Recently on a sunny Sunday morning with two blogger friends: Haydy and Kitty, as well my mum, I went down to ‘the Yard’ near Hackney Wick station to try The Omni Collective’s (previously known as ‘Peskys’) Vegan Brunch Club, as part of their 2017 residency.
Despite The Yard being a little hard to actually find (there didn’t seem to be any signage about where The Omni Collective was), when we finally spotted a sign and made our way in, we were greeted by super friendly members of staff – both working on the bar, and Jess and George (the The Omni Collective’s staff) who run the kitchen!
THE VEGAN BRUNCH MENU
The menu is presented on small blackboards placed on each table – very simple and 100% vegan friendly (with gluten free options available too). The brunch choices were a little more limited than I expected with a simple option of savoury or sweet.
We ordered a mixture of each (with a gluten-free sweet option for Kitty) and sipped on our range of juices (orange, pineapple, apple and tomato) whilst waiting.
STARTERS BEFORE VEGAN BRUNCH?
Yep you read that right, we got starters before our Vegan brunch orders – completely unexpected & a seriously welcome nibble, as I was pretty hungry by this point!
We were served homemade, fresh & warm Danish pastries*, made with cinnamon and raisins (this was actually my first time trying a Danish pastry and I was pleasantly surprised). The pastries were served on top of a lovely little portion of fruit salad, which included passion fruit seeds, red grapes, strawberry, orange, apple, and unusually: basil. But it was so refreshing and delicious – definitely going to add some basil to my fruit salad next time I make some!
*NB. there is no gluten-free option to have instead of the pastry.
As I mentioned earlier, we ordered a mixture of meals: two savoury and two sweet (one of which was gluten free too – the pancakes were made using chickpea flour!)
THE VEGAN BRUNCH: Savoury
Half a slice of brown & white bread, homemade sweet potato hash brown, mixed baked beans (not the usual tinned baked beans, these seemed fresh and included more than one type of bean), scrambled tofu, two Vegan sausages (reminiscent of Linda McCartney red onion & rosemary sausages, but apparently these are GF!), and a portobello mushroom.
The selection of food on my plate was great, and quite overwhelming! It was a meal of firsts as I had never had tofu scramble before. As a former veggie who never really liked eggs, it had never appealed to me to try making it, however I was so surprised by how much I liked it.
The sweet potato hash browns were particularly amazing too, they didn’t look like traditional hash browns, but tasted absolutely delish.
I think having some condiments on the table would have been nice, eg. some tabasco (I’m a sucker for spice), perhaps some ketchup too. Also having a choice of “extras” would have pleased me greatly, I’m not a fan of mushroom (tried it just incase my taste buds had changed, they hadn’t) and would have loved to replace it with spinach for example.
THE VEGAN BRUNCH: Sweet
A pile of fresh made pancakes, star anise & blueberry compote, and a dollop of soya yoghurt.
The sweet portions were quite a bit smaller in size than the savoury, and I would imagine, not as good if you were particularly hungry! The addition of some fresh fruit, such as banana, strawberry, and cantaloupe melon could be nice here? And maybe bigger pancakes. But I did try some and despite the size, it did taste good.
THE YARD, HACKNEY WICK
The location and venue is typical East London vibes – completely unassuming, in an unexpected, well, former junk yard (I think) and not decorated all fancy. I think this particular place is a former warehouse and wasn’t apologetic in its presentation. There was a bar inside and a big open space (presumably for dancing in the evenings?), as well as some table and chairs. I understand The Yard is also a Theatre, which must be in another room as I didn’t see this.
We were super lucky the weather was so nice this particular weekend, so we were able to sit outside enjoying the warm air (however we did sit under the covered area so we didn’t burn in the sun – it was a seriously hot that day)! If the weather was somewhat different, and not beautiful and sunny I’m not sure it would have been quite as much of an enjoyable couple of hours, despite the food and drink being absolutely great.
I didn’t go to the bathroom during my visit, but my mum did and apparently they weren’t in the best state. Quite typical of east London places such as this and nothing to do with the food whatsoever, but thought it worth mentioning!
Overall it was such a great morning, with lovely company, and delicious food. A very positive first experience of Vegan brunch. The price per person is £22 in advance or £25 on the day and includes the starter, a main, and two drinks (from the following: Mimosa, Bloody Mary, Fruit Juice). The next monthly ‘Vegan Brunch Club’ is on 7th May and food is available from 11am to 2.30pm and you can get advanced tickets from Eventbrite! You can also check out the Facebook event here.
Huge thanks to The Omni Collective (previously Pesky’s) & Love Popups London for organising our trip down to try all the delicious food, and to The Yard for hosting The Omni Collective for their 2017 residency in the kitchen.