Tuesday 12 July 2016

London Calling

I've definitely missed London whilst I've been away travelling the world. Despite never having lived in the capital I've probably visited at least once a month for the last ten or so years for gigs, meet up's, friend hangs, and eating adventures so I've been pumped about this weekend for a while. On Friday night Nick and I met Randi and her husband Zach to catch American Idiot at the Art's Theatre in the west end. It was a cool way to start the weekend although all of us had seen the Broadway version and we didn't think that this version was as good. They changed the story a little taking it further away from Billie Joe's imagining and some of the scenes and dialogue just didn't work for me. That said our seats were killer, second row from the front, right in the centre, and some of the new choreography was cool. I also thought that it was super impressive that they made it work on such a small stage. 

The next day, in lieu of a pricy trip to Cereal Killer, Nick and I sampled Randi and Zach's cereal and non-dairy milk selection before heading into Soho to meet Sal for lunch at Mildred's. I last saw Randi and Zach in Phuket at the vegetarian festival but I hadn't seen Sal since last September which was definitely too long. Because she's an absolute winner of a human she brought me the gift of Alpo GoOn yoghurts which, if you read my last post, you'll know I've been struggling to find in my neck of the woods. Mildred's is a long-time favourite of ours so it was the perfect place to catch up. They make enough menu changes to keep things interesting but always have an amazing burger available and I always end up eating something delicious. This time it was their Polish burger that floated my boat.

Consisting of a beetroot and white bean patty topped with pickled cabbage, gherkin, and lettuce all squashed into a delicious focaccia bun this burger really hit the spot. I went with the optional slice of vegan cheese which was nicely melted and also ordered a side of their epic chunky chips. Partly because chips are great, and partly because they come with one of my favourite Mildred's menu items, the basil mayo. It's seriously so good. Nick went for the Sri Lankan sweet potato curry which I couldn't taste but dang, it sure looked delicious.

Fragrant basmati rice is nestled alongside the mild curry and it's all topped with roasted lime cashews. It comes with a side of coconut tomato sambal so that you can make it extra spicy if necessary. I love this as spice tolerances vary so much even between my chilli loving pal's. Mildred's is always worth a visit if you're in central London, their vegan options are always interesting twists on the classics, and I've never had a disappointing meal there.

Our main reason for hanging out in Soho on a Saturday afternoon was Yorica! This new ice cream spot has been blowing up my Instagram since it opened in March and I have been dying to visit. It's marketed as an allergen free spot and everything is vegan. Super cool!

All reports and reviews told me that their Fro-Yo (which is totally soft serve) is better than their ice cream and a quick couple of testers confirmed it. I went for a classic sized cup with half chocolate and half vanilla topped with marshmallows because I can never say no to a mallow. 

The second super cool thing about Yorica!, aside from it's vegan status, is that you can get unlimited sprinkles. I loved this because once you eat the top layer of ice cream it can get a little less fun and getting to go back for more sugary toppings is pretty rad. The third super cool thing is that they will happily give you a big cup of free water to accompany your meal dessert. Love that! We visited on Friday night and again on Saturday and if I'd had time I'd have gone back on Sunday too.

On Saturday night Nick had to head back to Thames Ditton but I stayed in London with Randi and Zach. We watched tennis, laughed at Russian winnie the pooh (seriously, click that link!), and ate VioLife topped crumpets. It was great! I think I could have made it greater for Randi by not wanting to leave at the crack of dawn (ahem, 10:30) to get to the Allergy & Free From Show at Olympia the next day but what can I say? I'm the worst! Despite the early hour we had a great day at the show and I'll either post about it at the end of the week or do an Instagram recap on Friday so keep your eyes peeled!

I've been in two minds about whether to blog about my FED By Water experience. I tend not to write bad reviews without visiting somewhere two or three times but the problem here was not with the food so it's not something that's likely to be rectified on a return visit. FED was top of my list of places to check out in London and the food was exceptional but towards the end of our meal the service took a turn for the awful and now I don't feel like I'm likely to go back.

I've been beyond excited about eating at an all vegan Italian joint since I first heard about FED. The cuisine shares the top spot in my heart with my other all time fave', Japanese, and the menu looked seriously amazing. Everything we ate there was top notch, I mean you can't really go wrong with a vegan four cheese pizza but daamn this was exceptional. 

The Cheesy is a white pizza made with a mix of homemade and store-bought cheeses and walnuts. It is exactly as epic as it sounds. Randi ordered the Experience LTJ which comes on black charcoal dough because we all wanted to try a slice of goth pizza, and Zach ordered the parmigiana and a salad for the table. I'm not a huge salad person but I would totally order this in another world where pizza and pasta aren't an option. Just look at that bread! 

I still can't quite work out what happened with the service at FED because when everything was going well it was great. Our waitress wasn't 100% sure about which cheeses I could eat because of my allergies but she consulted with her manager who came over to let me know which ones were pepper free. The food arrived in a totally reasonable time frame given that everything is made from scratch, and whilst the place was kinda busy it seemed well staffed. 

Once we'd finished eating I decided to order a pizza to go to take home for Nick and after 40 minutes we figured that it couldn't take much longer so we got the cheque. That's when we noticed that the extra pizza wasn't on the bill. When Zach went up to pay he asked about the extra pizza and was told that it wouldn't be much longer. We were totally cool with that, mistakes happen, we figured there'd been a communication issue, and waiting a little longer was no big deal. We happily went back to chatting about what we'd order next time we visited - um, all of the pizza, vegan carbonara, pear and chocolate dessert pizza. After another 15 minutes I realised that I really needed to get going if I was going to catch my train so Randi asked the closest member of staff how much longer it'd be; for some reason before they even got to answer the manager jumped in, leaned over our table, and started ranting about how this isn't their fault, that he had no idea that the pizza had even been ordered, how they're really busy, how we need to relax, and that the pizza will be ready soon. It was super strange and so rude and honestly it made us feel super uncomfortable. We kinda just looked at each other gobsmacked! When the pizza was ready it was tossed towards me with a quick thanks before the manager turned on his heel and walked away. I can't imagine why someone would react like that when a customer is asking a perfectly reasonable question and and at no point was there an apology that we'd waited an hour for the pizza. In another world I would have asked the guy what on earth his problem was but I'm not one for making a scene in a busy restaurant so we just left. It was such a shame that the meal ended that way because, as you can tell, I loved the food, but with service like that I won't be making another trip to Dalston in a hurry. 

The FED experience ended our weekend of fun on a bit of a downer (especially as I actually did miss my train meaning that it took for-ev-er to get home) but we have big plans to hang out, veganise Randi's Italian grandma's carbonara recipe, and eat even more soft serve as soon as I'm back from Scotland and I can't wait.


  1. Funnily I was looking at Yorica's website today and planning to sneak a visit when I go to the London Design Festival in Sept. Good to know about the yoghurt. We have a great frozen yoghurt place in Manchester that does some good vegan options but the sprinkles are def not free. If you end up swinging through Manchester on the way back it would be great to meet up for a brew and if you need somewhere to stay give me a shout. We could even show you the delights of Glossop and our vegan pub.

  2. JezzingtonBear12 July 2016 at 23:08

    Wow, that's really unlike Fabio! I can only assume he was stressed or maybe defensive out of embarrassment for the mix-up, though that's no excuse for rudeness.

    1. Sad to say I had a similar experience with Fabio where our order wasn't put in. That guy really doesn't know how to apologise, he got defensive and rude but worst of all he made it our fault - that we weren't being patient enough or understanding enough. Not cool.

  3. Oh that's not good at all! I would probably not go back somewhere that talked to me like that either!

  4. Yikes, that is not good service. Would definitely put me off going to a place knowing they reacted like that.

    Ummm... if 10.30 is considered crack of dawn and early hour... You don't want to know what time I get up when I am on holidays. Hee hee.


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