Owners of a Chinese restaurant popular with vegans have defended themselves after being accused of serving meat to veggie customers.
Redragon in Burrow Street, South Shields, has become a magnet for North East vegans.
The restaurant, which opened in 2015, has an extensive vegan menu offering vegetable dishes as well as vegan duck, chicken and even fish substitutes.
But Redragon's owners say they have been hit with accusations they served meat to vegan customers, forcing them to make a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page to set the record straight.
It said: "I value all my customers and want you all to enjoy our food.
"Last night we received upsetting accusations about supplying meat in our listed vegan products. I can assure you that we take our food very seriously and very much respect the values of our vegan customers so this accusation was not true.
"I would not normally post this but I was very upset about this 😔"
It comes as veganism is seeing a surge in popularity, with vegan-friendly restaurants and menus popping up around the region.
The Vegan Society estimates that as of May this year, there were 542,000 vegans in the UK - up 150,000 from 2006.
Customers have been quick to defend the Redragon after the accusations, leaving supportive posts.
Julie Schubeler said: "I didn't have any mock meat products when I visited but the server told me I couldn't have what I asked for as it contained egg (I misread the menu) - doesn't seem like an uncaring restaurant to me!!
"I was really happy with the food and service and will be back :-)"
Lyndsey Graham said: "You are always so helpful with ingredients and always careful to check with us what we eat. Not to mention having a great selection of vegetarian food. I'm really sad that someone thinks this."