HCAU Reviews: FoodStory Zero

HCAU Reviews: FoodStory Zero

From the relocation of the Info Hub and the new bar downstairs in the Student Union building to FoodStory opening a branch in the Taylor building, there has been a fair amount of change on campus this year. I decided to go check out the much anticipated FoodStory and see what all of the hype was about.

Having no experience with FoodStory’s other location this was totally new to me, so naturally, I did a little research beforehand – Facebook is your friend when it comes to these things. If, like me, you’re unfamiliar with the café here’s all you need to know:

•   All the cakes are vegan and gluten free!

•   If you’re taking away, bring your own lunch box

•   If you’re eating in, don’t worry they provide plates/cutlery/cups etc

•   All the food on the menu is vegetarian or vegan - using mostly locally sourced, organic ingredients.

Okay that much I managed to gather from some a quick Google and Facebook search. My first, obvious, question was regarding payment methods. These days I am so used to paying for everything with ‘Apple Pay’ that I rarely even carry a bank card, never mind cash, so that definitely trips me up when trying somewhere new if they only accept cash. With this in mind, I made sure to withdraw some cash for lunch just in case, however I needn’t have bothered as they do accept card.

 

The first thing I noticed - they are busy! I arrived at exactly 12 o’clock lunch time and the queue was already out of the door, so I hoped that was a positive sign. Luckily they serve quickly, so I wasn’t waiting long. I had excitedly borrowed my eldest’s lunch box (thanks to the half term holidays he wasn’t using it anyway) however I forgot my fork and as I was taking my food away I didn’t have the option of using theirs. My first lesson - I need to be better prepared! So I ordered a wrap for ease. There were some lovely flavor options, however I went with a ‘safe’ option for my first time: Cheese Ploughman’s and headed to my favourite study spot for some last minute tutorial prep. Now, I confess, I am a meat eater (roast dinner makes my life complete) and I have honestly never eaten at a vegan/vegetarian venue before, but my innocent, unassuming cheese ploughman’s wrap was THE BEST PLOUGHMAN’S I EVER HAD! Okay so I was expecting cheese, a bit of salad, and some pickle…what I got was so much more; fresh, peppery rocket, crunchy slices of apple, and walnuts, as for the pickle - sticky and sweet,  garnished with a little salad with fresh cabbage, carrot, and sesame seeds, it was truly a thing of beauty, and surprisingly filling too! I have found my new sandwich place that’s for sure.

I wanted to take photos of inside the cafe but as they were pretty busy I wasn’t really able to – take my word for it though: it is well worth a visit. Inside, there is a small seating area, and outside a few wooden tables for the warmer days. I immediately fell in love with the sink provided to wash your reusables, the unique taps are striking. It is amazing what they have managed to do with the relatively small space and I imagine the cosy atmosphere will be a welcome escape from the harsh winter weather in the coming months.

 

Verdict: I will definitely be going back. Zhe food is amazing – healthy, fresh and full of flavour. The ethos is admirable, I love the cafe’s endeavour to keep our university branch ‘zero packaging’ and strive towards ‘zero waste’, small changes like these will make a world of difference to our planet (pun intended). On a slight side note; it is comforting to add that in recent news, the European Parliament just voted for a ban on single use plastics across the EU – perhaps the future is getting greener.