My vegan and vegetarian circle of friends is growing at a rapid pace (perhaps because of the new docu-film, Cowspiracy). As a result, I find myself being persuaded to go to more and more restaurants that cater specifically for this diet choice.
I love plant-based foods, but I’m usually of the opinion that although often wonderful and full flavoured, they would be improved if a little meat were added. However, recently I’ve discovered several veggie/vegan restaurants that have really pushed the button for me. Food for Friends being the most recent.
On Friday afternoon eight of us went along to the Brighton restaurant, nestled in the South Lanes. As I walked past the window and peeped in I could see that the restaurant was packed full of diners – thank goodness I thought to book just an hour before.
Inside the interior had a sophisticated feel, with textured fabric walls, side-by-side shiny bevelled mirrors. The colour palette mixed the warm ‘Food for Friends purple’ with stylish gunmetal grey.
A few of the group were partaking in the ‘unbreakable’ dry-January, including myself, so it was music to my ears when the waiter informed me of their special of the week aptly named – The Resolution – £3.75; a Prosecco inspired mocktail made up of elderflower, lime juice, orange bitters and topped with soda water. The drink was divine. Fizzy, sherbert-like and refreshing.
We were on a one-hour lunch leash from the office so we asked for our two-courses to come in quick succession and they did.
I had been very tempted by the sharing platter for two – £18, but knowing that my eyes are often bigger than my belly, I settled for a vegetarian scotch egg – £4.50 from the platter. It wasn’t actually on the starter menu, but the waiter made no fuss at my request, which pleased me no end.
My egg came halved in a quaint cast-iron pan and its flavour was sensational. In place of the usual sausage meat, the egg was wrapped in a herb-infused chickpeas and grated carrot mix, then drizzled with a spicy sweet chilli mayonnaise. It was perfectly done – a firm white, but with a runny yolk. I had agreed to share the dish with my friend, but I soon regretted this move.
To follow I had the grilled halloumi, avocado & mango salad, which was surprisingly filling thanks to a generous portion of cashew nuts tossed in with the salad. The halloumi was grilled and warm, but not overdone and the salad was a mixture of leaves including rocket. The most enjoyable element of the dish for me was the sweet, fresh mango, free from dastardly pithy fibres. Overall a delicious dish, my only criticism was the rocket was very mild and lacked the peppery punch of the wild rocket from my garden.
PRICE: Average of £25pp (including 1 bottle of wine and a tip)
RATING: 5/5 – based on this visit
As a non-veggie, I was impressed to find the menu was filled with dishes I wanted to try and from what I did eat, I didn’t find myself missing meat at all. The rest of the group all rated their meals too so it has earned itself full marks on this visit.
NEED TO KNOW: Until Thursday 11th February 2016, Mon-Thur, FFF is trying to convince meat-lovers to give their establishment a whirl with a fab little offer: One non-vegetarian friend eats for free with one paying vegetarian guest. The offer is only valid on one main course per table and you need to pop your email details in here before you swing by.