Vegan Life reviews the plant based food at Stem and Glory’s two Cambridge locations
Stem and Glory have two locations in Cambridge — its Chesterton Rd branch is very much a restaurant, whilst King Street is a more relaxed café-like atmosphere which you can pop into for a coffee and a small plate or slice of something delicious. Here’s what’s on offer at both locations.
For starters, choose from fully loaded hummus, kimchi fritters, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, or aubergine chermoula which is a spiced baked aubergine with quinoa tabbouleh and lime & ginger cashew cream. For main course Stem and Glory have drawn on inspiration from all over the world with Italian, American, Indian, European and Asian influences with offering including lasagne, tempeh chipotle burger, pricy red lentil curry or the protein power plate. The Stem and Glory menu is very clear about which dishes contain allergens such as gluten, soy, mustard, nuts, sesame etc.
It is always worth booking at Chesterton Road, as the restaurant can get very busy. This is most true for Sunday Lunch. For just £12.95 you are served; hazelnut and chestnut mushroom nut road; thyme roasted potatoes and roots; creamy mustard squash and swede mash; braised spiced red cabbage; maple roasted parsnips; sautéed greens and red wine gravy.
King Street is quite different from Chesterton Road – this is a fast and fresh café-style eatery where you can choose from a wide selection of hot and cold dishes piled high on a plate or in a take-away box. Stem and Glory have also become well-known for their juices and smoothies, which are rich in vitamins and packed with feel-good ingredients. The big banana protein is a meal in itself with raw, plant based protein, banana, mango, super seed mix and almond milk. Similarly, the antioxidants boost made with carrot, apple, ginger and turmeric is a sure morning pick-me-up.
Brunch is becoming one of Britain’s favourite past-times and the brunch menu is a real winner at King Street. There are vegan staples such as crushed avocado on toast and scrambled tofu on toast. You can take your brunch at King Street Stem and Glory to the next level by adding smoky tempeh bacon or sautéed mushroom and spinach. If you are looking for a lighter brunch, the granola bowl, banana bread and overnight oats are all delicious options. The banana bread is served hot with cinnamon syrup, fresh bananas and toasty seeds… a brunch not worth missing out on in our opinion. Brunch is served from 9-12 on Saturdays and 10-12 on Sundays.
Stem and Glory has a strong focus on ensuring the food, environment and design is in perfect balance, making Stem and Glory both inviting and recognisable from its counterparts. In an era of dark greys, exposed pipes and black walls, it’s blank and clean interior is quite contrary to the mainstream. The kitchen is now hidden away at the back of the restaurants either, you can see the chefs making your food in front of you and for many, myself included, watching your plate being assembled with the love and care that is given at Stem and Glory only enhances your experience.
Stem and Glory have great plans for the future. They have been chosen by Virgin Start-Ups to be part of the crowd boost accelerator programme. Their first restaurant came into being as a result of successful crowdfunding, but to roll out across the country, Louise and her team need investors. Louise, Stem and Glory’s founder, told us that her dream is: “[A Stem and Glory] on every station, every high street, every airport so that there is viable, properly healthy plant based options and not vegan doughnuts.”
Kimchi Fritters (sesame, soy. £5.50) Homemade kimchi fritters with baby spinach, toasted sesame seeds, spring onions. Served with yangnyeomjang dipping sauce
Protein Power Plate (sesame, soy. £10.50) Teriyaki tofu, quinoa tabbouleh, hummus + cheesy kale. Served with toasted nori, satay sauce + supersede crackers
Temple Chipotle burger (gluten, soy, mustard £8.50) Served with mango mayo, chilli and coriander slaw and baby gem. Served in a seeded bun
Lime, Chilli + Coriander slaw £3.50
Black Forest Silk Pie (nuts) £5.50 Served with a black cherry gel.
Etnico Fair for Life Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot (Chile, 14%) Bottle £18
Moor Raw Modern Best Bitter (4.3%) Bottle £4