Lately, it seems Bath has been blessed with a wave of fabulous new restaurants and cafes serving up vegetarian and vegan grub – and one that’s getting a lot of buzz right now is Rooted Café. It’s a little out of town on the corner of Newbridge Road and Chelsea Road, so you might not have walked past it, but it’s well worth seeking out for its commitment to sustainability and local sourcing, cosy atmosphere and mouth-watering meat-free menu…
Popping up in a converted shop means that there’s nothing especially fancy about the space at Rooted, but care has been taken to make it a cosy, inviting spot with simple but thoughtful touches –old wooden crates mounted on the wall overflow with spider plants, dangling exposed filament bulbs are enclosed in old jam jars, the tables and the counter are set with bunches of bright flowers. The menu is short and sweet, and will change every few weeks according to the seasons, featuring as much fabulous local produce as possible with local beers and ciders to wash it down.
|The decor is simple but bright, cheery and welcoming|
Speaking of the menu, it might be short but it packs a serious punch – I can honestly say I was tempted by every single dish on offer, which doesn’t happen that often. I had a really tough time narrowing down what I wanted to try. We kicked off our meal with the Rooted mezze board, which was a positive feast in itself, overflowing with warm flatbreads, bright padron peppers, homemade hummus bejewelled with pomegranate seeds, a pretty little salad of pickled cucumbers and carrots cut into delicate ribbons, and more. To be honest, I’m usually wary of a ‘sharing board’ as they tend to be a bit of a rip-off, but this was absolutely delicious and more than generous – we nibbled our way through every single morsel, even though we were already starting to feel a bit full by the end. To wash it all down, I went for a Rooted cocktail – a Raspberry Mule with vodka, raspberry, lime and ginger beer (I loved the combination of raspberry and ginger) – while my dining companion opted for an Edison Pilsner, from Electric Bear Brewery just down the road.
|Squash Spaghetti topped with my favourite local cheese, Wyfe of Bath|
Having spent a long time deliberating, I chose the squash spaghetti for my main course, lured in by the mention of Wyfe of Bath (my absolute favourite local cheese, from the Bath Soft Cheese Company) as well as local forest mushrooms, garlic fried greens, fresh tomato sauce and pesto. The whole dish packed a fabulous flavour punch and I really enjoyed it, especially paired with a glass of house red, but I must confess I’m not quite converted to squash spaghetti – I’d probably have preferred real spaghetti, to provide a textural contrast as much as anything. My dining companion, meanwhile, chose the earth bowl, with coriander couscous, guacamole, frijoles tomato and garlic new potatoes. I was a little surprised that it was cold, which would have put me off slightly, but I should say that my dining companion loved it and didn’t mind that at all – so a matter of personal preference I think. Alongside our main dishes, we couldn’t resist trying a few of the sides, so we also ordered sweet potato fries (deliciously crispy and just a little fiery) and a roasted beetroot and goat cheese salad, which was simple but absolutely gorgeous.
|Chocolate Hazelnut Praline with Berry Compote|
I’ll be honest, we were pretty stuffed by the time we came to check out the dessert menu, but it all sounded so good we couldn’t resist. I ordered the chocolate hazelnut praline, with berry compote and vanilla ice cream – in essence a humble chocolate brownie, but a really good one, moist and very very chocolatey. My dining companion’s choice, meanwhile, was a favourite for both of us – iced mango parfait, which was absolutely exquisite in flavour and texture.
Overall, the flavours at Rooted were fantastic, and it was great to see some really interesting veggie and vegan ideas on the menu – I’ll definitely be back to try their Korean BBQ kimchi dog, which I was really tempted by. The mezze board was the real star of the evening for me, and to be honest, could easily make a whole meal by itself with a few Electric Bear beers. I’m excited to see how the menu evolves, and would happily recommend Rooted whether you’re a vegan, a veggie or an omnivore.