The Rainbow Cafe (Cambridge)

Tucked away in a basement at the end of an alley, The Rainbow Cafe is a slightly misleading name for a premises free of natural light!

With an hour to kill in Cambridge this lunchtime I was pleased to find the place packed out (always a good sign). Luckily there was one table free, even if it was a bit of a squeeze to fit in.

I was averagely hungry, so ordered 3 courses (strictly for research purposes, you understand). Service was friendly and reasonably efficient:
Garlic bread £3.45
with sun-dried tomato or sun-dried chilli

Vegan Artichoke Parcel £9.95
Delightful filo pastry parcels wrapping artichoke heart, red pepper, black olives, sun dried tomato, & vegan cheese, rich & delectable, served with rice or fusilli pasta with optional marinara sauce & salad garnish.

Mocha Swirl Cheesecake £4.25
(from the specials board)
Choice of vegan options was good, with several proper (non-token) desserts. Waiting times were reasonable too, considering the place was full. Pricing was about average compared to other v*gan cafes across the UK (£15-£20 inc drink).

The garlic bread was odd, but good. Breaking from the tradition of crispy french bread or ciabatta, it seemed to be a soft finger roll; heated till the garlic spread had melted. It was certainly different, but I'd order it again.

Not sure what I made of the main:

It looked good and the filo pastry filling was very tasty. It was difficult to eat with the cheap cutlery however and really needed some kind of sauce to soak up the dry pastry, rather than the side salad. I guess it suffered slightly from 3 things on a plate syndrome, as opposed to a mixture of components that all complimented one another.

I wasn't disappointed by it, but I'd try something else next time.

Having been thoroughly spoilt by The Alley Cafe in Nottingham's cheesecake less than 48 hours previous (which I described as 'perfect'), The Rainbow Cafe's attempt would have to be something really special to compete.

It wasn't. It was a good attempt however - texture was pleasant and price sensible. The base could use some work, as could the height. I'd rank it about average on the vegan cheesecake scale :)

Overall, a fairly decent experience. I wouldn't drive miles to get there, but I'd certainly return if in Cambridge again and can happily recommend it to others.


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