FORGET the pork scratchings! Traditional pub grub in Southend is being transformed as one popular drinking hole introduces a vegetarian-only menu.

The Railway Hotel will replace its meaty pub pies and snacks with soups, risottos and nut roasts to become the only place in Southend to offer a completely vegetarian menu, as well as offering vegan delicacies.

The only other vegetarian restaurant, My Kitchen, in Leigh Road, Leigh, closed last year.

Railway managers Dave Dulake and Fi Jacobs, 26, want their new-look and healthy cuisine to offer residents a welcome alternative to other restaurants, which only offer a limited vegetarian choice.

The duo, who are both vegetarians, have high hopes of introducing a takeaway service and vegetarian breakfasts if the menu is successful at the pub in Clifftown Road.

Dave, 37, said: “We think people will come and eat here more because we offer a niche in the market as there is no other vegetarian restaurant in the town.

“Since we became vegetarians, we found there are not many options for places to eat.

“We feel we can promote healthy food in a good way and make it interesting with lots of different ingredients and meals.

“We want to make it easier for vegetarians to get good, reasonably priced food with generous portions.”

The pub’s new menu will be rolled out with a choice of three or four dishes including daily specials on April 22, when it will be handing out free samples. Chef Del Glover, who previously worked for My Kitchen before it closed, has been drafted in to offer vegetarian soups, crepes, curries and even vegetarian crisps.