Muddy goes vegan
It seems that wherever you turn, you can’t get away from the word vegan. One local restaurant recently released a full vegan menu (it really was only a matter of time) in place of its existing one, so of course Muddy had to see what all the fuss was about.
The idea of Plant and Bean’s vegan menu was brainchild of restaurateur, Aatin Anadkat so it was only right to serve it in his already-established, restaurant, The Fish and the Chip located in the Leicester city centre. The idea was that the menu would be 100% plant-based (hence the name) and would be served for four days only to see what the reaction would be. If it was a success – great and if it was a failure, I guess he’d just go back to serving his playful take on Fish and Chips.
The decor of the restaurant stayed the same for the takeover – an ode to Fish and Chips with a nod to the Great British seaside with salmon pink and bright blue walls, one featuring a giant mermaid and the other featured some fab retro art prints of the good ol’ British seaside.
No corners were cut with the four-day takeover and there were some shiny new Plant and Bean menus waiting on each table.
SCOFF / QUAFF
They didn’t hold back when creating the menu – it was epic and such a change to see a whole menu dedicated to vegetarian and vegan food. I went out for lunch with the family so as usual I was surround by carnivores but Mr Muddy was well up for the challenge – to see if vegan food could satisfy his hunger pangs.
For starters we tried the grilled kaffir lime and Thai basil corn cakes. When they arrived, they looked like the corn cakes I used to make my mudlet when he started on solids – luckily they didn’t taste as bland as his were. They were still however, slightly underwhelming made better only by the sriracha sauce.
When I became a veggie the hardest thing to give us was sausages and especially hot dogs, so it was no surprise that I picked the curious-sounding Asian Hot Vog. Mr Muddy opted for The San Diego Burger and for the mudlet, we ordered the vegan sausages, fries and salad (no surprise he turned his nose up at the green stuff as soon as it landed on the table).
My eyes almost popped out of their sockets when my dish arrived and I did wonder how I would possibly finish it myself but luckily Mr Muddy was only to happy to help me with my ‘Rainbow Fries’. These came scattered with finely chopped peppers, spring onions and drizzled with sauce which resembled the sriracha stuff that came with my starters and were topped off with brightly coloured flowers – yes that’s right flowers, a nice touch I thought! They didn’t taste, feel or look oily and went down a treat with all of us and we found ourselves longing for more.
As for the Hot Vog, well in all honestly, this was my first vegan sausage but I did have something similar when I was back home in Toronto so I was honestly expecting great things and it had a lot to live up to. It came with kimchi, gochujang sauce, and served with ginger and miso slaw and although tasty, I did wonder how it would have tasted with a good old fashion hot dog bun. I also would have liked to see some kind of zesty, Asian relish too to give it more flavour like you’d expect from a juicy hot dog.
Mr Muddy finished off his burger with no complaints too but what we did find was because there was no egg to hold all the ingredients in place, it was a little crumbly and quite messy to eat. What I really liked was that after our hefty lunch, neither of us felt bloated and I wasn’t bursting out of my skirt as I thought I would be. The simple, clean vegan menu really made an impression on me and even Mr Muddy left feeling quite smug and virtuous.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Casual get togethers, families and big groups of friends – the bigger the better! When we visited for lunch at the weekend it was full of families so massively kid-friendly too!
Not for: Hardened carnivores but even if you were, it would be interesting to try something different – variety is the spice of life after all!
££: Reasonable. £4.95 starters and mains from £7.75, sides from £2.50 and salad bowls from £7.50.
For now there is no word on the future of Plant and Bean, but if the reaction they had is anything to go by, then we’re pretty sure they’ll be back soon so don’t fret if you missed out this time. Watch this space.