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NTU Sustainability in Enterprise

Squeek

1 April 11 words: Aly Stoneman
"The ladies’ toilet is a must-visit, with Barbie glued to the door"
Squeek
Squeek

My friend has just asked me to be a bridesmaid at her vegan humanist wedding, despite my status as a superstitious carnivore. She clearly needed a break from the stress of wedding-planning and Squeek, a vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Hockley, immediately sprang to mind.

The décor is charming and quirky, with homely mismatched furniture, warm lighting and a retro feel. The upbeat proprietors are former art teachers and the ladies’ toilet is a must-visit, with Barbie glued to the door. As it was a Friday night (they only open Thurs - Sat 6-11pm), we ordered a bottle of organic vegan red (Camino Tinto, Tempranillo £16.95) – a light and fruity wine that left me gloriously hangover-free the next morning – and nibbled on complimentary hummous and pitta.

The menu offers both vegan and vegetarian options (including gluten-free dishes), with starters and desserts set at £4.95, and all main courses priced at £11.95, so there’s no temptation to select a dish based on price rather than desire. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced, keeping your carbon footprint to a minimum.

I opted for French onion soup with a smoked cheese crouton for my starter while my companion, ordering from the vegan menu, selected the caponata (Italian sweet and sour aubergine, tomato and olives) with fresh bread. The caponata was accompanied by a green salad with a show-stealingly delicious dressing, but the onion soup was equally good – rich and hearty with a great toasted slab of cheesy toast wedged in the bowl.

“Vegan tart?” asked the waiter, approaching my friend. How rude! But he was actually just delivering the main courses to our table. The tart with baba-ganoush, tomato, spinach and basil tofu is a must for anyone who likes smoky flavours. The stilton cheesecake with chestnut gravy and colcannon mash was a real treat. I wish I could find a man as rich as this dish!

With two courses for £15.50 or three courses for £18.50, it’s difficult to resist dessert! My companion opted for the vegan chocolate tart with soya cream - which was pleasant enough – while I chose the white chocolate and raspberry ice cream cake, a late addition to the menu and one they should definitely keep! The combination of apple and ginger cake, kiwi fruit garnish and homemade ice cream was fantastic.

Above all, this is a fun, friendly and informal place to while away an evening. In fact, by the end of the night I was so relaxed I felt like I was on holiday. Until my friend brought up the subject of bridesmaids’ dresses…

23-25 Heathcote Street, Hockley, NG1 3AG Tel 0115 955 5560

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