To say we've been apathetic about trying VBites is somewhat of an understatement. Whilst outside Brighton (Hove) there was simply no chance - now opposite Terre a Terre in Aloka's old building it was getting warmer. When they announced they had a Sunday roast with vegan yorkshire puds, finally we were sold.
So, I'll start this post with the good (it gets progressively worse) - their yorkshires are stunning.
Far removed from the usual vegan 'tastes like a yorkshire but looks like a hocky puck', their's are crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and with just the right amount of stodge. I don't know how they do it (I suspect Vegg may be involved), but their yorkshires are simply perfect. Please Redwoods - make these a product we can buy in shops.
Now the bad: we got one each. Seriously, we could have eaten a plate full of them each with gravy and left with massive smug grins on our faces. Instead, what surrounded the single yorkshire is what can only be described as the experience that is: VBites.
First I'll explain the apathy part. We love Redwoods - long before the company was bought and the name was changed we've bought their products. Our fridge always has their fake meats and we've gotten through at least a block of their cheese each week since they introduced 'super melting' in 2004.
The problem however, is that 99% of the point of eating out is getting food you can't (be bothered to) make at home - not a (poor, overpriced) version of what you eat on a weeknight. VBites (the restaurant) got bad reviews early on for being Redwoods heated up - I'm sorry to confirm that nothing's changed.
The rest of the meal was shit. Having booked for 12pm and arrived at 11.58 we stood waiting for 10 minutes whilst their staff purposely ignored us. Despite there being several milling around and several empty tables, the only one interacting with customers was operating a strict 'one at a time' policy - we only wanted to know which table to sit at. We *almost* walked out - if Moshimo wasn't now 'Made with Fishlove' we would have done.
Finally seated we ordered milkshakes which turned out to be Swedish Glace in a glass. Actually they were surprisingly good, so despite the frosty welcome we decided to give them a second chance.
Decor is a cheaper version of Aloka (they did cease trading though I guess). Gone are the Verner Panton chairs but the building itself retains its character and it's good to see details such as some of the lighting intact.
Did I mention the yorkshires? They were amazing. The rest was horrible. It was like Bird Seed had come back to haunt us. Where to start?
The deep fried potatoes is as good a place as any. Hard (not crispy) on the outside and barely cooked on the inside. I Love roast potatoes - they're usually the best thing about a roast. These however were offensive. To add insult to injury, they forgot to include any on one of the plates - not that that really mattered as I couldn't stomach more than one.
If they weren't deep fried I don't know what they'd done to them, but either way: it was a crime against roast potatoes.
The veg tasted like it'd come ready chopped in a bag from Iceland (the shop, not the country), ready to boil.
I left most of mine and we skipped dessert.
VBites: fantastic products - innovative, tasty, well respected amongst vegans. Naff restaurant.
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