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youngground reviews: The Chocolate Bear Kitchen

We all love a waffle, right?

Those belgian treats have become a familiar part of our diet. You could wander a market, visit a shop or pop over to see a friend who has an actual waffle maker; the point is that this delicious treat has become a central part of our food culture.

So what makes The Chocolate Bear Kitchen‘s waffles so different? Well, for a start, they’re not conventional waffles. Instead of the usual egg, flour, butter combination – James, chef and founder of pop-up kitchen CBK, makes his waffles with ingredients like banana, and he strays away from diary products too. Yes, CBK‘s waffles, much like the rest of the menu, are suitable for vegans. Not only this, but the menu is also suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free diets. Here’s what the indulgent waffle looked like, courtesy of CBK‘s Instagram:

If you’ve tried banana substitutes before, it can often be difficult to blend in its flavour. However, James has worked away, combining his vegan ingredients to create this wonderful, soft waffle. Every bite is as rich as the first; the deep chocolate sauce on top, as well as the delectable poached pear combines to create a wonderful food experience. The best part about ordering one of these dishes, in CBK‘s current residence at The Strawberry Thief, is that they won’t set you back much.

The menu is perfect if you’re looking for that quirky dish. The Strawberry Thief also offer fantastic artisan beer pairings to compliment the food. Along with The Strawberry Thief’s characteristic interior and cosy environment, this is a must for any weeknight gathering or weekend explore.

James and I sat down to talk about why he’s gone to these lengths to create such an inclusive menu. Being a vegetarian myself, I often find it difficult to order things from restaurants to this day. There might be the odd macaroni cheese, or soup, but it’s rare that I should find something as inclusive as the menu that CBK are offering.

See my previous review of Bath-based vegetarian restaurant, Acorn Kitchen.

As James points out, much of the time restaurants will offer someone with a particular dietery requirement a plate of vegetables or something without the meat. With the Chocolate Bear Kitchen, he wants to turn that side dish into a main event, celebrating what’s left on the plate and not focus on what is not.

After sampling just a snippet of James’s menu, I am already desperate to return and enjoy more. If you really want to get to know what Bristol is about, The Chocolate Bear Kitchen is the perfect place to start. Don’t forget: meat-eaters, James has an inclusive menu – which means that every taste and diet is catered for.


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