Stem and Glory review: A glorious vegan Sunday lunch

The capital's vegan scene used to be a bit on the mediocre side, now you can't move for all the great herbivorous places. If I had another 24 hours in the day, I'd visit every last new opening. As I'm just a mere mortal, I'll just visit the ones that aren't a million miles from me. 

Handily, Stem and Glory isn't over the other side of the earth from where I live, so that went straight on my ever growing list of new vegan places to stuff my face in (where sadly it lingered for a few months until I got my sorry self down there). And, as I ate in Stem and Glory's Cambridge branch not so long ago and loved it a lot, it went straight to the top of my list. Aaaaand then I saw the London restaurant was offering a 20 percent off voucher for first time visitors - well, I just did what a vegan's got to do and booked myself in.

It was a Sunday and, as I have said in great, drooling detail, I love Sunday lunch. A proper vegan Sunday roast used to be a bit of a rarity round these parts, but thanks to veganism's surge in popularity, there are a few great options out there (South Londoners, get yourself down to The Ivy House or the Amersham Arms).

There were other things that I could have ordered, but there was a Sunday roast, so I didn't.

Here's the plate that landed on my table, in all its (stem and) glory:

As a roast obsessive, there are a few things that I reckon all Sunday roasts should have to be considered a great roast: pastry, good roast potatoes, and several pints of gravy. Salad though? Salad not so much.  I don't think I've ever sat down in front of my Sunday roast and thought 'you know what this plate needs? More lettuce, dammit'. So, I'm not sure why there was a whole heap on top of my dinner there, but still, I'm a plant eater, so you know I'm not going to turn my nose up at eating more plants.

Once I'd made my way through the foliage, then I got to all the goodies: the pastry, the spuds, the gravy. Bonus points for the polenta coating on the roots, and for the inclusion of caramelised brussel sprouts, the cruciferous of my dreams (don't tell me you don't like sprouts or we can't be friends. Sprouts are for life, not just for Christmas.)

So, was this a great Sunday roast? I'm not sure it's my first-place roast (I'll let that honour go to the Amersham Arms), but I'd be happy to eat it again any Sunday you want to ask me for lunch.

But what do you eat on Sunday lunchtime if you don't want to eat a Sunday lunch? Are there even other meals in existence? Turns out yep, there really are. If you're Mr Flicking the Vs, there's always the shakshuka bowl, full of the good stuff: chickpeas in tomato sauce, roasted aubergine, scrambled tofu and big polenta crisps. And leaves, lots of leaves. Maybe everything in Stem and Glory comes with a big fluffy pile of leaves? Sadly I didn't get around to dessert so I can't tell you if the leaves grow on their puddings too.

Leaves aside for a bit, the Shakshuka bowl (or 'Shakshuka' bowl, as the menu has it - quote marks, model's own) actually was the boss of the meal - lots of variety, lots of flavour, lots of leaves. And big crisps, because there's not many meals that aren't improved by big old polenta crisps.

We were too full for dessert, but there are a few appealing options for next time. There's also a gorgeous looking vegan full English. Between that breakfast and that Sunday lunch, I could spend a whole day enjoying Stem and Glory's all vegan menu.

Edit: It turns out it must have been a while since I stopped by at Stem and Glory for Sunday lunch - it looks like the roast is no longer being served! Not to worry, there's still lots of good stuff on the menu. I'll be returning soon to check it out!

Stem and Glory
60 Bartholomew Close (Barts Square)
City of London
EC1A 7BF 0203 9699392

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  1. Nice to see you back in the blog! And delighted to read about vegan Sunday roasts. But I agree with you about the lettuce - wondering if the full English has lots of leaves too. Anyhoo I would still give either of a these meals a go! And I would love a vegan Sunday roast near to me.

  2. What are your chances for vegan yorkshire puds there in London? They still seem to be something of a holy grail up here :(

  3. Good to see you back. I was extremely worried when I saw the picture as I wouldn't be able to eat something like that without gravy. Glad to see it was there though hidden under the salad!


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