High-end vegetarian dining is a hot trend. While 1.2 million people in the UK consider themselves veggie, many more are “flexitarians”, choosing to go meat free part of the time.
Flexiterians might order Porterhouse steak today, Portobello mushrooms tomorrow, whether for reasons of health, finances, or the environment.
Here at Arbor, Bournemouth’s leading restaurant for locally and sustainably sourced dishes that are big on taste, low on impact, we always include plenty of vegetarian dishes on our menus. It would be a crime not to, with all the wonderful plant-based produce that comes our way. Head Chef Andy Hilton creates his original and varied veggie options only from high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients. But above all he makes sure the flavours sing as loudly and harmoniously as they do in any of his meat and fish-based dishes. For Andy, it’s about serving food that’s good, not goody-goody.
Whether it’s beautiful beets, coloured cauliflowers or Brigitte Tee’s wild mushrooms from the New Forest (served up at some of Mayfair’s poshest eateries), at Arbor Restaurant we really are spoiled for choice when it comes to world-class vegetarian ingredients. Andy amps up the protein content with beans and pulses, wonderful local cheeses such as our “English Feta” – a pickled ewe’s cheese made in the Somerset Mendips – and free-range Fluffet’s Farm eggs.
For the Homity Pie on the Arbor Restaurant autumn menu, for example, he takes a home-baked shortcrust pastry base and fills it with earthy potatoes, sweet leeks and seasonal vegetables from our local growers, bound with free-range New Forest eggs and topped with golden, salty-yet-sweet Dorset Coastal Cheddar. Served warm, it’s a slice of traditional country heaven that would tempt the most die-hard carnivore – and it’s all sourced on Arbor’s doorstep in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.
For the new Arbor Restaurant winter menu, launching next month, he is planning a hearty vegetarian pudding with “wonderful creamy Rosary Goat’s Cheese from Salisbury, sweet butternut squash and caramelized baby onions in a steamed sage and onion suet case.” Honestly, who needs steak n’ kidney? As Andy comments: “I’m not veggie but this is a good one – perfect for those winter nights.”