Pura Vida in Waterlooville, was originally called the Yoga Cafe. It’s had a slight transformation, it used to look quite hippy-ish inside but now has a more clean, modern and bright look to it. At night it has twinkly lights on the ceiling and candles on the tables. We did visit when it was the old style cafe but it’s changed and, we think, much improved now.
The cafe is 100% plant based/vegan and on a Wednesday and Thursday Andrea, of Papa’s Moon Therapy, offers deep tissue massage (ooh, sounds bliss), Thai foot massages and reflexology using cruelty-free vegan products.
I visited Pura Vida a couple of weeks ago during the day with my sister for just a cuppa and a cake. The young lady owner, Emma serves the food and is very nice and friendly too. A list of drinks is available, coffees, hot chocolates, smoothies etc., and some very nice sounding teas such as ‘cinnamon & ginger spice’. As it was a rather chilly October day I decided upon that one, to warm me up. Disappointingly they didn’t have it nor my second choice of ‘saffron & cardamom’ so instead I went for lemon & ginger zest.
The cakes we had were amazing. We each shared the peanut butter chocolate brownie which was served with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a dusting of cocoa powder. We could have had it served warm with either vegan ice-cream, custard or cream, but we declined, just having it as it was. The other was a very fresh Biscoff & cinnamon twist, which was our favourite, although both were very good indeed.
Pura Vida are currently open from Wednesday to Sunday. On Thursdays they open later at 3pm but as a restaurant, serving until 10pm.
We decided to try them out one evening, taking along Geoff and Helen was paying, her treat, how lovely. When we arrived we received a friendly welcome from Emma and took the usual Covid precautions such as hand sanitiser, track & trace and the wearing of masks until we were seated.
Geoff had the jacket stack for his starter. This was a roasted and baked potato skin, stuffed with garlic & spring onion mashed potato served on a bed of rocket with a drizzle of sriracha sauce. Oozing melted vegan cheeze was an additional 70p.
The Pura portabello was two large and delicious portabello mushrooms – which I adore – stuffed with either homemade sundried tomato pesto or cream cheeze, (I chose the cheeze, and there was plenty of it) served on a bed of rocket & chives.
For myself it was really a toss up between the pitta patta or the tofu dish. I’d already had tofu that day at home for lunch so thought I’d best not have any more, although I was rather tempted. Next time I will.
Only really one choice for Geoff as he’s not vegan and rather fussy, so bangers and mash it was. Obviously vegan sausages, this was a vegan cafe/restaurant after all remember. These were served on mashed potato – he was having potato overload hehe – broccoli, onions and gravy.
‘Pitta Patta, it don’t matter’, what a great name for a dish. This was flat bread with a sour cream sauce, topped with roasted veg, special hummus and a sprinkle of fresh coriander. The broccoli was really really tasty, it was kind of burnt or charred but it gave the dish SO much added flavour, it was the star of the show.
Geoff enjoyed a couple of beers with his meal whilst Helen and I each had a glass of red wine.
We weren’t overly keen on the music, it wasn’t really our style as it was a little repetitive but apart from that, we enjoyed the evening and the food very much. I have a friend who lives near Waterlooville and she and her husband have been a few times for breakfast and said that it’s the best vegan breakfast ever!
No ice-cream was available that evening, which was a shame as I would have liked to have tried it but the custard was really tasty. The vanilla sponge was served warm and was fresh and light, the jam made it even better.
I enjoyed Pura vida and would like to return, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Living life, loving vegan!