As if January wasn’t bad enough, the New Year kill-joys now expect us to not only give up booze but meat too it seems.

Reports today also suggest that for the planet to survive we need to give up red meat altogether, give or take a hamburger size portion a week, as well as sugar, which doesn’t bode well for those of us with a laissez-faire attitude to food.

Like many, I have made a conscious effort to steadily reduced my meat intake over the past few years, understanding that for environmental, financial and health reasons it makes sense.

So when I go out I want to blow the budget, the rules and just indulge.

Just not in January apparently. Carnivores should stay inside while every restaurant in Oxford offers a Veganuary menu.

And while veganism should be applauded, it is still a tiny minority of the population adhering to such a strict diet, albeit a growing one.

Trying to track down a Veganury menu that I could entice Mr Greedy to was therefore quite a challenge.

Him Indoors was less than enthusiastic when I mentioned Challenge Veganuary, even when choosing Banana Tree, where I tend to eat veggie food anyway because it’s so delicious.

Indeed 50 per cent of the menu there is vegan/vegetarian all year around, the Veganuary tag therefore unnecessary.

But then Asian food is predominantly vegetarian anyway. There is little dairy involved, the cuisine tending to use coconut milk while shunning dairy and meat for hygiene reasons.

Pan-Asian in stance, Banana Tree’s inspiration, hails from Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia with dishes taken from across the region.

Situated on George Street, admittedly it is a chain, with numerous branches in London, but is always consistent; serving fresh, interesting, filling Asian food in a modern, urban interior, with ethics to match - it supports the Orangutan Appeal UK for example.

We always try to nab the Japanese style seating booths on the side, the novelty of sliding in with your legs swinging always appealing to the kids.

Their laksas are infamous, and whenever I am cold and weary, my feet beat a hasty path to Banana Tree’s door where my soul is revived with each spoonful of the £10.85 rich, coconutty broth of herbs and tofu (chicken and prawn versions are also available).

Unsurprisingly then the laksas feature on the Veganuary menu, a firm contender alongside the kari made with a red curry paste, the tamarind spicy aubergine, the Bob Bo salad (vermicelli with fresh herbs, crushed nuts, crispy shallots, spring rolls and a Nuoc Cham sauce) or the blackened monk’s noodles (with veg and vegan bites in a blackened sauce with sweetcorn cakes, sesame rice cracker and Viet pickle).

The vegan spring rolls also feature on the starter menu (£5.95), quickly snaffled by my daughter who loves the light, fresh, non greasy rolls with dipping sauce, lettuce and Viet pickle.

I tried the veggie karipap curry puffs with a satay sauce, although the pastry seemed rather out of kilter with the rest of the meal.

The aubergine half with aromatic caramel sauce, fresh herbs and crispy shallots is always worth a punt; silky smooth with a real depth of flavour.

Then the laksas which went down a treat, everyone knowing to leave me be me until I’d finished every last drop.

The veggie pad thai with tofu and prawn crackers was another hit, (there is a vegan version coming soon in the next few weeks without fish sauce).

Doing well on our vegan campaign, we faltered at the last step, spying the Banana Tree ‘Frotiteroles’ (£5.85), rather than sticking to the coconut stuffed green Thai pancakes or the Balinese Pulut Hitam rice pudding.

It was worth the digression, the piping hot, crispy batter enveloping the softer fruit inside, then covered in chocolate sauce and ice cream,

Staggering out we all agreed that Veganuary at Banana Tree was certainly not a sacrifice, if anything it was a bonus.

Mr Greedy was less sure. You can take a horse to water........