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All the vegan food I ate for my birthday: Burgers, fancy food, and a brew with a view

It was recently my birthday. As befits any celebration of having successfully completed another solar orbit, there was a lot of eating. A lot. All of it was vegan, and pretty much all of it was delicious.

I visited Genesis for the first time with friends as part one of my mega-birthday chowdown. Genesis is an all-vegan place where everything is organic and the interiors are that Insta-friendly shade of pink with copper plant holders. Because I'm more interested in the food than the decor, here's a picture of my Torta Milanesa, a London take on a Mexican sandwich.

Here it is in its unspoiled state, before I picked it up and it all fell apart, shedding guac and aubergine and salsa everywhere.

Note great big hotdog in the background!
Not sure what cheese Genesis uses, but I'm not a fan - it gave the burger a funky overtone (not in a good Prince-type way) and the mac and cheese was way too sweet. Don't let that put you off their otherwise lovely selection of sides - the kimchi fries and cassava chips were high on the tasty-o-meter. I'd definitely go back to Genesis, I'll just be dodging the cheese when I do.

Next up, a trip to Duck and Waffle with Mr Flicking the Vs. We didn't eat anything there, so I can't report on how vegan friendly it is - the menu doesn't have anything marked as vegan, but himself has been there for work and reported they made him a cracking vegan breakfast, so what do I know?

Instead, I just had a cup of tea. My birthday was an unseasonably warm day, so we sat and looked out over London and basked in the warmth like happy cats.
Earl Grey with a side of view
We had lunch at Gauthier, a traditional French restaurant in Soho that's in the process of turning all-vegan. It was probably the fanciest place I've ever eaten (did I mention it was a big birthday? As in, a BIIIIIIG birthday?) and we had lots of tiny bowls of smart and intriguing food. There was even a little tub of faux gras that looked a bit too like the real thing that we had to grab the waiter and explain we were vegan. Happily there were no animal bits in our dinner, just a smooth, rich spread of walnuts, lentils, and mushrooms (the recipe's here, so I might try recreating it at home myself.)

It wasn't the sort of food we eat every day (or even very many times in our lifetime. Or even once before, really), and it was fun to get all fancy for a change. Even dedicated mushroom-dodger Mr Flicking the Vs enjoyed the fungus heavy menu, which is a rarer accolade than any Michelin star.

Here's the very last dish we managed, a dainty little tart:
Happy birthday to me (in chocolate!)
Whoever wrote that has better handwriting with chocolate has better handwriting than I do with a pen.

My last honourable vegan birthday mention goes to Midnight Apothecary, an event that happens every so often down in the tunnels of the Brunel Museum. There are cocktails made from ingredients grown nearby or foraged, film screenings or a band, and outside, there's a campfire outside where you can toast your marshmallows.

Being a herbivore, I brought a bag of animal-free marshmallows (thank you very much, Freedom Mallows) and proceeded to toast away happily. Later on, one of the Midnight Apothecary crew popped out and asked if there were any vegans, because they'd got in some vegan marshmallows and put them to one side so the omnivores didn't accidentally chow down on them. Happy days!

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3 comments

  1. I want to go to places that have campfires for toasting marshmallows! Oops got too excited about that and forgot to be polite and start with "Happy birthday". Sounds like great celebrations. I love the view from duck and waffle, and I love the sound of your fancy meal at Gauthier.

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  2. Happy birthday!! I got to try two Gauthier dishes recently at a vegan market and I (also a mushroom dodger) was blown away by the mushroom dish. It's rare I like anything mushroom-y so that was extra exciting. How was Midnight Apothecary? It sounds fun! I just read the other day it's dog friendly so I was considering taking my dog sometime.

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  3. Belated birthday wishes to you. So considerate, I have been to places where food is put on for vegan and vegetarians, yet the meat eaters greedily indulge in it too and by the time we get to it, nothing is there - so big points to Midnight Apothecary.

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