V Stack kindly invited me to try their food shortly after they first opened last year, and I loved it, so was excited to hear them announce their first pop-up restaurant, being held on Cowley Road at the Oxford Grill in February. Their speciality is comforting vegan junk food, and they have a simple menu completely centred around cauliflower. If you don’t like cauliflower, I expect this review won’t be for you – but I promise you haven’t tried it like this!
The pop-up saw the launch of V Stack’s brand new burger, the Jammer Stack, which I was told took them endless tweaks and hours and hours of work to get perfect. On tasting it, I hope they feel the time and effort was absolutely worth it, because this burger is insane! A salty, crispy deep-fried cauliflower steak sits on a bed of iceberg lettuce and is topped with sriracha, melty vegan cheese, onion rings, and a homemade sweet chilli jam. It’s got a real kick to it but not too spicy, and the flavour combinations are spot on. From the soft bun, to the crunch of the breadcrumbs coating, through to that cauliflower which has still retained its texture so isn’t soggy at all, this was pure decadent vegan junk food at its finest.
Jamie decided to order the cauliflower wings, served in a basket with a pot of vegan mayo. The portion size was very generous for the price, with a large handful of wings and a side of fries sold at only £6. The wings were smothered in a pretty spicy hot sauce, so not for the faint-hearted, but we both thought they were delicious. The texture was wonderful to bite into, and the cauliflower absorbed so much flavour. The side of fries with cajun spices had just the right amount of salt for me, and again, the seasoning was excellent.
You might ask how we had room for all this, but we also finally took the opportunity to try their mac n cheese, which has been on the menu for a while now. It’s topped with a handful of crispy onions which add a nice texture, and the sauce itself is so smooth and creamy. It’s not overly cheesy but the hint of it is there, and the comforting bowl delivers on everything you want from a mac n cheese dish. This alone would be a great lunch so I’ll definitely be ordering this again soon.
I love that V Stack are doing something quite different with their offering. You can get a vegan burger and chips here there and everywhere these days, but to my knowledge, you can’t get anything like this burger anywhere else in Oxford, and it’s really worth a try. The pop-up may have been a one-off (although I hope they’ll do more!) but you can find V Stack at Gloucester Green Market every Saturday from 10am-5pm. Let me know if you try it.