tofu and salad with a side of guacamole. Some of the starters can also be made vegan and they do the best ever tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole. The second visit I had Chili con Tofu y Coco which was a pot of vegetables in a spinach and coconut sauce topped with chargrilled tofu slices, chillies, spicy nuts and a side of rice. It was very flavourful and an innovative vegan option for a non-vegan restaurant.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was pleasant, staff were really helpful and friendly and it is obviously a very popular place to eat, especially on a Friday night! I thought it was a little on the expensive side at 12-16 euros for a vegetarian main course but for the quality of the food I didn't mind paying, as it was some of the best vegan food I found in Finland. I'd give it 5 stars if only HappyCow would let me!
Vanha Suurtori 3, Turku, Finland
Lovely vegan co-operative with atmosphere
Turun Kirjakahvila is hidden away in an inner yard but it was well signed and I had no trouble finding it. Luckily for me! It reminded me of a vegan co-operative in Brighton, England, as it was full of students, feminist rally photos, political books, vegan cookbooks for sale and artsy people deep in conversation, sharing books or flicking through images on their cameras.
I visited here twice, on the first day it was about 3pm and they'd stopped serving hot food. Everything in the place is vegan except for they do serve cows milk as well as soya milk for drinks. They had some bitesize vegan cheese and bacon pastries which they warmed up for us and seitan and salad in delicious granary rolls. Their cake selection is also fantastic and we enjoyed a peach filled cake and the best ever - vegan jaffa cakes!!! They're AMAZING and just like the ones I remember :D
When we returned the next day, expecting some hot food on offer, the selection was very limited as they only had beetroot soup, which we got with another seitan sandwich and unlimited tea and coffee for 7.50 euros. Their tea was a little on the weak side which is my only complaint. The soup was hearty and delicious.
The staff are volunteer students and some seemed to be learning the ropes, but all were very friendly and welcoming. The clientele pretty much all seemed to be students and they seemed as if they spent all day sitting chatting here, but they didn't seem to mind us popping by!
Another great thing about this cafe for me is that it was selling Go Max Go chocolate bars which I have never found in the UK.
I would really recommend this cafe if you like to support local, co-operative vegan business and want to enjoy some snacky food and cake in quirky surroundings.
Updated from previous review on Wednesday October 31, 2012