Day Fourteen: Share Something Vegan (and Delicious) with a Non-Vegan
Mr HH – sorry, Dr HH – isn’t quite vegan, yet. He is vegetarian and doesn’t eat eggs, so he’s not far off, and I’m quietly confident that he’ll give up cheese one day. But he’s the non-vegan with whom I share 90% of my dining experiences, and he joined me for the vegan breakfast at Iydea in Brighton back in March.
Iydea is just opposite Wai Kika Moo Kau and has quite a similar atmosphere. It’s cosy inside, and the staff are super friendly and nice, and there’s some lovely artwork on the walls. But it’s all about the food, of course!
We were very excited to try a cooked breakfast which listed avocado in the ingredients, and you can see a lovely mushroom, tomato and avocado stir-fry on the side of the plate. It was really tasty, and so beautifully seasoned – I like a place that isn’t shy with the salt and pepper. As there are tomatoes in the stir-fry, I don’t think it was necessary to have not one but two cooked tomatoes on the side. Does anyone actually look forward to them? I wish I’d had the sense to switch them for something else!
The vegetarian big breakfast comes with eggs, and we’d been expecting the vegan version to have a tofu scramble instead, so I was caught off guard when they waiter asked what I wanted as a replacement. Fortunately I recovered my wits enough to get an extra hash brown, but it is a bit disappointing that there isn’t a tasty stand-in. That said, the hash browns were the highlight of the meal – so crispy, and I think I detected a hint of chives in there too. Lovely! The sausages were surprisingly bland. It’s nice to see homemade sausages on a menu, and the outside was lovely and crisp, but they needed some more herbs and seasoning and the texture was a little dry and crumbly.
It was just as well there were some beans on hand! These were smoky beans, and the hint of paprika was really tasty (though my fellow felt they needed more punch). Alongside the main plate was a slice of toast, which was nice but, you know, only one slice.
Of course, I went for a chai hot chocolate accompaniment which was heavy on top of the breakfast, but worth it.
Speed of service: it’s a canteen-style set up, so all the hot food is there ready and waiting to be piled onto plates. However, the speediness here meant that the main course arrived before the toast or the hot drinks, which is never ideal, so we’ll knock the score down a notch. 4/5
Value for money: it was £6.95 for the big breakfast, and I’d say that’s about right – it was a hearty plate of food! 4/5
Quality of cooking: the sausages were disappointing, but everything else was tasty good! 4/5
Creativity: there were a pleasing number of homemade touches, making this a breakfast that can’t be duplicated in any other cafe. The stir-fry was a lovely original touch, and the smoky beans were a definite winner for me. But why ruin it all with two tomato halves?! 4/5