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Marks and Spencer's new vegan additions: Plant Kitchen's tofish and chips reviewed

If there's one meal that's guaranteed to make me come over a little peculiar, it's tofish and chips. When we were kids, if we were lucky, on a Saturday my parents would take us to the local chippy for a bag of fish and chips. I could take or leave the fish itself, I loved the chips and the crispy batter and the quite unncessary amounts of salt and vinegar, all soaking into pages of the local newspaper. I don't know if the chippy we used to go is still there, but I still think of tofish and chips as just as much as a celebration of the weekend in food form.

When was the last time I had fish and chips, I couldn't tell you -- decades ago maybe? -- but I could definitely tell you when I last had tofish and chips (can it really be 18 months ago?!) such is my love of it.

There's been a rash of new vegan product launches for Veganuary, but the one that caught my eye was the new addition to Marks & Spencer's Plant Kitchen's range -- tofish, chips and tartare sauce, all most gloriously vegan. Most of the Plant Kitchen stuff I've tried has been phenomenal (the mac and cheese is one of my favourites), so I was bascially powerless not to rush out and buy one.


You know when you buy ready made stuff and once you cook it at home, it looks a little sad and wilted, like a version of the picture on the packet but after a heavy night out? I'm happy to report this is not that. It comes out every bit as crisp and beautiful as you'd hope. Check it out -- just look at that batter:


It looks good, no? It was just what you'd hope for in tofish and chips. There are three good sized chunks of tofu in the sort of batter that shatters under your fork, and vegan tartare sauce. Vegan tartare sauce -- what a time to be alive! I used to love that stuff as a kid, but I only found that a vegan version existed last year. M&S' version is great, but tasted a bit like there's tarragon in there when it should be parsley, but it's not a load bearing problem -- it was still great, and there's a big enough portion to quietly drown all your chips, and your tofish and still have a bit left over.

Here's the bit that got me though: there's no fishy flavour in Plant Kitchen's tofish and chips. Most of the best tofish and chips I've had have used nori to give the tofu the taste of the sea, but there's no seaweed to be found. It's a bit of a surprise when you bite into the tofish and there's no fish -- it's just plain tofu. That doesn't mean it's not nice, but it's just not as tofishy as it should be!

Without any fishy flavour, it's not the tofish of my dreams, but it's still a good plate. I wish I could pop down to an all-vegan chippy in my neighbourhood and carry off a package of newspaper-wrapped tofish and chips, but until then, it's good to know I can always get a Plant Kitchen version to help squash my cravings.


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