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Review: The Monument’s New Vegan Menu

Review: The Monument’s New Vegan Menu
Victoria Rees

Victoria Rees is InQuire's website lifestyle editor, and enjoys reading and writing articles about food, health and fashion.

Before I start this review, I have a couple of confessions. Firstly, I’m a dirty carnivore. Secondly, I’ve tried to ditch the meat a couple of times and failed. Where gluttony led me to failure, however, my housemate has flourished and has been a vegan for many years now. Impressive, I know. So it was with her success in mind, I set out to order as she might, then report back to you, from the perspective of a true vegan…

Walking into The Monument you’ll notice friendly, chilled out faces on both sides of the bar. One such face asks what you’d like to drink, then pulls it whilst you take a seat and flick through the menu. I think the first thing I appreciated was how simple it was. On top of that, and quite cunningly, it’s filled with options that would appeal to a meat eater: the BBQ burger topped with onion rings and cheddar, or perhaps their battered sausage, which would fool even the most unapologetic of meat lovers.

My beer arrived – Whitstable Bay Blonde, one of the only lagers worth getting in the Pale Ale generation and then I was just about ready to order my food too. At the last moment I changed my mind. I was deliberating between my housemates love for basil and addiction to chilli, but was swayed towards the Devil burger (and away from the Italian) by the knowledge that Big Dick’s hot sauce was going to be all over it. Irresistible.

Whilst I waited for my food to arrive, I opened the wine menu and was pleasantly surprised by an honest description of what was in each bottle. It came across as personal and even funny. Don’t believe me? Find out for yourself.

Smirking at the wine list, I looked up just as the waiter brought my food to the table. I made a mental note of the knitted deer head mounted to the wall behind him. The classic plate in front of me, was filled with a classic salad and classic French fries, both of which were satisfying. What wasn’t classic was the vegan burger. The bun was soft, the patty was juicy and the peppered cheese tasted cheesy. I’m not entirely sure I would have been able to tell that it wasn’t meat and my only real criticism is that it could have been warmer. Speaking of heat, I tried to overcome the wrath of Big Dick’s hot sauce, but after it reeled me in with a harmonious balance of sweet and vinegary flavours, it smacked me in the face with a wave of chilli which seemed to say “You ain’t got the bottle son”. I put down the burger. Pathetic.

Trying to control the rush a lot of chilli can give you, I looked around the pub for distractions and my eyes fell back on to the knitted deer. My mouth calmed down and I took a sip of larger. Assessing my failure, I decided even though I was no match for the heat, the burger was still a real treat. The whole thing cost me £13 (£9 for the meal, £4 for the larger) and although that’s a lot for a student, I’ll be finding an excuse to go back. All in all, The Monument has a great atmosphere if you’re looking for somewhere to drink or to eat plant based food… just be careful they don’t convert you in the process.

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The Monument and its new vegan menu can be found at St. Dunstans Street, CT2 8BZ.

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