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Vegan in Brockley: Two vegan friendly places you need to know about

There's a saying in business that there are three kinds of service: good, fast and cheap. Unfortunately, you can never get all three. If you want something cheap and fast, it won't be good. If you want something good and cheap, it won't be fast. And if you want something fast and good, it won't be cheap. That's the saying, anyway. But, if you know where to look, you can get vegan food that delivers good, fast, and cheap, all on one plate.

The Broca, just opposite Brockley station, is a community cafe that's always been veggie and vegan friendly. Now, every Thursday night between 6.30pm and 10pm, there's a pop-up run by Cookd Dinner, with a menu that changes every week.

The menu is small but perfectly formed: three mains, one dessert, a couple of cocktails.

On our visit, there was a choice of peanutty noodles, dal with flat bread and a Mexican black bean bowl. We chose the latter two, and got stuck in.

I must have eaten a million dals in my life (something in that region anyway, pretty sure I'm not exaggerating), so when I see an example of the form that's really, really good, I have a special place in my heart for it. I love this dal A LOT. Ditto a good Mexican bowl - beans, avo, tomato rice. You've had it a million times before, but the Broca's is just way above average. It's common food, but done uncommonly well.

The dessert - which cost a princely £3 - was chocolate cups with raspberry filling and cacao nibs. The bitter raspberry and cacao cut through the chocolate to make a beautiful sharp and sweet dish. A simple pudding, yes, but a really satisfying end to a meal alongside a cup of black coffee. And did I mention it cost £3? Has anyone told these people that they're selling food in London?!

And the Broca is not the only superbly vegan-friendly eatery in Brockley: a short walk in the other direction to the Broca will bring you to Masala Wala, a Pakistani restaurant with an equally dainty menu.

There's four mains on the menu, two of which are vegetarian and vegan, and there are a few vegan sides too.

We got both vegan mains, a masala dal (are you sensing a theme here?) and a toori channa, a tomato-heavy dish of courgette and chick peas.

The toori channa was lovely, don't get me wrong, but I could write rhapsodies on that dal. So soft, so warming, so comforting - a gentle duvet of a dish that invites you to jump in and snuggle down.

Also top marks to Masala Wala for the advice on how much food to order: we asked how much rice and roti we needed, and were told that one of each between the two would do well. They weren't wrong - we were happily full by the time we'd polished off the two mains and two sides between us. Sadly, unlike the Broca's pop-up, there's no vegan dessert on the menu. In this instance, our stomachs were probably grateful for the news.

The Broca
4 Coulgate St
London SE4 2RW
020 7358 8343

Masala Wala
5 Brockley Cross
London SE4 2AB
020 3659 4055

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  1. Those chocolate cups look like the perfect dessert and £3 is a total bargain!

  2. Wonderful Vegan finds!!!! I'm envious of your travels!
    Jennifer @ http://MyBlissfulJourney.com

  3. Oh my, everything looks so warming and delicious. This is the kind of food I would love to find nearby.

  4. OMG! good, fast, cheap and vegan? That's like finding an unicorn. Two unicorns in your case. :-)

  5. Oh, yum! Those chocolate cups look divine and the main meals just as delicious.

  6. The broca sounds wonderful - that mexican bowl is calling me to hop on a plane and fly to london now!


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