Sheffield’s newest vegan eatery: Red Haus Food Review
Abbeydale Road’s new vegan café and book shop Red Haus opened this week (9 October) – we thought we’d nip down and see what all the fuss was about.
Nestled amongst the Abbeydale Road cafés and vintage shops, Red Haus is Nether Edge’s newest vegan eatery, offering Korean food and yep, you guessed it, a selection of socialist books. Started by two ex-London students, Red Haus began life as an online book store, with a vast selection of post-capitalism, left-y economics, politics and sociology literature. The pair then headed to Sheffield to start a vegan café and found Abbeydale Road to be the best place for it, naturally.
Leo: When we arrived, we were greeted by the friendly staff and were immediately handed a bowl of Korean fried chicken with a side of soft radish pickle and kimchi. The chicken was dense, chewy and very tasty. As an occasional meat eater I can attest to the naming of the food as chicken subsitute, it was extremely convincing. The kimchi was extremely spicy, I later found out it was intended to be the lunch of the staff, and therefore hot enough for the half Sri-Lankan chef, which made me feel a lot less puny in the spice-handling department. That said, it was a pleasant sweet-and-sticky-hot, not blow-your-head-off-hot, and acted as a nice lubricant for the dense chicken. The pickle was somehow left slightly unneeded in all of this, but was tasty regardless, and acted as a perfect pallet cleanser for after the meal. I also tried some of Ben’s Kimchie Jiggae, very tasty!
Ben: When Leo first told me about Red Haus I was initially sceptical, and questioned whether Korean food minus some of its non-vegan cornerstone ingredients such as fish sauce would work. On the whole I was surprised that I didn’t miss the umami hit of dried fish and aged beef fat that I had initially craved. Red Haus managed to cater for my carnivorous cravings by finding savoury flavours from elsewhere – dried seaweed was used to great effect in my Jiggae. The stand out element for me however was the kimchee that made its way into each of the dishes we had – its fruity warmth and subtle lactic funk cut through the (slightly dry and claggy) deep fried tofu well. In a world where a meat based diet is becoming more untenable by the day, it’s great to have found an eatery that has not replaced meat with flavourless food like so many others before it have.
With Make No Bones now in Kelham Island, and the Burger Garden (formerly Burger Lolz) now defunct, Red Haus is a much needed vegan spot for Abbedydale Road and we’ll be returning to try the hugely ranging and affordable menu for such a small cafe. The left-y attitude and book shop is a huge bonus too, it’s nice to know your money’s going somewhere good.
Red Haus is open 10-6pm Wednesday – Sunday, and 10-8pm on Fridays.