Bulgur wheat dish, topped with hummus and slices of grilled aubergine. | Mia Naprta

I have mostly been writing about meat or fish meals, I felt that I am not doing enough for our numerous vegan readers. So, I decided to go try a vegan place with a vegan friend, in hope that she will provide some more relevant insight and comments.

We went to Ca n’Ela, a charming small restaurant in a side street not far from the Cathedral. When I first heard the name, I thought it was a Spanish word for cinnamon, but then I found out that the owner was called Ela, so we were in fact going to Ella’s House. I was pleasantly surprised that we were about to have a four-course meal for less than 20 euros. Granted, some of the courses were juices or soups, but it still felt like an unbelievable value for money.

Orange, beet and turmeric juice.

We started with a freshly squeezed orange, beet and turmeric juice. It was served in a tall flute, making it feel a little more special than if it had been poured into a regular water glass. The juice was refreshing and really tasty. I am normally not a fan of raw beetroot, but it worked well in this combination and the drink did not feel too earthy. My vegan friend approved too!

The cauliflower soup.

Next, we had a choice of either a pea and mint or a cauliflower soup. Each of us preferred our own pick, but they both tasted great! My only comment here was that I would have liked to have seen a more interesting presentation. Perhaps a few seeds sprinkled on top or a drizzle of olive oil would make the bowl look more appealing. Or more Instagramable, if that mattered to you!

Related news

For our third course we both selected a bulgur wheat dish, topped with hummus and slices of grilled aubergine. This was fantastic! Flavourful and very filling! Neither of us could finish our portion. Or, perhaps, we subconsciously saved a bit of space for a dessert – “un huceco para el postre”, as the Spanish would say…

The carrot cake.

Just like the entire menu, there were two choices of sweet treats. We picked one each: a chocolate pudding topped with a few slices of strawberry and a carrot cake with a cool swirly icing on top. I was not too keen on the chocolate pudding, while my friend thought it was “nice enough”. We both preferred the carrot cake - it was rich and slightly spicy, melt-in-your-mouth soft. I could have easily scoffed the whole thing alone, but the deal was to share it with my friend and I grudgingly obliged. But I made a note to return to Ca n’Ela whenever I spot the said carrot cake on their menu again.

The chocolate pudding.

As I already mentioned, the place is cute and has a homely feel, with tables positioned quite closely together. The small upstairs section only has a couple of tables and some interesting artwork on the walls. We came without the reservation and managed to grab the last available table, so if you are purposefully going there, rather than just passing by, I would advise you to book ahead.

The service was friendly, our questions were answered patiently and the sweet Romanian owner Ela even found a few moments to chat with us about her restaurant and her plans for it in the years to come. As a non-vegan, I sometimes feel a little fake going to these places. I imagine that the people will somehow figure me out to be an imposter and judge me, but I had a very relaxed experience at Ca n’Ela! Her food was tasty, well prepared and served with love. I saw that she knew more than a few people by their name, which is always a big plus in my books! Even more so in a place in the centre of town, with probably a constant stream of faces you see once or twice in your life.