Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Everything’s Hunky Dory in Newport

I’ve been following Shaheen’s blog, Allotment2Kitchen, for a few years now. I first knew her as MangoCheeks when she was living in Glasgow with her productive allotment and creative vegetarian cooking. Somehow, despite having a full time job, she managed to blog almost daily. She now has less time for blogging because she is running a vegetarian cafe in Newport and is having plenty of practice in putting her creative culinary skills to even better use. The cafe is Hunky Dorys – if ever you are in the vicinity of Newport, I strongly recommend you hunt it out.

Back in April when we were in that neck of the woods for my cousin’s wedding, I was hoping we would find a bit of time to slip away and pay Shaheen and Hunky Dorys a visit. Luckily we did and a had a quick tour of Newport into the bargain. We slipped off after breakfast on Satruday morning and arrived in Newport bright and early, too early for Hunky Dorys, which didn’t open until 10:00. This actually worked out really well as we had a chance to explore the city. The highlight for us was an impressive mural of the Chartists in an underground passage in the town centre. We were rather horrified to learn later from Shaheen that it was going to be knocked down to make way for a new shopping centre. Apparently feelings in the city were running high as a demonstration to protest against its demolition was going to be held later that day.

So to Hunky Dorys. I knew the food was going to be good, but had little idea what else to expect. I was delighted with what we found, we both were in fact. I now have serious cafe envy and wish we had something like it closer to home. The style was informal and friendly with wooden tables and chairs, cushions if you wanted them and various blackboards listing the scrumptious fare on offer – now that’s what I call a proper vegetarian cafe. Breakfast and lunch are served as well as coffee and cake of course. I was impressed by the wide selection of speciality teas which included some particularly unusual ones. The menu changes regularly, so customers don’t have a chance to get bored and vegans have plenty to choose from. Some of the fresh produce is home grown adding resonance to the name Allotment 2 Kitchen, or in this case Allotment 2 Cafe. I would have been very happy to stay for lunch as there were several things that sounded specially appetising and Shaheen’s pies in particular are legendary. She has recently written a post about the first one she made, garlic mushroom parsley pies. My photographs, sadly do not to it justice, but they are the best I have.

Having ordered our cake and cups of chilli and ginkgo tea respectively, we sat down to soak up the ambience. Cakes? Yes, even after a massive breakfast at the hotel, we could not resist the array of tempting treats laid out before us.  CT went for a strawberry chocolate cake and I had an Oreo chocolate one – both vegan and both absolutely delicious. We were soon joined by Shaheen, who managed to spare us a few minutes from her busy cooking schedule for an impromptu chat. CT thought she was absolutely gorgeous (which she was), so I had to remind him she was already taken. Corroboration came in the form of her husband D, who I was really pleased to meet as he is often mentioned on the Allotment 2 Kitchen blog. After a longer chin wag than she’d intended, Shaheen had to get back to ensuring her customers had something to eat for lunch, D had to go into town and we had a wedding to attend. It was with some regret that we had to leave so soon. It was a joy to meet Shaheen and finally get to see her excellent cafe. We both wish her every success with it.

Shaheen is hosting this month’s We Should Cocoa and has chosen a particularly appropriate ingredient – do take a look.

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    16th May 2013

    I have cafe envy whenever I ready about Hunky Dorys and now I have envy that you got to visit and sample and chat – what joy – it sounds like a lovely cafe and I too have followed Allotment 2 Kitchen for years – it is filled with such good food and generosity that I imagine they are there in her cafe. And that sounds a real shame if they knock down that mural.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th May 2013

      I was really pleased to be able to visit, I’ve been wanting to for ages and it was even better than I imagined it would be. I just wish we’d been able to stay longer and eat more! And I was lucky that Shaheen was able to give us a bit of her time.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Kath
    16th May 2013

    Oh how wonderful that you got to meet Shaheen and try out Hunky Dory’s. I am very, very jealous. x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th May 2013

      It’s always fun to meet up with fellow bloggers Kath, but when they have a fabulous cafe, it really is a joy 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    16th May 2013

    The cafe sounds amazing, just what I would expect from Shaheen. Thanks for sharing your visit with us

  4. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline Meldrum
    16th May 2013

    Awww, it sounds wonderful! I enlarged the menu photo and I want to eat everything on it. She is so inspirational. Such good and varied ideas, she puts the rest of us to shame with the huge variety of dishes she makes. I’d love to meet Shaheen and her hubby to. I was so sad to miss them before they left Scotland 🙁

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th May 2013

      Thanks Jac, most of the photos I took weren’t up to much which was a real shame because it was lovely inside. The variety of dishes available is absolutely astonishing – no wonder she has so little time for blogging these days.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Sue
    22nd May 2013

    A lovely review of Shaheen’s brilliant place. I hope so much to go there myself and meet the lovely lady in person, you lucky thing for already having done so. That menu looks fantastic and she worked so hard to get this place up and running.

    I hope she is being thoroughly supported by the locals.

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