Vegan Food Diary: My 21st Birthday Weekend

Usually I only post my own food on this blog, as I do a lot of cooking as a chef (weird, I know). However, I recently celebrated my 21st birthday and so did not lift a single finger to cook. But I did lift a fork. Multiple forks. And a few spoons. So, here’s a photo diary of some of the delicious vegan food I enjoyed over my birthday weekend.

Friday night: Vegan tasting menu at Circus

snacks (1)
Nori poppadoms, edamame on ice, Ban Trang spring rolls 
Crispy cauliflower + four bean salad, truffle + mushroom spinach rolls, and hiding shyly off camera (in our stomachs), water chestnut + date gyozas
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Chilli crusted tofu, jasmine rice, grilled asparagus, smoked courgette, mystery substitute mushroom dish  
Eton mess featuring mango sorbet, meringue, honey comb, berries and Thai basil syrup

Circus is a restaurant and cocktail bar which features phenomenal circus acts on the table between courses. Throughout the evening, we saw aerialists, fire-breathers and acrobats. Our dinner with them followed a theatre trip, both of which were birthday surprises from my mum.

The most surprising part of the evening, however, was not anticipated by my darling mother either. As we were seated 15 minutes before our booking, we caught the grand finale of the previous diners’ evening. A fire-breather, who happened to display her act sans clothes. Or, at least, she removed her clothes as the act progressed. A very wise decision really, given how flammable textiles can be. I’m not sure how many people can say that their mother took them to watch a lady light her nipple tassels on fire for their 21st, but I don’t mind being part of an elite group, especially when the food is on level with the entertainment!

Saturday lunch: mezze at Manna.

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Mezze of 3 starters: cannellini bean slider with sweet potato fries; vegetable tempura; jack fruit + black bean taquitos.
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My ridiculously sized meal + the sausage and mash dish that most of my family opted for.

For the day itself, my family and I ate at Manna in Primrose Hill. Completely overwhelmed by choice, I opted for the mezze meal comprising of three starters of my choosing. An absolutely ridiculous decision, obviously. Luckily, my brother had travelled up from Brighton as a surprise guest and he polished off every last bite that I couldn’t manage after he’d cleared off his own and several other plates. I’ve never been prouder of him.

Saturday tea time: Cake from Power of Health

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Carrot cake with  vegan cream-cheese frosting
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Headline reads: local girl holds cake with more pride and joy than a newborn child.

This pretty-in-pastels carrot cake was moist, lip-smacking, succulent, and plenty of other words people hate. But really, it was a perfect cake that everyone around the table enjoyed and that I am still dreaming about.

My entire birthday weekend was one of the best of my life. As my stomach filled up, as did my head with culinary inspiration. I’m probably just about ready to pick up a kitchen utensil that isn’t only for eating now. Thanks for reading!

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