Friday, 23 April 2010

Aloka, Iydea & VBites

Just a heads up, Aloka is now closed and VBites is open in the same location.

I promised you some reviews of great alternatives to The George and here they are!

Recently I went for dinner at Aloka with some friends and I think I've found my new favourite place to eat! The food's pay by weight and it's a little cheaper at lunchtime than at dinner. Takeout's even cheaper so it's perfect for grabbing some lunch to eat in the park now that the sun's out.

For dinner I grabbed a little bit of everything vegan and I was pretty impressed with the selection.

Right at the front there's huge piece of seitan and mushroom pie, I've never seen seitan anywhere in Brighton before so I was pretty excited! I assume it's because Vital Wheat Gluten's hard to get over here but seitan is definitely more prevalent in the US and mainland Europe. I also got a piece of cashew cheese lasagna and some mixed vegetable pasta salad to go along with my mixed green and grated carrot salad.

They also had a huge choice of vegan desserts. I went for the raw chocolate pie... was seriously delicious (not to mention beautifully presented!). I think I'd expected it to be more bitter but it was just super creamy and chocolaty, it went perfectly with the berry coulis.

Recently my blogging friend Melisser and her husband Ryan came to visit so we went to VBites to test out Brighton's only all vegan restaurant. Now I didn't have the best experience last time I went there but I thought I should give it another try. Now anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that I used to order the George burger every time I went there but now I've found myself a new burger!

Even after removing the raw onion (blergh) this burger was still almost too big to fit in my mouth! Brilliant! It was the cheesy and rashers burger and as advertised it came with Redwood's bacon, Cheezly, mayo and salad - yum! I went for a side of chips which were just oven chips but the lack of deep frying made me feel like I was being slightly healthy whilst eating chips! VBites have quite a few different burger options alongside sandwiches, pizzas and pasta dishes.

They also have vegan desserts, there are a few different cakes to choose from and a cool looking cake conveyor belt.

I tried one of the chocolate muffins and wasn't overly impressed. It certainly wasn't awful, I enjoyed the icing, but the actual muffin was a bit dry and not really that chocolatey.

I actually enjoyed VBites that much that I took my husband there the next time we had a day off together as he was super jealous of the awesome looking burgers Melisser, Ryan and I tried last time!

This time I ordered a sandwich...

...a cheese and ham toastie on really yummy bread. This sandwich was huge!

I also gave the muffins another go, this time I tried the raspberry muffin.

It was much more moist this time but I found the icing a little sweet, I would definitely order this again though.

Nick had a slice of the chocolate cake, which was pretty good and I think made by the same company that supply Iydea, Infinity Cafe, Sanctuary Cafe & Komedia.

I'll definitely be going back to VBites again, I think it'd be a nice place to hang out in the summer.

Iydea is another great place to eat out in Brighton, they serve up vegetarian food canteen style and always have vegan options. This time I got the lentil shepherds pie with a side of green beans and cous cous salad.

The only problem here is that if you don't like spicy food there isn't always a vegan option you'd like. I often find myself wandering in there and back out again because it's occasionally a bit spicy or cheese centric for me. Vegan dishes that often pop up on the menu are vegetable roti, Thai red and green curries, sag aloo and chili. I'm always hopeful for the wellington or mushroom stroganoff!

It's also a real shame that Iydea closes at 6pm as it would be awesome to have some more dinner options in this town!

Just writing this post has made me decide that I'm definitely going back to Aloka for dinner after work tomorrow so look out for more pics of their delicious food!


  1. Thanks for the post - out of the three I've only been to Iydea, and I've only got as far as cake there. Will have to try V-Bites next time I'm at that end of town...

  2. A dessert conveyor belt. That sounds so interesting.
    I would have a wonderful time at Iydea I think. I absolutely love spicy food.

  3. I love Aloka, and I see they have a raw restaurant upstairs now. I think the menu looks miles nicer than Saf. I can't wait to try it. I had that seitan pie, yum. I didn't like the blueberry ice cream though, way too sweet and not creamy enough. Great place though.

  4. Yum! I wish we had all those nice vegan places here! The burger looks especially delicious. I'm sad that its hard to find seitan there though. The seitan mushroom pie looks phenomenal.

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  6. I wondered if vbites would be worth a visit, that burger looks pretty good!

  7. Thanks for the info. We're visiting Brighton for a 48 hour restuarant binge this June.

  8. That chocolate pie! I want it!

  9. I <3 Idyea! Been put off by VBites though, it all looks a bit, well... dull. 'Fake' products don't really float my boat, and personally I think Heather's mission to promote veganism would have been better served with a slightly more innovative vegetable-based approach. But hey, maybe one day I'll be in Hove, and get the sudden urge for a burger - and there she'll be. Well, not personally, one presumes. Aloka seemed a bit pricey to me - got a takeaway for lunch once a few months ago, and while the food was pretty decent, it didn't seem particularly special. Especially not for £6. But maybe it was a bad day! Those pies certainly make it look worth a re-appraisal...

  10. Crazy burgers at VBites! I just like that conveyor belt!

  11. Ps. You can buy seitan from Pulse on the Open Market!


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