The Pantry: Vegan & Vegetarian delights in the heart of Leicester
By Bejal Gosai
If you go down to The Lanes today, you’re sure of a foodie surprise! Yes, if you’re meandering through the pretty little Lanes, (Loseby Lane in particular) there’s a new little deli and coffee shop, which just fits right in with the super trendy historic surroundings of LE1, and doesn’t disappoint on its offerings either. The Pantry, specialising in vegetarian and vegan food is very much the new kid on the block, and I’m going to say this place is already a hit with people of Leicester, including yours truly!
The pantry is the brainchild of Leicester born, Arti Chudasama. Arti studied fashion design in Manchester and has spent many years working in the fashion industry but after experimenting with her own diet over time and eliminating meat and dairy products, she turned her attention to vegan and vegetarian foods. Plant based products are immensely popular at the moment and it seems the birth of The Pantry is just the challenge that Arti was looking for.
The beautiful décor is made up of dark wood surfaces, a dimly lit on-trend teal feature wall, a copper rimmed wall clock and THAT window display! A beautiful wooden teal dresser with vases filled with citrus fruits. It’s evident that Arti has combined her talents of stylish design and translated them to the decadent interior of The Pantry. A tranquil petit et bijou oasis to rest your feet as you sip one of their many vegan beverages and nibble on a variety of sweet and savoury provisions.
I have a love for all things Peruvian and The Pantry sells a pretty mean Peruvian coffee (I had mine with almond milk!), as well as a selection of other beverages including the very on-trend turmeric latte, masala chai and even cold thirst quenchers such as peanut smoothies. You can indulge in some overnight soaked oats, granola with coconut yoghurt and figs, falafel superfood salad or even sourdough bread with mashed avocado. There’s also delicious sounding thai summer rolls with peanut dressing and crunchy salad - a taste that will have be sure to have you dreaming of lounging on the shores of the Andaman sea with a coconut water in hand!
The pantry is a bit of a family affair, with Arti focusing on her inventive Thai recipes, such as spring rolls and wraps and her mum, cooking up those comforting, warming homely curries (which incidentally are different daily).
There’s a plethora of Indian bites coming from The Pantry’s Indian inspired kitchen, including chapatti wraps, paneer biryani with raitha, paneer spring rolls and a familiar friend in the form of veggie samosas. But if you’re not a fan of spice then a perfect lunchtime pick me up could come in the form of a sweet baked spud, lovingly crammed with roasted vegetables and feta or a salad such as the falafel and feta sprinkled with chickpeas.
Now just incase the sweet toothed amongst us are feeling a little left out - The Pantry brings you naughties in the masquerade of cacao truffles, chocolate and raspberry vegan cake, lemon drizzle & vegan apple and cinnamon slices and chia seed energy balls. The Pantry have plans to serve vegan alcohol, including wine, gin, vodka, whisky and rum. I even tried some bubbles at the launch night! Future plans involve themed nights and the introduction of a signature cocktail. Arti’s drive, passion and desire for her new business is most definitely reflected in the delights and service that you are sure to encounter at The Pantry.