Mooshies – Brick Lane, E1

Hey Gurls!

I am addressing you as girls as in my mind my audience will be pretty much women in their 20-35. Yeah, I am pretending to have organic followers that are interested in the shit I am writing! But you know what they say?! Fake it until you make it!

Today I want to tell you a story about a nice and cute gal called Barbara (aka Moi) that fell in love with a fit and hot AF vegan guy. The first time they met, they randomly bumped into each other in a trendy vegan place that sells expensive burger and spicy nachos and by the time they got they orders to their table, they knew Love knocked at their door… 

* Vinyl record scratching * 

Just kidding, my love life is shit as always. Thank Goodness the only real thing about this story was the burger place! I have been there different times with work colleagues, family and friends… and I am thinking, next time I go I should ask for a discount! You know, I always feel like a better person when I support local vegan businesses!

Mooshies is a small shop in the heart of Brick Lane that sells mind-blowing and highly addictive vegan burgers.

Their Magic mushroom burger is filled with a huge Oyster mushroom, breaded and fried with two hash browns on top. The bread of the bun is toasted to perfection and the mushroom is crispy AF. All the different ingredients and textures are well combined. The only downside are sweet potato fries, a bit too mushy. 

The Fillet-on-Phish burger with panko fried eggplant, nori seaweed, and mayo is literally a foodgasm! The fried eggplants are just divine and satisfying, and the seaweed gives the “fish” taste everyone is looking for. Their fried mozzarella sticks are awesome, the vegan cheese is so stringy and hot that will melt in your hands; the dip made with mayo and Sriracha is just sick!  

Pig-out tip: add the dip into the burger and your taste buds will be thankful for that!  

The quinoa and bean burger unfortunately is slightly disappointing: the taste is ok, but not even close to the other ones. The patty crumbles at each bite, as if a binding ingredient is missing. And the nachos definitely lack in guacamole. 

The shop has an urban style, with graffiti on the walls and wooden tables, quite bare and unpretentious, but hey, it’s Brick Lane. The cost of a burger is about £8-9, pretty expensive, but totally worthy.

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Busaba – London

Today, I want to talk about one of my favourite place to eat in London!

Busaba is an Asian/Thai chain restaurant located in different areas of the city, so it won’t be too hard to find one! 

Shoreditch has a magical atmosphere, the restaurant has a romantic atmosphere created by dim orange lights and little bamboo fountains with pink flowers floating on the water at the entrance. It’s a place where you can go either for drinks with your girls or for a date. I went some time ago with some work colleagues for a birthday and I really enjoyed it. They have lots of vegan and vegetarian options, so it won’t be a struggle to choose what to eat. 

Bond Street is more suitable for work lunches. The restaurant itself is not really big, but the disposition of the tables is very practical. The service is fast and the waiters are polite and friendly. You will see that their clientele is pretty much corporate people working in the area. I went for the first time with my parents, they never tried Thai cuisine before and they were happily surprised.

Shepher’s Bush is located just before Westfield, so it’s ideal for an informal lunch before going shopping or a nice dinner with friends after going to the movies. I went to Busaba in Shepherd’s Bush many times, especially when I was living in the area. What I can say? It never disappoints me!

With fresh crunchy veggies, crispy tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts and fresh spring onions, this Pad Thai is a classic are you’re gonna love it. You can add soy sauce for an extra taste, but it’s delicious even keeping it basic. Among the soft drinks Guava Collins is the best, not too sweet and so refreshing!

The Sriracha Ho Fu Noodles are a flavor explosion in your mouth. Stuffed with wok-fried mushrooms, red peppers and baby spinach seasoned with sweet chilli, soy and ginger sauce will fill your belly guilt free.

Fried to perfection (who likes oily fingertips?!), the Por-Pi Jay are crispy vegetable spring rolls with Thai sweet chilli sauce, ideal as a starter or for sharing. The spicy and super creamy Green Curry Jay is infused with lemongrass, chilli and ginger garnished with courgette, peas, zucchini, aubergines, onions, bamboo and sweet basil. It’s accompanied by a small portion of rice of your choice, I had coconut milk rice and it was delicious, down side: the portion was pretty small. A hearty dish that will make your heart sing!

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A weekend in Bath

Last week I decided to take a break from the city and spend the weekend in the countryside with my friends. We thought it was time to see something new that wasn’t in London (yes, there’s civilization also after Zone 3, Susan). So we decided to pick Bath like proper aristocratic bitches.

We took the bus and since one of my strengths is being always on time, I missed it and I had to wait two hours for the next one. Likely I found a kind driver that didn’t ask me to purchase a new ticket.

Once in Bath, we headed to our hotel to unpack. The Belmont is a small, practical and fine b&b located less than 10 minutes walking from the center of the town. After that, we went to visit the Ancient Roman Baths. The tour takes almost one hour and a half, if you take the audio guide like we did. It was really interesting but also really long and after that we were literally starving! So we started wandering around to see if we could find a cosy place to have lunch.

Dough is a proper Italian pizzeria-restaurant in the center of Bath, with many gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options, so nobody will be disappointed! You can even choose the type of dough you want for your pizza! They have white flour, whole wheat flour, corn flour… and the list goes on! During the weekend it can get pretty busy, but even without a booking, they can find you a table in 10 minutes.

As a starter I had the stuffed eggplant garnished with a tomato sauce that was simply delicious. It reminded me of the summers I spent with my brother at my grandma’s house, when after the beach, she would always cook a simple pasta al sugo for lunch, with her so simple yet so astonishing tomato sauce made from scratch.

At Dough the pizza, of course, is da queen, periodt, so if you are thinking to pay them a visit you must try it!

I had the pizza parcel filled with grilled zucchini, aubergines and vegan cheese. The pizza dough was stone baked with a crunchy crust at the ends and the melted cheese is to die for (I am wondering if they use Violife) Also, the prices are affordable and if you have a reusable bottle, they will refill it for you!

I would suggest The Belmont as a place to stay, to anyone would like to visit Bath for few days… the only downside was the breakfast! Archie the Owner and his daughter served a full English breakfast that has basically no vegan options apart from some fruit and burnt toast. Don’t worry tho, Bath offers few vegan places and lots of vegan options restaurants, you won’t be disappointed I swear! On our second day we decided we did enough of culture stuff and it was time to try the new thermae in town. The weather was awful AKA the typical Brit weather (such fun!), so there wasn’t much choice either. After a two hour queue we finally had access to the spa. I really liked the outdoor hot spring water yacuzzi, but to be honest £40 for just two hours it wasn’t really worth it in my opinion. We headed out from the spa around lunch time so once again we started walking in the streets of the town to find something to eat.

Thaikhun is a Thai street food restaurant. The place is very weird, if not funny! It’s full of questionable objects and odd things piled up on the walls, road signs hanging from the ceiling and vintage appliances. It really feels like an indoor market rather than a restaurant! The menu has many options for celiac, vegetarian and vegan customers.

As a starter I had some fried corn bites with a sweet-sour sauce, they were super spicy and so yummy once you start eating them, you will probably end up asking for more. I liked the detail of wrapping the bites in the “newspaper”. As a main dish I order the stir-fried rice with vegetables and crispy tofu and let me tell you it’s a must-try. Unfortunately, the dish was served on a very simple plate, the type everyone has at home that is microwave friendly. Not very Instagrammy to be honest. The tofu was deliciously crispy on the surface and the vegetables were lightly steamed to be crunchy as well. Also the Pad Thai my friend order was on point. Everything was really tasty, but I guess too spicy for us. We had to ask for two jars of water!

We came back to London in the late afternoon, relaxed and ready to start the week!

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Al Waha – Notting Hill W2

My parents usually come to visit me every two years. The first time they came, we did all the most touristy things, so this time I decided to show them my favourite places in London. The area I love the most is Notting Hill: so pretty, so quiet, so classy, so clean, so white (ehm, ehm). It’s funny though, because most of the people I have been talking to say they just go there for the Carnival. I have been to the Notting Hill Carnival once, and I thought it was ok, but I guess is a bit too much for me, too crowded, too many drunk people, too many hot and shirtless honeys… God, I was going crazy with all those abs popping out! 

Anyway, I took my parents to the area, because I really like it and because I wanted to show them where I was living two years ago. Every time, I say to people I was living in Notting Hill their eyes enlightened and I imagine them thinking about Blair Waldorf, I mean we are both brunettes with an expensive taste…

What I was saying? Oh right, so we went there and I was planning to take them to my favourite vegan restaurant, but unfortunately it was fully booked, so we decided to walk around and look for a place with enough options for me. I mean my mum is literally a copycat, I have the feeling that for her just because I live in London everything I do is super cool, so when we are together she has to try all the things I eat, like even hummus is a major thing, because in Italy you can’t easily find it, unless you make it at home. My dad instead is the typical Italian, with strong food traditions that no one can touch and he always feels the need to make stupid jokes about it. But fortunately we found a place that could satisfy everyone.

Al Waha is a Lebanese restaurant located in the middle of Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. You can see that Al Waha it’s not a franchise restaurant (like everything in London), from its outdoor aspect: the full building has a violet pastel colour that clashes completely with its surroundings. The decor inside is a bit cringy too, most probably the restaurant has been open for quite a while and now it would be the right time for a full renovation. But, please don’t be discouraged by the looks, because it would be a shame! The place is pretty small and quiet and the staff is remarkably polite.

After ordering your food, the waiter will bring you a very healthy appetizer: a bowl with some lettuce, a whole unsliced tomato, some carrots and a piece of cucumber with some olives. I guess you can decide either to leave it or starting munching on the veggies like a bunny!

Their food was simply amazing! They have a vegetarian tasting menu, with a little bit of everything you could find on the a la carte menu: falafel, hummus, Babaganush, mixed pickled veggies and fatayer. Most of these dishes are pretty common in our lives, but the quality of the ingredients is to the next level, nothing comparable to what we can find at the supermarket. Since I always like to try what is exotic and unusual to me I decided to order the Moussakaat Batinjan; a small bowl with fried aubergines, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. It’s a cold starter and it seemed that has been taken out from the freezer just before serving it. The dish itself was delicious, but due to weather conditions (Summer WTF?) and my personal taste, it could have been a little bit warmer.

Fatayer is a hot starter made of puff pastry stuffed with spinach, onions, pomegranate, pine nuts, and walnuts. The taste is delicate and simple really homemade style. Probably something that our grannies could do.

The baclava, at the end of the meal, are on the house. Beware: they are super duper sweet and I don’t suggest you try them unless you have a sweet tooth (really, I just stared at them). It’s really difficult to find some genuine place here in London, so I was quite surprised when I tried Al Waha. I strongly suggest you go and see for yourself. The prices are slightly cheaper than other restaurants so it’s a win-win situation!

Let me know in the comments if you ever tried Al Waha restaurant. I am curious to know your opinion!

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222 Vegan Cuisine – West Kensington W14

Ok, here we go again! Another round, another race! 

Today kids, I am gonna tell you about that time I had a tinder date with a vegan guy that was probably on drugs. I presume this guy was on crack, because I had the impression we were on a race and he had to WIN! He was really handsome and tall and with good manners, but you know, I had the feeling he was taking the date a little bit too seriously… Literally, like a fucking job inteview! He was talking non-stop, like those people trying to sell you the whole Herbalife catalogue: telling me about how good he was and how many achievements he got. He was asking me questions as well but I felt he wasn’t really listening, because he was too focused on advertise himself too well. Imagine all this done by a really anxious person, so anxious that you are starting to feel it too…. I was really pumped up to go out with a vegan guy, but he was trying so hard that he killed it, and not in a good way. Oh God, and the compliments, you may think that I am a fucking bitch for saying this, but he was complimenting me too much! Like, everyone likes attention (and my friend always reminds me that also guys like compliments, so girls let’s throw some at them every now and then!), but can you imagine somebody calling you beautiful and sexy every ten minute for like two or three hours? I didn’t see him anymore, after the date, We met just one time, obviously but at least I got the chance to try one of the most famous vegan restaurants in London!

222 is a vegan small restaurant located in West Kensington. We went during the weekend and it gets easily over crowded, we had to wait for more than one hour, even if Mr Super Organized booked a table for two. The place itself is a rectangular room that’s probably more suitable for a café rather than a restaurant. The place was very busy and it seemed like they overbook, accepting also customers with no reservation. The tables are so attached to each other that you will probably have dinner with a stranger: we could clearly overhear other’s conversation. So, it’s not the best place for an intimate candlelit dinner! The place has basically no decor, apart from some long mirrors hung on the walls. I guess, the purpose is to give the impression of a bigger space, well mission failed darlin’.

We were definitely starving after more than an hour waiting outside so we decided to have a starter and some smoothies before our food. We chose the raw vegetables appetizer with three different dips: red bell peppers hummus, guacamole, and cashew cream. The texture of the sauces was intense and enveloping, the type you can easily binge on if you just have had tortillas instead of cucumber and zucchini sticks! I ordered detox smoothie, because I love my veggies, you know! The glass was gianormous, I wasn’t able to finish it, but anyway it was nothing special… I mean you can make the same stuff at home with a blender (no, a Vitamix is not required), spending way less money. My date had a protein cocoa smoothie. The taste was really chocolatey, but not super sweet like industrial milkshakes, the consistency was really smooth and silky, and  so thick it has its own thighs. Basically, it could have been a post workout meal, no doubts.

As main dish I had the mushroom and seitan stroganoff. It’s kind of a wintery dish, very hearty and super filling. The seitan had a strong meaty texture and was properly cooked. The cream was so delicate that was simply like a taste of heaven and it was full of fat meaty mushrooms. The dish had also a small cup of wild rice, even though as a proper italian I would have preferred some freshly baked bread to do some scarpetta with the delicious cream. 

The prices are slightly expensive, but totally worthy for the quality of the ingredients. This place is super recommended if you will be patient enough to wait! 

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Where The Pancakes Are – London Bridge SE1

Last weekend I had a date. I met this guy, on Tinder… And yes, please get over it! Nowadays, everyone is using dating apps even those who shouldn’t (yeah I am talking to you married guy with two kids and a dog, just looking for fun). But, no one clearly talks about it, unless you are really friends with someone. It’s a bit like when some girls swear that they don’t play with themselves, YEAH RIGHT Becky, we all know you do. 

Anyway, We decided to meet on Saturday in the afternoon to get something to eat. The guy was really nice and handsome, not a catfish (thank Goodness!), and he seemed to be the kind of person with a good job and his shit together, but for some reason the situation it became awkward, I was feeling so nervous and uncomfortable, we were just talking about superficial things to fill up those awkward silent moments! 

We were both glad when the food arrived because finally there was an excuse to be quiet. As soon as we finished the food he rushed away saying he remembered he had something to do and he just evaporated. It was a kind of relief to end the date, but at the same time I was thinking “what went wrong?” I mean everything was normal, he was a really pleasant guy to be with. Have you ever had a date where you felt weird for (apparently) no reason at all? 

The best part of the date? Going in a really cute place for breakfast/brunch… Yes again I know, but it was like 4pm so technically is snack time, right?

Where the pancakes are is a very instagramable little place, with a clean and easy design and touches of peach pastel color, located 10 mins walking from London Bridge. It’s situated inside a small outdoor street food market, the perfect place for a beer during summer, keep it in mind for the next one… 

Since the place is really small, you would probably need to book in advance. The menu isn’t too complicated as you have two sections, sweet & savoury, and there are five to six options for each section and they also have a vegan batter. For vegan folks, it would be even easier since the range of options are literally two, but at least one is a full rich breakfast so if you are planning to go on a Sunday morning, the risk to be starving afterwards is really low. The American classic consists in four-five savoury pancakes topped with maple syrup and fruit and a dash of icing sugar. The pancake batter is sweet and savoury, something that left me and my taste buds happily confused, like you know TMI to process all at the same time… The pancakes were properly cooked, flawless I would say, but to be honest the menu should have more plant based options!

They opened a few months ago, so if you like to be really cool and be on top of Londinium’s trends, you must check this place out!

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The Gate Hammersmith – London W6

I guess the high expectations and the disappointment I had today are the motivation that convinced me to start a blog about vegan food; of course my friends needed to push me, because every good idea my mind creates, I convince myself it will never work out ffs. Do you ever have that feeling of having like, let’s say 3-4 really good ideas in your head that can make you possibly fucking rich or at least satisfied about yourself and then as soon you start drafting a plan on how to develop them, a little evil whisper start suggesting you that at the end of the day is not such a great idea and probably millions of people are already doing it, even better that what you are planning to do and nobody is ever gonna read what you are going to write….. AAAAAAHHHHHHH. Stop. Breathe. 

Anyway, let’s get back to us. I’m writing this because I went with some friends to a really cute kinda hipster very instagramable place in West London for a Sunday brunch. I love brunch, but I’m never really sure if I LIKE brunch or I like brunch because we are educated as young girls that if you brunch you are a cool independent woman that doesn’t need no man to cook breakfast for you, cos you just too busy meeting  your friends, having expensive mediocre food and gossiping. Yeah sorry, I grew up with Sex & the City and the Devil Wears Prada as role models. Feel kinda old now…

The Gate is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Hammersmith. The building has a particular entrance that gives the impression you are rather going to church. Even the smell in the hall doesn’t help, kind of Sunday-school like! The restaurant itself is on the first floor. The room is fairly quiet and doesn’t have many tables. The ceiling is very high with a large window that allows the whole restaurant to be lit without the need for artificial light. The furniture is very simple, kept to the bare minimum, something in between minimal, arte povera and wrought-iron; a style that lately seems to be a must in London, if you want your bar to be trendy (such an outdated world right?!) and make money at the same time. The décor has been completed with green leafy plants and industrial style naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The jazz music in the background makes the atmosphere enveloping and sophisticated, making you feel like a freelancer drinking black americano in Brooklyn. Well, this is actually one of my #lifegoals.

During the weekend, The Gate offers the Sunday Roast menu which includes two courses for around £20 and no roast, apparently. 

I had the artichoke terrine as a starter with a dried tomato paste and grilled bread. The whole thing left me somehow confused, it was too salty for my taste. Now, I love food but I’m not an expert (yet), especially about vegan food culture, so I was eating all the components of the dish separately and it was all kinda just cold, salty and plain, but maybe I was doing everything wrong! So I tried to eat everything together with the bread and the paste, it still it was not such a big thing to me. I have to say though, that the presentation of the dish was very pretty and the bread was freshly baked. 

As a main dish, I had the beetroot burger with fries and greens on the side and I can clearly say that this dish is not their forte. The little salad had fresh taste with the tasty Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The burger itself instead, was pretty rubbery: basically a pink chemical agglomerate of glue that can easily be found at the supermarket. The matchstick chips were so thin like angel hairs, on the plate more as a decoration. The staff was nice and polite however, the service was really slow, so slow we had to wait about two hours to have our main dishes, and the restaurant wasn’t even crowded. They completely forgot about us and thought we had finished our meal. After we reminded them we were still waiting for our food, they brought us some olives and a freshly baked baguette to compensate.

My friend ordered a huge stuffed onion and lemme tell you it was so plain that the only thing you could taste was the fork in your mouth. 

It wasn’t a bad experience, but few things were just not right. I don’t know if it deserves another try…. 

Please let me know if you ever tried The Gate in Hammersmith and if so, which dish to you suggest to try or avoid?

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