First things first - the menu! There are three permanent vegan options and one seasonal option at the time of visiting. I didn't notice the seasonal dish at first as it wasn't on the main menu. The allotment pie sounds delish, and I'll be ordering it next time.
On this visit I opted for the portobello mushroom tart. As stated on the menu I asked for freshly steamed veggies as the ones at the carvery station are cooked using butter. The waiter didn't inform me this time that the roast potatoes were suitable, but every other time I've visited I've been assured they're dairy free.
Aside from the leeks, which I can't stand eating on their own, I was happy with the veg selection I was given (and the amount too!) The tart itself was nice, with a rich pastry and tasty filling. It isn't anything to write home about and won't win any awards but it was good home cooking style grub. Sadly once my meal arrived I had to get up to get some (veggie) gravy, so it would be nice if they could just bring you a jug of gravy with your food, to save you wandering around the meat counter looking for it.
The previous Toby menu had a vegan chocolate and cherry torte, which was to die for. The vegan dessert offering is now a rice pudding made with coconut milk. This sounds lovely but it's more of a winter dessert than a spring/summer pudding so I'm very disappointed that the torte was booted in favour of a winter time favourite, not least because the portion size was abysmal.
Upon arrival I thought the bowl it came in looked very small, so I tipped it out on to the plate the dish came on (which was only slightly larger than a side plate!) There was literally three spoonfuls of pudding. I admit I'm a piglet when it comes to food and often eat far more than should be humanly possible, but I was genuinely disappointed with the meagre portion of pudding before me. How did it taste? Like rice pudding! The compote (raspberry, I think?) was very sharp and overpowering. I wouldn't order this again, and appeal to Toby to bring back the torte!
Overall the Toby Carvery vegan offerings are welcome and adequate. It makes it relatively easy to find a casual venue that vegans and omnivores alike can agree on for a pleasant afternoon catch up!