Gilly Mroz

The Trout makes a splash with its new vegan menu

The Trout has always been my favourite place to eat in Oxford. Are your parents visiting?
Take them to the Trout. Is it someone’s birthday? Celebrate at the Trout. Is it a sunny day?
Go for a walk in Port Meadow… and end up at the Trout.

As someone who doesn’t eat meat and who has recently given up dairy (and only
eats eggs if they’re hidden in a cake), I couldn’t wait to try the Trout’s vegan menu, which
came out earlier this year.

The menu offers a delectable range of main dishes. Their sandwich – filled with
avocado, roasted red pepper, a beetroot rosti and red pepper & cumin purée – may have
been a mess to eat (the filling plopped out onto my plate at least three times), but it was so
delicious that I didn’t mind having to scoop up the sandwich contents with the bread that was
supposed to house it. If you like avocado and beetroot, this sandwich is for you.

The burger option contains a roasted aubergine, spinach and harissa patty, with red
pepper & cumin purée, charred spring onions, red chilli and a kale & cauliflower couscous
salad. Another fine meal, as the burger has more structural integrity than the sandwich, and
is equally delicious. When deciding which to order, it should rest on whether you’re more of a
beetroot or aubergine fan.

My biggest regret at the Trout is nearly always being too full to sample their desserts.

The tart is another success. In addition to roasted butternut squash and sweet
potato, it also contains roasted peppers, leeks, confit tomato and a leek sauce. I admit I was
sceptical about how butternut squash and sweet potato would work with leeks and tomato,
but my concerns were alleviated as soon as I tried it. The chefs at the Trout are on to a

If none of these options tickle your fancy, then the vegan main menu also features a
spiced coconut curry with Ras el hanout roasted squash and sweet potato, accompanied by
sticky jasmine rice and a scorched red chilli. The Trout also offers a wholefood salad which
combines kale and cauliflower couscous with a range of vegetables, including asparagus,
tenderstem broccoli, butternut squash, sweet potato and avocado, all topped with roasted
pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, and a pineapple, lemongrass and ginger dressing. As far as
salads go, it sounds delicious.

The starters, meanwhile, include falafel, soup of the day, and a mini version of the
wholefood salad. If you venture away from the vegan menu, the Mediterranean mezze is a
delicious sharing platter with falafel, hummus, roasted peppers, Lebanese-style cumin dip
and flatbread. You can ask for the chargrilled courgette not to be topped with cheese, and
you can ask for something else instead of tzatziki… or ensure it finds its way onto a friend’s

My biggest regret at the Trout is nearly always being too full to sample their desserts.
Nevertheless, on one occasion I had just about enough room for the coconut sorbet – the
three scoops of coconut deliciousness with berries and a raspberry sugar shard were a
perfect palate-cleansing dish and are a must for coconut fans.

The dessert menu also features a treacle and pecan tart, which comes with a scoop
of the coconut sorbet and some rosehip syrup, and a chocolate tart topped with chocolate
sauce and berries. If the dishes I’ve sampled thus far are anything to go by, then I have no
doubt that these desserts will be as delicious as the menu promises.