We started off with the Mac N Cheese and weren’t disappointed. Topped with ‘bacon’ bits, these roasted coconut shavings provided a good crunch and a pleasant smokey flavour. The macaroni was cooked to a nice softness, without being overly gooey. This was contrasted by the crispness of the toasted bread crumbs. While the macaroni itself could’ve been more flavourful, it was an enjoyable starter nonetheless.
The Peanut Buttercup was also enjoyable. The nice thick texture of the smoothie was well complemented by an unapologetically bold peanut butter flavour. The raw cacao and cinnamon provided good depth in flavour, and the banana added a refreshing and fruity hint to the drink. Overall rather delicious and comparable to non-vegan smoothies
We also enjoyed the Sweet Potato Fries. Fried to a nice crisp, the crunchy outer enclosed a soft and slightly mushy inner. With a pleasant sweetness, the sweet potato was perfectly complemented by the occasional crumbs of salt. Coming with a variety of dips and sauces, these fries were not only tasty, but were healthy as well.
The Maple Bacon Burger failed to impress on this occasion. Sandwiched between a not-so-buttery brioche bun, we found a patty made out of portobello mushrooms, sweet potato, and adzuki beans. Fried to a good crisp, the golden brown outer gave way to a slightly mushy inner that didn’t have much variation in texture. The saltiness of the patty also grew more intense as we progressed through the burger, and became almost overwhelmingly so near the end, masking the taste of all other ingredients . Other diners universally enjoyed their burgers much more without this patty within.
Specifically catering to the vegan crowd, The Alley make every attempt to make great tasting food without the use of animal products.
While we found most of the end product creative and interesting, the burger we sampled on this occasion was just not to our palate, with the over-processing and high sodium content undoubtedly the biggest letdown on the supposed highlight of our meal.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
If you are on a strict vegan diet, then it may be worth a venture. Otherwise, there are plenty more impressive options out there for those who are just looking for meat-free burgers.
Penguineats would like to thank @twogoodtoresist and The Alley for inviting us.