Review: Sova Vegan Butcher

Sambhavi Sudhakar reviews Sova Vegan Butcher in Dublin.

In its capacity as a burgeoning movement and ever-increasing popularity as a lifestyle choice, veganism has witnessed the rise of many alternatives to meat and dairy-based foods. One of the most popular vegan food hubs in Dublin is Sova Vegan Butcher, located on Pleasants Street, just off Camden Street.

The owner Barto Sova was a long-term vegetarian before becoming vegan in 2013. He established Sova Vegan Butcher in order to popularise plant-based alternatives to meat dishes that imitate the taste and texture of animal protein. Their aim is to promote vegan food that is “tasty, healthy, happy and sexy!”

“The seitan doner kebab with ‘beef,’ tomato, guacamole, white cabbage, mixed salad and a tartare sauce is a popular favourite.”

Sova Vegan is found in a small two-storey building, with the capacity to seat 40 people. Aesthetically, it is minimalist with white walls in contrast to furniture with a smooth, dark varnish. The elegance of the restaurant truly lies in its simplicity and the atmosphere is conducive to bonding and conversation over meals. The service is provided by open, friendly, and approachable staff members heightening the appeal of the eatery.

The dishes at Sova sit on two separate menus, one for brunch and another for dinner. The dinner menu offers a deal consisting of a starter, main course, and dessert for €24.90. The dishes are presented in a way that is visually enticing.

The seitan doner kebab with ‘beef,’ tomato, guacamole, white cabbage, mixed salad and a tartare sauce is a popular favourite. Reviews from non-vegans indicate that the texture of the seitan in the dish is extremely close to the meat version. Other meat alternatives on the menu include burgers, a turkey roulade, a seitan steak, and a pulled pork bap. The menu also features a generous supply of gluten-free dishes, of which the potato pancakes with cauliflower and mushroom sauce is a definite winner. Another standout dish is the roasted cauliflower soup with cucumber, cashew salsa, and sourdough crostini. While the texture is relatively thicker than most soups, its evolving flavour and richness makes it another Sova success.

The dessert menu at Sova is vegan and gluten-free. While my seitan kebab main was definitely sumptuous and fulfilling, my cheesecake fell slightly short of the mark. My companion’s choice of dessert however, the apple and cinnamon pancake, was a befitting conclusion to the Sova experience.

A visit to Sova is definitely a rewarding experience. With its balance of a refreshing ambience and a versatile menu, it is a top-notch Dublin restaurant.