How Jeremy Corbyn ruined my vegan caprese: An embarrassment of riches at The Bohemian

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Never mind what critics fear he’s doing to the Labour party – that swine Corbyn put paid to my vegan caprese.

But let’s rewind. I had been given free reign in a picking a restaurant for a post-work meet up with a friend in Newcastle – and it seemed only right that I carted her to The Bohemian.

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Just a few years ago you wouldn’t dare to dream of a vegetarian and vegan restaurant right in the centre of Newcastle.

But gone are the days when vegans meekly ate tomato pasta in grateful suffering. A multitude of meat-free and vegan-friendly places is springing up everywhere.

The Bohemian in Pink Lane is among those which have become a godsend for vegetarians and vegans looking for evening dining in the city centre itself.

Decked out with wood panelling, butterfly prints on the ceiling and album sleeves across the bar, the restaurant has a laid-back feel, but is chic enough for smarter occasions.

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Its the food that’s the main draw – yet it causes something of a dilemma.

Despite my previous moaning about the bad old days, the agony of choice is a bittersweet pain felt most keenly by the vegan. Restricted to just a couple of choices in most restaurants, we’re not used to an embarrassment of plant-based riches stretching down the menu.

To help alleviate this suffering, I took advantage of the Tuesday three-tapas-for £10 offer, allowing me to choose three of tantalising dishes from their eclectic collection.

The vegan caprese was the first thing I ordered, lured by its macadamia nut mozzarella promises – and as a two fingers to a colleague who said she couldn’t be vegan because she would miss this dreamy Italian salad.

It was then that Jeremy Corbyn’s long shadow struck.

“Oh, I’m really sorry, we were packed last night and we’ve run out,” replied the friendly waitress.

“There was a Jeremy Corbyn rally last night and they all came in here afterwards.”

Mentally tearing up my imaginary Labour Party membership card, I ordered in its place a shreaded Peking jackfruit, a vegan quesadilla, and some tempura vegetables. Oh, and a side order of sweet potato fries.

My dining companion had ordered a special – which ultimately suffered a similar fate to my caprese – so went for the pulled jackfruit fajita, joining me in a Peking jackfruit, which she had as a starter.

Jackfruit, for those of you at home, is a Southeast Asian relative of the fig and breadfruit, whose substantial flesh has become commonly used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Think of it as a vegan pulled pork – or, in my case here – a vegan duck, it coming served neatly with pancakes, shredded spring onion and a gloriously pungent hoi sin sauce.

The next up was my quesadilla, which can be made with cheese if you’re one of those lightweight vegetarian types, or a dairy-free equivalent, which came with a wonderfully fresh-tasting quacamole.

Tempura vegetables and sweet potato fries are a natural crowd-pleasers, and both were crispy, filling additions to the rest of my smorgasbord.

My friend concluded she was too full for desert, but I thought considering the selection of vegan delights, it would be rude of me to say no – so I suffered no qualms in ordering an amaretto vegan cheesecake and a soya latte.

I did insist she at least try a spoonful of its stodgy goodness before we departed, full, but happy – and beginning to forgive Jeremy.

• At present The Bohemian isn’t open for weekday lunches or on a Sunday evening.

Also, watch out for new venture The BoHo Vegan Pizza Co – only pick-up takeaway is offered at present, but delivery is promised soon.