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Old favourites and new discoveries - Brunch, Mexican, and chocolate cake

Thanks to the ongoing nightmare of my revising-for-exams-while-doing-a-full-time-job, I don't have much in the way of free time. Watching something I like on TV for half an hour seems like a huge treat, reading a book the worst kind of self-indulgence, and actually leaving the house for leisure purposes like two weeks on the French Riviera. (Don't worry, there are upsides to my studies: I know a lot about reproduction in flowering plants and blood clotting and cell structure, among other nuggets of fun. Admittedly most of the stuff I've been learning will only ever be of use in pub quizzes after I've taken the exams, but still. At least I'm going to rule at biology questions in those quizzes. That's compensation where I come from.)

This self-pitying prelude is basically a long way of saying I've actually been out for lunch recently. Yeah, me! I put down the past papers and went down to the ever-reliable Tibits.

Those lovely people at London's best veg*n buffet place have now started a flirtation with brunch, which inspired me to go check it out. Look away if you're the singer of the Strokes - I really like brunch. It's to my constant chagrin there are not more vegan brunch options in London. Happily, Tibits agree - every now and again, between 11.30am and 3pm, you can go get yourself down there for a smorgasbord of vegan delights.

As per usual, the lighting was quite frankly bum, but I hope you get an idea of what's on offer here:

I lost all self-restraint, I'll be honest. (Due to the fact that Tibits' food is sold by weight, I knew I'd picked up way more than Mr Flicking the Vs, who is around one-fifth taller than me.) It's a ridiculous plate - garlic mushrooms, Boston baked beans, potato wedges, orecchiette salad, dried bean salad, scrambled tofu, seitan rosti and pancakes. But it was AMAZING. I regretted not getting more, despite the fact I'd have needed another stomach to pack it all in. Minor quibble - the garlic mushrooms were a but undercooked for me. Major love - that rosti, man. If there was some sort of Tibits rosti subscription service, I'd have signed up to it by now.

Side note - I didn't just go out to be a massive glutton, I stopped into the Goya exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery. It's great, you should go. Only go early, because the pictures are tiny and will be blocked by other gawpers. We saw two separate people hogging the pictures for minutes, standing in front of them with massive Inspector Gadget style magnifying glasses. The Courtauld Gallery's main collection is also small and perfectly formed.

Its stairs, however - a bit terrifying.

And it doesn't stop there - me and him went for a walk around Shoreditch afterwards to look for a new vegan baker called the Friendliest Flour. While we somehow managed to not find the Friendliest Flour, we did stumble on vegan cake! (Phew!)

After wandering into the Backyard Market, we passed a Tea Rooms where everything was a quid, and there was a big vegan chocolate cake up for grabs.

While sadly it was the only vegan option (Mr FtVs' non-vegan brownie pictured below), it still pleases me to see more and more vegan food getting on menus. And, for a £1 cake from a non-vegan eatery, I was impressed:

And that's not all. Having discovered that a new veggie eatery, the Moveable Feast, had opened near my work and that Club Mexicana was going to be selling their wares there, I thought I'd better go and part with some cash.

At my first attempt, the feted jackfruit tacos had sold out, so I opted for the beer marianted seitan burrito instead. It was, as the reports suggest, very good:

What could possibly go wrong with shoving seitan, rice, guacamole, vegan sour cream, chillis, and lime into a huge burrito? Not a thing.

My next jackfruit-hunting attempt was more successful and I snuck off with four dainty little tacos and a big pile of chips. Granted, it looks like I photographed it in a cave, but you still get an ideal of how darn pretty it was:

Top marks to Club Mexicana for delivering vegan grub in the otherwise unlovely area near London Bridge. We'll be seeing each other again soon.

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  1. Great shout on the Goya exhibition. I'm hoping to squeeze in a visit soon and will take heed of your advice to go early!
    I still haven't checked out Club Mexicana! I want both of those meals!

  2. Yum! Lots of delicious looking meals. Buffets sold by weight are genius! Ha ha! I really wish that when I traveled to London last year, that I had been more insistent on eating at better places. I had plenty of salads and plain jacket potatoes. Look what I missed!

  3. If only I lived closer to that vegan buffet. But perhaps it's fortunate I don't, I would have never made it up or down those stairs. :-) On the other hand, the Goya exhibit sounds super cool, I would brave the stairs just to see the exhibit.

  4. Vegan cake for £1 is appealing! Thanks for the brunch review at Tibits too - I've only been for dinner but it sounds like an earlier visit would be worthwhile.

  5. As a Texan, I can say with certainty that those tacos look so good!

  6. I am hoping for a week in London in August so I will be adding these places to my list. I especially want to visit Tibits. We've been making loads of cooked Sunday breakfasts recently and have discovered that Ikea does frozen rostis. Lucky for us Matt works 5 mins from a branch.

  7. I love Tibits! I once spent an embarrassing amount of money on a plate of sticky toffee pudding, but it was worth it.

  8. Wow, big kudos to you for taking time out to blog with all the studies you have going on! I have yet to try jackfruit, but apparently I'm the last vegan blogger to have not eaten it. Those tacos are adorable!

  9. I'd love to come around to these places with you - they sound really interesting - I love a good brunch and an good mexicana - or any plate piled with interesting dishes - great you got back for the jackfruit tacos - now enough relaxing and back to those books (just joking - good to hear you are taking a break)


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