This week we went on a little pre birthday trip to Brighton. I wanted to try out some new places I’d never been before and so we decided to go to Rootcandi which is completely vegan and has only been open a few months. It is on Western Rd, so is a bit further to walk to from the train station than some of the other veggie cafes but well worth the journey. When we got there the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, as even though the babba started throwing her glass of water all over the place, they cheerfully cleaned it up straight away. Rootcandi is based on a tapas concept which I knew would be great for the babba, as there would be small portions of separate dishes that she could pick and choose from. We started with the broad bean, cashew and mint pate on toasted sourdough with pickled red onions. Broad beans are the babba’s favourite thing at the moment (although she has to have them individually peeled by me first!) so she loved this, the pate was delicious and the bread was a really nice texture, and was gluten-free, which I didn’t realise til I checked the menu again.
We then went for the tamales, as this is something I’ve never really had before. The sweetcorn dough was poached and served in a corn husk with a tomato, basil, onion and garlic sauce. It was served with zucchini fries and avocado & mango salsa. The tamale was amazing and melted in the mouth, I thought the babba would want some too as she really likes polenta but she wasn’t having any of it. Babba enjoyed picking up the fries and sucking on them, and ate lots of avocado which helpfully came on top of the salsa rather than all mixed in. My only criticism is I thought the salsa could have done with a bit more lime and chilli, as it had black beans in it too which tend to suck up all the flavour.
We normally just drink water, because as I’ve mentioned before other drinks are a bit too high risk, as they cause a lot more mess if spilled. But the babba was busy watching one of the waiters making a cocktail and was very upset when it wasn’t for her, so I thought I’d better order a fruit smoothie instead. She drank loads of it, although in hindsight it was a bit of an error as we then ate pudding straight afterwards, so it was a bit of a sweetness overload. In between courses the babba was also able to go for a walk upstairs and make friends with the dog statue and have a dance with another little girl who was in the restaurant.
For pudding we had the chocolate ganache tart with a mixed nut and date base, salted caramel, caramel brittle and vanilla ice-cream. The caramel sauce was the highlight for me and the babba loved the ice-cream and the brittle. The tart was also really nice especially the base although I found the ganache a little too solid. All in all a very good pud, although I wish I had been more adventurous as it is always too easy to go for anything chocolatey.
I had been expecting it to be very expensive due to various posts I’d seen on Facebook, but at lunch time they offer three of the tapas dishes for £9.95, which I thought was very good value. It was just the right amount of food for us, but if you’re on your own you probably wouldn’t need a starter as well. I would definitely go back to Rootcandi as it is very child friendly, there is a changing table downstairs as we as high chairs, the service was impeccable and the food is perfect for children and adults and alike.
After lunch we went for a walk to the beach and purely by a serendipity we arrived at the amazing playground and paddling pool on the seafront. I had just been talking about it with a friend but had no idea where it was and so was very happy to be just in the right place. Also by luck I had actually come prepared and brought babba’s beach suit with me, so we spent the next hour happily playing in the fountains and the sand.
If Brighton does to do something well it’s a playground, the same can not be said however of it’s prom. We were looking forward to a nice walk back to town but instead the way was blocked by loads of building work, which made it even more crowded than normal. Even though I was still pretty full I wanted to check out Glazed Coffee, which is another new place that is doing vegan doughnuts. However, as I struggled along the prom I kept wondering if it was really worth walking all that way for a vegan doughnut and kept stopping to look at cakes in all the other veggie cafes, although I have to say nothing enticed me in. Also the babba was asleep by now so there was no point stopping…..
I was so happy when we got there though, Glazed is small but perfectly formed and very ‘hip’, which did make me feel a bit old, which I obviously am as I use words like ‘hip’. There were only strawberry and peanut butter doughnuts left so I thought I’d better have one of each. Sugar does me no favours but if I am going to give myself a candida outbreak I might as well make it worth it. I had them with a rooiboos tea which I thought balanced out the sweetness perfectly. The doughnuts had a lovely texture and were actually not sickly sweet compared to lots of cakes which have far too much icing. The bubba woke up just in time to have a bit of each and greatly enjoyed her first doughnut experience. When I told the waitress it was my first proper doughnut for 25 years (Co-op jam ones don’t count) she gave me a free one to take home as well!
Another great thing about Glazed is that it is right opposite the Level, which meant another playground stop. The Level has an amazing playground with lots of stuff for kids of all ages, including more fountains. There are also lots of other vegan options just a short walk from The Level including Loving Hut on the Level which does nice burgers and really good cakes, Helm Ston one of my fave places in Brighton, and HiSbe where you can get takeaway food and fresh produce. There are so many places in Brighton to choose from it’s not possible to visit them all in one go but this was a pretty perfect combination for a sunny day with my babba.