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Vegan kebab heaven exists, and it is in Shoreditch

If you listened to people who spoke sense, you'd never eat anything bigger than your head. Pfffft. Some of the best eating experiences of my life have involved eating mountainous amounts of food and then having to lie down for hours afterwards while all my blood flow concentrates on my stomach.

I had another such eating experience not so long at Shoreditch's Pump street food market (yes, the confluence of the words 'Shoreditch', 'PUMP' (to give it its full nom de cuisine) and 'street food' makes me boke a bit, but that's me being irrationally unfair to East London).

Pump (I refuse to write PUMP more than once. Oh, alright, twice then, you accuracy fiends) is now playing host to an entirely vegan doner kebab stand, What The Pitta.

Don't go to What The Pitta when you're feeling pressed for time, because crafting each one of these bad boys - and crafting is very much the word - takes a lot longer than you might think. Do go to What The Pitta when you're feeling hungry though, because they are huge. To be more accurate, for those accuracy fiends, these are HUGE. I might even go so far as to say they are HUUUUUUUGE. Even with my vast stomach capacity, I struggled at the end.

But the sheer size of the kebab wasn't the only thing that made me happiest about What The Pitta. The thing that made me happiest was that they make their own flatbreads. No packet nonsense for them, no. Order a kebab, and the first thing that will happen is that there will be a beautiful, silky sheet of dough put onto one of those plate that crepes are cooked on, and will sizzle happily until it becomes a warm, soft flatbread.

Inside that lovely flatbread is all the fixings you'd expect to find in a classic doner, only they're all vegan, and they're all fab.

The 'meat' in this production is played by seitan, and it has none of the faults that wheat meat can be dogged by. No dry and chewy seitan, this - it's moist, juicy, and delicious. Alongside all that are some crunchy salad in the form of cucumber, tomato, and red cabbage. And there are sauces too - chilli if you're a hot head, or yoghurt if you'd rather a more cool approach. Or, if you can't decide, you can have both. Why have one delicious vegan sauce when you can have two?! If you've decided to order a What The Pitta kebab, you've already committed to overdoing it, so I'd go the twosome. That's what I did, and I regret it not at all.

I can't say kebabs were one of things that I missed when I gave them up to go vegan, but then again, the kebabs I remember were never as good as this one.

Another caveat - best not to go to What The Pitta if you're on a first date. Eating one of these forearm-sized kebabs is a very messy matter - as you near the end you'll end up with a pinkish mix of chilli and yoghurt sauces all over your face and down your wrists.

That said, make sure you do take someone you really like there at some point - because if you buy them a What The Pitta vegan doner kebab, they're pretty much guaranteed to fall in love with you.

What The Pitta

Find them at:
The Pump Shoreditch
168-175 Shoreditch High Street
E1 6HU

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  1. That looks pretty damn good! I'm the same - I don't think I ever had a kebab before going vegan and I've still never found a mock meaty one, but I'm certainly not opposed to a late night falafel kebab when I see one!

  2. Ah looks yummy and more what I image a vegan doner kebab to be, than the one I had recently which disappointed a little, even though it was tasty it was made with a tortilla wrap and the pieces inside were more 'beef' not what I would have described as mimicking shredded 'doner meat' http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/graffiti-and-vx-bristol-vegan-junk-food.html

  3. That bread looks magnificent and the filling looks very generous and colourful as all good fillings should! I don't miss kebabs esp after reading Bill Bryson's description of the meat on a spit looking like a thigh but I would not say no to an excellent wrap either but would need an empty stomach! I made the mistake on the weekend of having some chips while waiting for an amazing falafel wrap and really struggled (a third of it went into my bag to take home and pick at later)

  4. Wow, that is huge! Never really had kebabs before but it sounds and looks amazing. Love all the different ingredients in there and good call on the two sauces even if you do end up wearing it. :-)

  5. Wow, that is one impressive kebab. Worth the wait I would say, and building up an appetite for!

  6. That is hands down the BEST looking kebab wrap I've ever seen, and I've been around the block a few times. I'm trying really hard not to be jealous... But I don't think it's working. Why can't things like this be shipped overseas?! Surely we have the technology! I think that any cost would be worth it for a bite of that monster.

  7. Wow. The only thing better than your description of the kabob experience is the fact that you enjoyed it so much! Obviously, the 'bigger than your head' rule doesn't apply to What the Pitta. I hope they stay in business for a long time!

  8. I've never had a kebab not even a meat one, but my oh my this looks delicious! They say perfection takes time props why it takes long to make :) oooh I'm hungry now haha :) xo


  9. Ooooh, I love a place that makes their own flatbreads for kebabs. Crossing my fingers that I'm not allergic to their seitan, I'm gonna drop them an e-mail!


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