I have eaten out in a few non-vegetarian restaurants recently, so I thought I’d share my experiences of the ‘vegetarian options’ I encountered.
Italian restaurants often provide a few vegetarian options to choose from, and Bella Italia is no exception. The vegetarian dishes are all indicated on the menu with a ‘V’ and this labelling extends to desserts as well as mains and sides. I chose the ‘Quattro Stagioni Legumi’ – The vegetable four seasons pizza, which, like a standard 4-seasons pizza, has each quarter topped with different toppings. One quarter is topped with roasted courgettes, one with roasted aubergines, one with roasted red and yellow peppers and the fourth with garlic mushrooms drizzled with basil pesto. I really enjoyed this pizza, and especially liked how each quarter was different – it made a nice change from a standard vegetable pizza. The pizza was £7.95, but it didn’t cost me anything since I paid with Tesco Clubcard Reward vouchers (and only had to buy drinks).
Only three main courses offered by Bill’s are labelled as ‘vegetarian’ and unfortunately one of these is described as containing Parmesan (which is never vegetarian). When dining here, I chose the ‘Halloumi and Hummus’, which is described as grilled halloumi cheese in a sesame seed bun with hummus, baby gem, roasted peppers, sweet chilli and yoghurt served with skinny fries. The halloumi could have been a bit hotter, but other than that, I thought that this was a great main course. The fries were nice and crispy, and the other components of the bun were tasty. At £8.95 it wasn’t cheap, but it was a nice treat.
The Living Room offers four vegetarian options (listed in their own section of the menu) although at least one of these was unavailable on my visit. I chose the Flat Mushroom, Pepper and Herbed Ricotta Wellington with new potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli and Hollandaise. Unfortunately the hollandaise was missing from my plate, but I didn’t realise this until I’d almost finished, so I didn’t bother requesting any. My small meal looked incredibly tiny on the enormous plate they served it on. The food was quite tasty, but I would have liked a bit more, and the service (at St Katherine’s Dock, London branch) was terrible! If I had paid the menu price of £10 I wouldn’t have been very happy, but I had a 50% off coupon, so it was okay.
Mother mash is a small fast-food café tucked away down a side street near Carnaby Street in London. They specialise in sausage in mash, and you can select your style of mash, sausage and gravy. They only offer one type of vegetarian sausage, and one type of vegetarian gravy, but there are six types of mashed potato to choose from. I had veggie sausages with Champ mash (traditional Irish mash with milk, butter, cheese and spring onions) and veggie gravy. I really enjoyed the meal, although at £7.50 I thought the price was a little too high, considering the slightly shabby, café-style surroundings, and the simplicity of the food.