January… a month where people give up alcohol after overconsumption during the Christmas period, the health kick and gym routines begin after eating 5 meals a day and a newer addition to the January schedule is Veganuary.
Veganuary is a monthly challenge that occurs each January where people give up animal products like dairy and meat and opt for the plant-based versions instead. It’s an ever-growing challenge which increases in popularity each year.
Now, I must admit, I wasn’t taking part this year (I think I will next year!) but I do eat mostly meat-free and I avoid dairy on the most part too. I’m gradually working towards becoming completely vegan but until vegan chocolate is cheaper and McDonald’s bring out meat-free burgers, it’s a lifestyle change I don’t think I’d be able to keep up at the moment.
Saying that, vegan options are far more accessible now than in previous years, with vegan eateries opening up, restaurants offering plant-based options and fast food cuisine even going vegan (yes, Subway and Burger King, I’m speaking about you. P.S McDonald’s, catch up!), Veganuary couldn’t be easier!
In Aberdeen, the progress was slightly slower than other places but we finally have some great places to visit to taste some delicious vegan food, one restaurant, in particular, is Roots.
Roots at Ninety Nine Bar & Kitchen
I’ve spoken about Roots before here but I totally believe they deserve another special shout out because the food is beautiful.
For the burger lovers like me, head on down to Roots now because you will not be disappointed, no matter how set against eating meat-free you are.
Roots recently set up shop in their permanent location of 99 Bar & Kitchen in Aberdeen’s city centre, so while you delve into the delectable animal-friendly food, you can also treat yourself to an alcoholic beverage (if you’re not doing Dry January of course!)
Moving swiftly on to the main event: the food.
We opted for a burger each, one with loaded fries and another with normal fries and a side of mac & cheese.
The O.G. Back Wynd is perhaps one of the juiciest burgers I’ve ever had, full of beefy flavour and stacked full of fun – a crisp onion ring, shiitake bacon and vegan cheese. My mouth is watering as I type. Oh, and did I mention the sauce is exactly like McDonald’s Big Mac sauce? *drools*
It takes just like the real deal and, in my opinion, more succulent than a real beef burger which means you meat-lovers have no excuse not to try it. Dad, I’m talking to you!
But if beef isn’t your thing, they also have their “chick’aint” burger option which is southern fried with guacamole, pickled red cabbage, jalapeños and sriracha mayo. I’ve heard fave reviews about this finger-licking burger also.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to try their newer addition, the Chickn’ Katsu burger. It’s definitely on my to-try list for the next time I pop in past Roots. Who could say no to a crispy panko-crumbed seitan chicken burger with a Japanese katsu curry sauce and red pickled cabbage? Not me!
You can’t go to Roots and not upgrade your fries. The star pupil for us is the Roots Signature Loaded Fries. The seasoned fries are generously topped with vegan cheese, pickled red cabbage, crack sauce (the Big Mac tasting sauce), sriracha mayo, jalapeños and shiitake bacon crumble. They are bursting with flavour and pretty filling too – you won’t be leaving Roots feeling hungry that’s for sure.
There is also the option to upgrade to their Kimchi loaded fries or Rosemary & Truffle fries.
The Final Verdict
If you have space for dessert, we certainly didn’t, you can always treat yourself to their plant-based desserts like a warm chocolate brownie or the Roots99 Sundae Special filled with all the sugary goodness you require.
Roots is definitely a must-visit this January but should be highly considered throughout the year also, especially for those looking to make some environmental and ethical changes in their lives. The food doesn’t compromise on flavour, it’s lovingly made by a tight-knit team and you’re making a small change to the world.
Head on down now, I know you won’t regret it!