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A few London treats: vegan Sunday roast, cracking sarnies, and a tofu scram

I've had a few pics on my phone for ages, featuring random meals that I enjoyed and forgot to post about. Time to fix that!

During the last term, I ended up having a few Sunday roasts at the Ivy House, a pub in Nunhead. I love Sunday roasts. They're one of those meals that I remember from being a kid: the most English meal, but one that's actually good.

There aren't as many good vegan Sunday roasts as there should be (though there's a great round-up here) but the Ivy House is one of my favourites. It's a great pub to sit in, there's music sometimes, the beer's good and the food gets delivered in portion sizes that would make a WWF wrestler suck the air in through their teeth and say 'weeeeelllll, not sure about that'.

The Ivy House has all manner of good stuff happening on its roast. There's red cabbage, peas, carrots, parsnips, roast potatoes and a big lentil loaf. And gravy. So much gravy. It's great. Take your Sunday papers, get comfy and settle down, and work your through this plate.

Side note: the roast is listed as veggie on the menu but that can make it vegan if you ask (if memory serves, that just means leaving the butter out of the cabbage).  Enjoy!

Next up in my random eat of London round-up: a feast at The Hive, variously known as The Hive of Vyner Street or Hive Wellbeing.

It's a bright, open place in East London. It does mainly veggie food, with the occasional omni dish and a lot of vegan options. It's open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and whenever else you want to eat. (Erm, apart from Sunday evening, when it's shut.)

We called in for an early lunch of sandwiches, and I decided that the tempeh was calling my name. I have a love hate relationship with tempeh when I cook with it at home, but the tempeh hit rate seems to be much higher when I eat out. And so it was with the Hive.

The tempeh sandwich - sourdough, smoky tempeh, sauerkraut, mushrooms, sundried tomato pesto together - was pretty darn good, full of tang and crisp. Mr Flicking the Vs' tofu sanger (more of that sourdough bread, but with roasted red pepper, olive tapenade, tomato, and salad) was also pretty good, he tells me.

I always feel a bit daft paying someone to make me sandwiches, given they're pretty much the most simple recipe out there - so easy that even kids and medical students can make them. But having finished off the tempeh sarnie, I couldn't say I begrudged the Hive their fiver - it was a way better use of tempeh and bread that this student could have managed.

The Hive has three desserts on its menu, and they're all vegan. Clearly, it behoved me and Mr Flicking the Vs to share one (yep, only one - turns out sandwiches can be pretty filling too!)

This is the raw pistachio and cashew brownie with ice cream that we chose:

Like tempeh, my experience of raw desserts has been a bit hit or miss. I've had some amazing raw desserts before that have been incredible, and some that have felt like the food equivalent of wearing a hair shirt - taste comes second to worthiness. Happily, The Hive's brownie was more of the former. Next time, though, I don't plan on sharing it.

My last random meal is, I reckon, a good demonstration of how vegan options are slowly taking over the world.

A friend of mine suggested we meet for lunch. I've been trying to work as many shift as I can to help pay for my studies, and she's been volunteering at a hospital on the other side of town, so we were looking for the place where the journey to her and my workplace would cross. It turned out to be Canada Water.

I've never eaten in Canada Water, so I'd no idea if there were any places that serve vegan food. One quick search later and it turns out that yep, there was a place that not only did vegan food, it did vegan food I'd like to eat.

Like The Hive, Leadbelly's is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and - yes! - Sunday lunch, and there's at least one vegan option in each one.

So, as we sat down for a quick lunch squeaked in between her and my work, I was able to fill up on this here tofu scramble:

The tofu was keeping company with piquillo peppers, spinach, black beans, and sourdough toast, with some guacamole on the side. It was all a bit on the wet side as dinners go, but couldn't fault it on tastiness.

The moral of this story: if you can find a decent vegan dinner in Canada Water, I reckon it won't be long til you can find them everywhere.

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  1. I agree, vegan food really seems to be taking over London! It seems that while I was in Barcelona the city transformed into a full-on vegan mecca. Since moving back I've noticed there are vegan options pretty much EVERYWHERE! In the past few months I haven't gone in anywhere recently that said they didn't have any vegan/veganisable options.

    There really is a lack of good vegan roasts, isn't there! thanks for the link to the Metro article on vegan roasts, I bookmarked it for future use. :)

    I always assumed I hated tempeh until I tried it recently at a stall that makes it themselves down in Leather Lane market. They have two types of curry (Indonesian curry and cumin curry) with homemade tempeh for a fiver. It was really delicious! *And* my friend discovered they sell their homemade tempeh out the back if you ask nicely (black market tempeh!)... Might have to start experimenting with it at home!

  2. I love these sorts of posts. I'm impressed at the offering in Nunhead - that's not an area I would have predicted a vegan roast! - and even more so at your Canada Water meal. London is pretty well set for vegans based on this :-)

  3. I wish we had any sort of veg roasts around here - they don't seem that common at all - that link to the round up of roasts made me very jealous of london (though I probably just need to get out more). And I don't mind paying for sandwiches if they are amazing and I know I couldn't be bothered with all that effort at home. That sandwich in your photo looks delicious.

  4. oh it all looks very good, and even the sandwich which can be boring - but this one appeals as it seems packed, with substance and flavourful.

  5. That dessert looks so good! I've had very similar experiences with raw desserts, I've had a few amazing ones and a whole lot of awful ones. I think they must be really hard to get right. I'm very excited by that Sunday roast too, they're on my list of things I really miss about the UK. Brighton had so many good options and Nick loves cooking a roast so it's the ultimate lazy meal for me.


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