Hundreds of Greggs fans queued to be the first to try the new vegan steak bake.

The pastry, launched on Wednesday night, made headlines as hundreds of thousands of people signed up to veganuary.

The release follows the launch of the vegan sausage roll last January, which caused the company's profits to soar more than 52 per cent to £36.7million for the 26 weeks to June 29.

The new vegan steak bake - filled with pieces of meat substitute Quorn, diced onions and gravy - means vegans and flexitarians can enjoy an alternative to one of Greggs' iconic menu items. It is priced at £1.55 - 5p more than the standard steak bake.

Curious about this new invention, we made a special trip to our nearest Greggs to find out if it really lives up to the hype. Here's what we thought:

Robert Collins, deputy editor

As the office vegetarian (though not vegan) I haven’t eaten a steak bake or pasty in years so can’t compare it with the non-fake steak bake. But the pastry was light and flaky, the Quorn mince was also light (it’s hard to describe and there’s no way of making mycoprotein sound sexy) – and most of the flavour came from the smooth, slightly oniony gravy.

Borehamwood Times:

The vegan steak bake and the standard steak bake, side by side. Photo: Ann Yip

For £1.55, it was pleasant enough, light (that word again) and not greasy at all. I did find myself wishing I had a dollop of ketchup or mustard to add a bit more flavour, and that it was a bit more substantial, maybe with a few veg in there as well. But then it wouldn’t have been a vegan steak bake, it would have been a vegan Cornish pasty. Greggs' website says it has no plans for other bakes, but maybe this veganism thing could catch on...

Ann Yip, audience and content editor

I really enjoyed the vegan steak bake, but alas, I prefer the real thing.

The vegan version was full of oniony flavour and there was plenty of gravy inside. The main differences between the meat and vegan pastries are that the vegan pastry is less flaky (so less messy to eat) and the Quorn filling was a lot softer (not as chewy as real beef).

Borehamwood Times:

Photo: Flickr/pauliewoll

I’m not very fussed about the pastry if I’m honest. The meat steak bake looks more attractive with the glaze (possibly egg) but the vegan version is less messy to eat. And both versions have great flavour.

The reason why I would opt for the meat version over the vegan one is because it feels like the Quorn filling is lacking in texture. Although there is the crunch of the onions, the mince just dissolves in your mouth. Texture is important to me, and I would prefer a bit more of a bite in my steak bake.

Jessie Mathewson, reporter

Borehamwood Times:

Reporters James Cowen, Joe Reaidi and Jessie Mathewson trying the new Greggs vegan steak bake. Photo: Ann Yip

If I hadn't known this was vegan it could have fooled me – although I'm not much of a steak bake regular. This version is less chewy than the original, but I quite like that. The gravy tastes just the same, and the pastry is really buttery for a non-dairy option. Much like the vegan sausage roll, I can see it becoming a big part of my weekends in future – New Year’s health resolution or not.

James Cowen, reporter

When the vegan sausage roll was introduced into Greggs last year, it became an instant hit up and down the country. And it did not disappoint my taste buds when I first tried it, the vegan sausage roll was an absolute delight to eat.

So when I heard Greggs would be introducing a new vegan steak bake, I was excited. I knew it would have a lot to live up to, but I had full confidence that like the vegan sausage roll, it would be a delightful treat.

Borehamwood Times:

The inside of the standard steak bake and the vegan steak bake. Photo: Watford Observer

And I have to say the new vegan steak bake delivers just that. I felt it came off as looking a bit dry from first glance, but after delving in any thoughts of it being dry were soon a distant memory.

The vegan steak bake was moist and tasted how any pastry wrapped product should – full of flavour with a slight crunch as well. Would I recommend you buy the new vegan steak bake? Absolutely.

Joseph Reaidi, reporter

‘Veganuary’ is a concept I would not normally consider – coming from someone who tends to eat purely meat.

But when I looked at the vegan steak bake, which looked much paler than the original, I was interested to see how much the two flavours would contrast.

By appearance alone, the pastry exterior seemed to be quite dry, but after one bite into it I was surprised to feel the moistness of the gravy.

Borehamwood Times:

This is the chewier meaty steak bake. Photo: Ann Yip

My first thought truly was that I would not have noticed much of a difference had I not known it was vegan.

To me, the fact I had to chew less compared to eating an actual steak bake, was somewhat better.

While the flavours were extremely similar, there was what I could only describe as a ‘less strong taste’, which made the vegan alternative more enjoyable.

Now, has this changed my palate for vegan foods?

No, but next time I visit a Greggs, it wouldn’t surprise me if I found myself eyeing up another vegan steak bake.