After embarking on a Vegetarian month at the start of the year, 2018 has been the year of discovery in terms of new dishes and foods that don’t include meat. But could I go as far as to enjoy a Vegan diet? I sampled the exclusive Vegan menu at City Spice, on Brick Lane, to find out.
The transition from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one is a big choice for me, primarily because of my love for cheese! However, eating vegetarian food alone has led me to discover how flavourful an entirely vegetable-based meal can be – so I was excited to see what an Indian restaurant could do with vegan ingredients.
Whilst Indian food is often quite heavily vegetarian orientated, the use of ghee and butters means that it’s not suitable for a vegan diet. Because of this City Spice had to do a lot of research, and face a lot of trial and error, to get their menu just right.
Travelling to Sri Lanka for 2 weeks, with a Michelin Star chef in tow, they worked to develop a menu (the first Vegan menu to hit Brick Lane, I might add!) that is perfect for the vegan, vegetarian or even meat-eater palette!
Whilst the selection of starters is somewhat smaller, the range of main dishes is incredibly extensive – and I certainly didn’t expect there to be so much on offer.
I started with the Vegetable Pepper, a chargrilled pepper containing seasoned vegetables – which was absolutely delicious, and the portion size was sizeable too. Particularly for the £4.95 price tag. The spices used really echoed the flavours of India and even though the dish in practice is quite simplistic, this really was delicious and definitely worth trying.
For my main course I decided to try the Shahi Sahakari Thali as it would give me the opportunity to try several of the vegan dishes at once. Complete with rice and a chapati, I didn’t think that the £15.95 was unreasonable at all – and when it was served, I was even more surprised at how reasonable it seemed!
Featuring Uribeeshi Biran, Bombay Aloo, Begun Daal Gatta and accompaniments it’s the perfect choice for those that don’t quite know what they fancy, or really want to try out a number of different flavours and ingredients. I will admit that the Bombay Aloo was my favourite dish on the Thali platter, but I would eat them all again for certain.
Overall, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed the menu – being that it was entirely Vegan. The flavours were almost powerful and subtle at the same time, but delicious all the same. The menu is also almost entirely Gluten Free which is a bonus – and means you leave without suffering that usual bloat.
I would really recommend a visit to City Spice, even if you aren’t following a strict Vegan diet – you’ll be surprised just how much you enjoy the menu!0