I visited tibits restaurant in London for the first time a while ago and have been keen to go back ever since, all the more so since they’ve recently started holding “Vegan Days” every 11th day. I finally managed to get to London for a few days at the end of last week and took the opportunity to have a meal at tibits and a catch-up with my Mum at the same time.
Tibits is an all-vegetarian restaurant in the heart of London, just off busy Regent’s Street. It’s a big space, clearly needed, since it’s very popular and was packed the evening we went. I think the interior design is pretty stylish and rather funky with its night-time lighting.
It works a little differently to most restaurants in that you don’t order off a menu but help yourself from the “food boat”. You fill your plate with all the goodies you like (hot dishes, salads, soups, breads and desserts) and pay by weight. About 80% of the dishes are vegan on normal days but on Vegan Days almost everything is vegan, including all the hot dishes. The selection is regularly topped up so everything is fresh.
I was pleased to see an emphasis on seasonal ingredients too and for those with allergies or other specific dietary requirements everything is clearly marked with a symbol or letter (containing gluten, nuts, soy, onions, garlic etc.)
It was the ideal system for someone like me who can never decide what to have when faced with a menu. This way we could try lots of things. I love eating out with my Mum as we always share so we can maximise the number of dishes we get to taste!
On to the food! As it was dark in the restaurant and I was just using my iPhone to take pictures they’re pretty poor-quality. For some better pictures of the dishes on offer you can take a look at the tibits site.
I started with a freshly-squeezed juice while my Mum had wine. This was the “Juice of the Month”- Blueberry, Orange, Apple & Grape.
We thought we should pace ourselves as neither of us were especially starving. I think we still managed to do pretty well though! We got a starter plate to share with a selection of cold salads- carrot and beetroot, greens, falafel, a curried quinoa & cranberry dish, a lentil salad and, what I’ve been told is one of tibit’s signature dishes, their dried bean and walnut salad. We also got two little gluten-free linseed and soya rolls, cutely named “glutinis”. Everything was delicious and I was particularly taken with the dried bean salad.
We then got two plates of hot dishes and shared again. As you’re paying by weight rather than per plate you can go up as many times as you like. Pictured above is a chickpea tagine and couscous, we both agreed this was a bit too spicy, though perhaps we’re wimps! The lemony braised fennel was divine, and just like the mangetout it was perfectly cooked. It might sound strange to rave about such simply prepared vegetables but I don’t think I’ve ever had such tender, crisp mangetout before! The autumn roasted vegetables with figs and pears also went down very well with both of us.
As tibits has a Swiss chef (as well as several restaurants in Switzerland), there’s a decidedly Swiss feel to some of the dishes. These hearty pasta dishes reminded me of something I might have had in the mountains skiing when I was younger. There was spaetzle with oyster mushrooms and tomatoes and a pumpkin and chard lasagne with a hazelnut sauce (my favourite).
For dessert there wasn’t a huge selection of vegan options, but enough for us both to get something different. I chose the berry cream and topped it with a little toasted coconut. My Mum opted for the sticky toffee pudding. We were apprehensive about this one but wrongly so as it was very good- sweet, moist and perfectly spiced. I only had a little bite but it was a memorable one.
We finished up with fresh mint teas.
The staff were lovely, very friendly but not intrusive, and efficient clearing plates and keeping the “food boat” topped up.
If you’re paying a visit to London I would definitely say tibits is a must-visit. They’ve got the dates for the next Vegan Days up on their website so you can plan accordingly. There’s a wide selection of vegan dishes even on non-designated “Vegan Days” so I’d be perfectly happy to visit any time.
Have you eaten at tibits yet? If you’re vegan or vegetarian, do you prefer to eat at exclusively vegan/vegetarian restaurants?
Disclaimer: The meal was complimentary, but, as always, all opinions are my own.