Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

[Review] Sova Vegan Butcher, Pleasants Street, Dublin 8

I often wonder how much vegetarians miss eating meat? Or in the case of vegans, how much they miss products such as butter and cheese. There's no doubt that being vegan is a dedicated life choice and with very few exceptions, vegans are poorly catered for in mainstream restaurants. But like any grouping, once a critical mass is achieved, commercial options do become viable. 

About 2 years ago, Sova Vegan Butcher established its permanent home on Pleasants Street after a period of pop-up residencies. Long time vegetarian, now vegan, Bart Sova is the eponymous owner and proprietor of this restaurant, which has tables on the cozy ground and first floors. It's been on my hit list for quite a long time, and I finally find the time and mood following a very zen-inducing yoga class at the close-ish Little Bird Cafe. We arrive on Saturday lunchtime, and we are quite lucky to get a free table amidst the busy churn of brunchers and gym-goers. Judging by the popularity, its clearly doing something right.

I suppose the clue to understanding the menu is present in the oxymoronic restaurant name, as many of the dishes on the menu are described in terms more familiar to meat eaters. Amongst the brunch menu you can choose from a full Irish breakfast complete with sausages, bacon, pudding and scrambled tofu, a chia burger, a pulled porc bap or even a doner kebab (made with seitan protein).
Stitch & Bear - Sova Vegan Butcher - Potato gnocchi
Potato gnocchi with mushroom ragu
I choose gluten-free potato gnocchi, which arrive as truly excellent fat, pillowy soft bites of potato, with a slight sear from the cooking pan (€9.90). A simple ragu of mixed mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes, a cashew nut parmesan and a generous handful of rocket add subtle flavours to these fantastic gnocchi, which are amongst the best I've ever eaten.

Chia seeds are one of those instagrammable foods that have become so popular in recent years, and are often found in the form of porridge-like chia bowls. It's all a bit too frou frou for me, but in Sova Vegan Butcher, they are used to form a solid burger patty that really mimics a good crumbly burger. The fine looking gigantic burger comes complete with stacked with jalapeƱo mayo, red onion marmalade, fermented cucumber and celeriac slaw (€9.90). 
Stitch & Bear - Sova Vegan Butcher - Chia burger
Chia burger
Stitch & Bear - Sova Vegan Butcher - Fresh smoothies
Freshly made smoothies
There's no doubt that Sova Vegan Butcher is a godsend for the dedicated vegetarian and vegan. But even for the casual flirter with vegetarianism or veganism, it's a great introduction into the art of the possible. Eating is far more than the flavours and taste. Texture plays a huge part in the enjoyment of a good meal and while the protein textures used to substitute for meat may not always precisely hit the spot, there's no doubting the flavours and the generosity to be found in Sova Vegan Butcher. 

Sova Vegan Butcher, 51 Pleasants Street, Dublin 8
Tel: +353 (0)85 727 7509
Twitter: @SovaVB
Instagram: @sova_vegan_butcher


Quinn said...

I'll have to try this place! The other half is veggie so it would be novel for him to have more than one option on the menu! :D

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