Vegan

Day 25: By the mystic regulation of our dark association…

…Eat a vegan sausage roll a sausage roll!

And so they might well have sung at the performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Grand Duke that we went to tonight. The show was a small fringe production under a pub in Baron’s Court, and it was lots of fun. It’s a comedy that’s partly about a conspiracy to overthrow the despotic leader of a small European principality, and the ‘secret sign’ by which the plotters identify themselves to each other is to eat a sausage roll. Of course. Accordingly, the audience was offered just such a morsel as they took their seats – and, happily, the recipe that the company had used was vegan! They were quite nice, if a bit grainy. Perfectly edible, though!

Being terribly cultured souls we had planned to have dinner out before the show – but we hit a bit of a hitch with our choice of eatery. A while back we had read about a Vegan pizzeria called PickyWops which sounded great, and we were really excited to see that there was a branch located just 10 mins from the theatre… but be warned, if you want to go there yourself, make sure you book, it’s absolutely tiny and when we walked in there were no vacancies at all. Boo and hiss!

The evening almost descended into disaster – we were both knackered after work and, I admit, grouchily hangry, so things got a touch fraught as we stood outside the restaurant swallowing our disappointment and trying to think where else we might be able to go. After an abortive trip to the nearby Co-op to see if there was a sandwich we could have (there was, but nothing very inspiring), we stomped back towards the theatre, glancing grumpily at the menus of pubs that we passed to see whether they had a vegan option. Also – cunning move on the part of the marketing bods at PickyWops… they say they chose their name in order to reclaim the anti-Italian ethnic slur as a badge of pride, but it also means that you can’t curse them outloud as you mooch hangrily away from the premises without sounding, out of context, like a massive racist!

In our hungry and indecisive state we were struggling to settle on anything – and so in desperation we went to look at the other vegan restaurant that we had located in the area: Vegan 222. We had actually considered this place earlier, but turned it down as Si said he didn’t want a sit-down formal restaurant meal (and we were trying to save pennies as it’s our anniversary tomorrow and we’re going out for dinner to celebrate). But when we got there, we found that there was one table for two free, and that the menu was actually cheaper than Pickywops. Hooray!

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Starving as we were, we ordered some warm pitta bread and a selection of dips to nibble on while we were deciding what to eat. The dips were guacamole (surprisingly sweet – maybe containing apple as well as avo?), a very good hummous, and a creamy pimento dip that was just astonishingly good.

I drank a lovely cloudy lemonade, and Si had ‘a big bottle of fizzy water’… the waitress warned him that this was very big, 1L, but Si accepted the challenge. He must have been thirsty, as he finished the whole thing! To eat, Si had the 222 burger – made from tofu and veggie mince, and served with oven-baked chips (very nice – I nicked a couple!). Comforting and filling – as was my meal, the ‘oyster mushroom and spinach raclette’. This wasn’t like any omnivorous raclette I’ve ever had – again, vegan cheese doesn’t melt or stretch like you’d expect – but as a dish in its own right it was beautiful. Slices of potato topped with a crispy mix of spinach and tofu ‘cottage cheese’, and accompanied by a fab creamy sauce and some sliced mushrooms – nowhere near enough mushrooms, they were chewy and delicious.

I don’t think the day could have been more salvaged than it was by that meal – kudos to Vegan 222! Followed by a great show, it was a fab evening.

Today I ate/drank…

  • Tea with almond milk
  • No tiramisu cake (weep)
  • Coronation Veg sandwich from Boots
  • Lots of water
  • Pitta bread and dips
  • Mushroom and spinach ‘raclette’
  • Lots of lemonade, both at the restaurant and the theatre
  • Vegan sausage roll

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