Hastings vegan restaurant shows it has soul with launch of exciting new menu

The Hempist vegan restaurant and bar in Hastings Old Town aims to help people beat the winter blues with the recent launch of its new Soul Food menu.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 1:27 pm

The new dishes were unveiled at a special launch night attended by Hastings Mayor Cllr James Bacon and other guests.

It sees the Hempist re-invent itself with a move away from the restaurant’s original ‘vegan fast food’ offerings of hotdogs, burgers and wraps. These still feature on the menu, but taking centre stage now are warming and tasty vegan comfort food dishes, such as Sausage Jambalaya and Extraordinary Rice and Dahl Tadka. There are also hearty side dishes such as cauliflower cheese and loaded fries.

Desserts on offer include a variety of cheesecakes and a raw brownie.

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At the launch, most people were blown away by the new spiced and sticky Cauliflower Sesame Wings.

We sampled the Sausage Jambalaya which was both filling and incredibly tasty with a real depth of flavour coming from the herbs and spices used.

For me, cheese is where vegan cuisine struggles so I wasn’t expecting much of the cauliflower cheese. It was actually sensational - thick, creamy and unctuous and in a blind tasting I would have sworn that it had been made with food quality cheese.

The Hempist is now offering vegan Sunday roasts, with all the trimmings, which have become really popular.

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Owner Dan Wiltshire, who came up with the soul food menu concept, is no stranger to soul, being a well known reggae DJ who has performed at festivals all over the world alongside stars such as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. It is his restless inventiveness and desire to offer something new, high quality and different that keeps the Hempist firing.

It needed Dan’s energy and commitment to come out so strong after being hit by a national lockdown just weeks after opening its doors in 2020.

For vegans, this is a must visit and for non-vegans it could very well change any conceptions you have about vegan food.

The Hempist is situated at Marine Parade, opposite the boating lake on the seafront.

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See also: {https://www.hastingsobserver.co.uk/news/people/hastings-old-town-restaurant-launches-vegan-fish-and-chips-3293887|Hastings Restaurant launches vegan fish and chips.