Monday, 18 May 2009

Bit of a Veg

WHEN people see how I spell the name of my blog, they often assume I am vegetarian.
Truth be told, I replaced the 'a' in meat with an 'e' because I thought it might inspire this to become a place for foodies to come together and discuss their passion.
That said, other than the odd craving for a sublime steak, a late night chicken tikka masala or a fillet of coconut-poached sea bass, I probably could be a veggie.
Especially when vegetarian food is at its best.
With this in mind, as well as the fact that it's National Vegetarian Week, the boy and I decided there was no better time to try Tibits, in Heddon Street, London.
Tibits is a Swiss restaurant which has just opened two sites in the UK.
Regular readers of this blog might remember that I spoke highly of my visit to the White City branch in December's post Short and Sweet? You must be kidding.
This branch is located just off Regent Street, in a secluded side street which is being styled as a new eating quarter.
A haven from the hustle of the high street, Heddon Street offers Tibits, Piccolino, Momo and the Icebar amongst others.
We dipped into Tibits for a mid-afternoon lunch and were greeted my friendly staff.
The interior is stylish and colourful, think boutique hotel - with flock wallpaper by the Designers Guild.
It's a buffet-style restaurant and you pay by weight. Immaculately presented and regularly replenished, it's hard to resist piling your plate high just so you can sample a mouthful of everything.
Recipes are creative with cold dishes such as deftly spiced lentil dhal, chickpeas with carrot, cumin and yogurt, red rice salad and a tofu Caprese-style salad with balsamic glaze.
Add to the mix superfoods such as delicious alfalfa sprouts, avocado dip, sunflower seed shoots and shredded beetroot and you've got a meal so nutritious you'd put Gillian McKeith to shame.
Meanwhile, there are also a wide variety of hot dishes, such as fresh falafels, veggie sausage hotpot with onion gravy, aubergine and potato rogan josh and a superb tomato quiche, which was topped with tasty pesto.
If that's not enough there are some delicious dressing such as date chutney, sweet chilli sauce and Italian.
What's especially good about the nosh at Tibits is that while a few of the dishes feature 'meat substitutes', the rest are created through inspired use of the fresh vegetables, pulses and nuts - the essence of good, healthy vegetarian food.
I'd defy any carnivore not to enjoy the offerings here.
Drink-wise, they serve smoothies, wines, beers as well as soft drinks, and the boy slurped a delectable mango lassi which was sprinkled with cumin.
And even though our plates looked like mini Mount Everests, we still found room to try dessert.
There are chocolate brownies, apple turnovers and amaretto tarts on the service counter, although we opted to head back to the buffet to fill our bowls with fresh fruit, Bircher muesli and berry tiramisu.
Tibits is sure to become a destination restaurant for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. In fact with veggie food this good, who needs meat?
For more details on Tibits visit www.tibits.co.uk
More details on National Vegetarian Week can be found at www.vegsoc.org
What's your favourite vegetarian recipe? Let me know...

5 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a cool looking restaurant :). Its certainly the chicest looking salad bar I've ever seen.

Katie said...

I am like you not vegetarian but happy to go without if there is a well cooked veggie dish on offer. Im planning to visit some vegetarian places this week but Im on nights so may be a bit tricky!

This place looks lovely. Nothing quite like that in Leeds. Nice review.

fran39 said...

Will search this out, Emily. Thanks for the tip. Like Katie, I'm a carni but very happy to do veg most of the time. Just posted a couple of veggie sandwich ideas.

Thinspired said...

This sounds like a great place to keep in mind for our next London trip! Do you think I could still find a bite if I'm not a fan of Indian food? It sounds like so much fun and if it has a salad bar I'm sure I could find something?
Have you been to the Westfield shopping center? Just saw that they have a location there.

Emily said...

Thanks for reading everyone. Tibits is certainly worth hunting out! I have been to the branch at Westfield too Lara. Both are great and whatever cuisine you like, you'd be sure to find something to suit as the dishes take inspiration from all over the world.