Brunch, for me, usually involves eggs and bacon. I’ll admit I was skeptical as to how brunch would work without those two staples, but Natural Bar all organic vegan cafe in Birmingham set out to show me.
They invited me to try out their new brunch menu, consisting of smoothie bowls, toasts and fully cooked breakfast options, alongside juices, teas and plant based lattes, so I went along with an open mind and an empty stomach.
The cafe itself is airy and industrial, with a totally relaxed vibe, welcoming staff and huge windows that flood the place in natural light, even on a grey day. Perfect for Instagram addicts like me.
I grabbed a table by the window to watch the world go by and ordered a beetroot latte to start me off. I love beetroot, but not just because it’s pink. There’s something about its earthy sweetness that I really enjoy, and this beetroot latte was no exception.
I had mine with oat milk, but you can choose from soy, almond or coconut as well. There’s no coffee in it at all, which makes it gloriously pink.
The brunch menu is small but delicious sounding, and although I was tempted by the mushroom rarebit with cashew cheese, I went for the natural healthy breakfast with scrambled tofu and aubergine “bacon.”
I’m one of those people that always assumes vegan food is bland or boring, especially where tofu is involved, so I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the breakfast was.
The scrambled tofu was actually quite delicious, with a hint of spice and I think turmeric for colour. The texture was a lot nicer than I was expecting, almost like firm scrambled eggs. It really surprised me how good this was, as I genuinely expected it to be bland, and it was far from it.
The giant vegan baked beans were really delicious, with that rich tomato sauce, not dissimilar to a Greek bean dish I’ve had before.
The tomatoes were super fresh, grilled to perfection and well seasoned, the mushrooms were delicious, the crispy potato bits were lovely and the greens were a welcome bit of freshness and crunch.
The aubergine “bacon” was great, and while it didn’t replace the texture or flavour of real bacon, you wouldn’t want it to, as the umami savouriness of the aubergine with just a hint of crispiness was really delicious as it was.
The toast was great too, and much better than most of the gluten-free toast I’ve had before, with a lovely buttery spread.
The portion size was generous too, I felt completely satisfied without feeling sluggish and full at the end of my meal.
For me, this is vegan food done really well. Good ingredients, treated right. The breakfast is a little more expensive at £9.95 than some other places, but what’s on offer is really unique. OK so the beetroot and turmeric lattes are a little on the faddy trend side, but they are tasty and oh-so-Instagrammable, so what the hell!
You can find Natural Bar in Unit 1 Sirius (at the bottom of the Orion building) on Suffolk Street Queensway. Brunch is available until 12pm.
I was invited to dine as a guest of Natural Bar, many thanks to Hanna for organising and the lovely staff who looked after me. I was under no obligation to provide a review and all opinion are, as always, my own.