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Review: The Fishergate Hill cafe that’s a winner winner chickpea dinner

Posted on - 19th March, 2022 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Broadgate, Food & Drink, Opinion, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston
Origin porridge
Putting the porridge in Origin

There’s a unicorn on Fishergate Hill! Not the flashy type that poops rainbows, obviously. I mean unicorn in cool urban slang, which translates to ‘something so rare and perfect that it’s almost mythical’.

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At least that’s what I thought it meant, but when I checked the Urban Dictionary it was a lot more muckily specific and now I know some things that I can’t unknow. To clarify: there may be a unicorn on Fishergate Hill but it definitely isn’t in Origin Juice and Brew Bar, which has a 5 star food and hygiene rating. 

I tricked my eldest into joining me on my latest review in Blog Preston’s series of best eateries for vegans. We’re both meat eaters so I kept that information from them until we’d returned the greeting from the friendly staff, which in England is the equivalent of signing a contract in blood agreeing to stay until whatever you order is served, or one of you is dead. 

The reason I’m reviewing vegan food is because I, like many others, would like to eat less meat and dairy, but can’t get past the feeling that vegan food is just an overconfident garnish that I can hide under my cutlery after I’ve eaten the fun stuff.

The ‘mythical rare and beautiful thing’ that I found is a friendly, family-owned and run cafe that serves incredible, entirely homemade vegan food at prices no higher than those of other eateries that serve pre-made, processed, bland junk – and is only a few hundred yards away from the West Cliff entrance to Preston’s beautiful Avenham Park and its disappointingly poor cafe.

Read more: Review: The Preston park cafe that’s a thorn amongst roses

An oat milk mocha was served in a big cup with a glass of water on the side, which was a nice touch, and once I’d got over the thought of someone manhandling an outraged oat with tiny little udders, I found that there was very little difference to the taste of regular mocha with cow’s milk.

Our meals quickly followed and everything on them was plated with care to look appealing.  

The first thing we tried was a large bowl of broccoli and cashew nut soup with a homemade roll, for £3.50.

Origin broccoli and cashew nut soup
Cashew! An excellent vegan broccoli soup is not to be sneezed at

I wasn’t expecting too much as I’m a staunch believer that any soup containing broccoli should be at least 50 per cent Cheddar, but it was bafflingly spectacular without a trace of blandness. That theme continued throughout everything we’d ordered. 

We had a big bowl of creamy porridge with almond butter and oat milk, topped with peanut butter, chocolate sauce and strawberries for £3.20.

We also ordered a hearty coronation chickpea focaccia with rocket for £3.50, and a pastry topped with pesto, mushrooms and olives that my companion assured me was wonderful. We’ll have to take their word for it because as far as I’m concerned mushrooms are just lazy slugs. 

Origin coronation chickpea focaccia
The dedicated chef skilfully removes the ‘ick’ from every chickpea before serving

We ate the soup and the porridge but asked for the focaccia and the pastry to take away because we couldn’t manage anything more. We also added a box of cakes to our order at £6.95 for four. Two chocolate and toffee, a coffee and walnut, and a strawberry and vanilla. They were rich without being too sweet or heavy and the different flavours were easily identified.

Origin chocolate toffee cake
The chocolate toffee cake and I got a room

There are only so many words that can be used to rave about fantastic food, and I’m aware that if I use too many at once I might leave the sunny realms of ‘ecstatic reviewer’ and enter the murky forests of ‘fetch the hose, she’s just standing outside the cafe in the pitch black again, sniffing the letterbox’, so I will instead sum up by offering the highest accolade that can be given to purveyors of vegan meals by a food-loving carnivore.

Read more: Review: Vegans won’t be cheesed off with this Penwortham pizzeria

It didn’t taste healthy. There was no vague awareness of something missing that even good vegan food can elicit in a non-vegan. It could not be improved upon by the addition of meat, cheese, eggs or butter, and the only reason that I might not order everything that we were served again is that there are so many other dishes on the menu that I’m excited to try. 

To Preston’s vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, carnivores and everyone in between: you have to visit this incredible little place. But please don’t unicorn in it, that will ruin things for everyone. 


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Have you ever unicorned in a cafe? Please don’t tell us about it in the comments, this is a family blog.

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