I’m back! The last few months have been busy and tiring, but I’m keen to shift my priorities and get back to regular blogging in 2020. I’ve missed it! I’m getting back into the swing of things with my regular hits and misses post. As always, it’s been hard to narrow it down to just five hits (and tricky to justify five misses, which is usually a good sign). As veganism goes increasingly mainstream, my expectations get higher and in general I’d say the quality and variety of options are improving every year. I’m excited to see what great food lies ahead in 2020!
Hit #1: Veganitessen, Seville
I’m always happy to tuck into tapas in Spain, and we had a very successful trip to Andalusia in October. There were a few contenders for the hits list, but ultimately this spot in Seville was the winner. All of the tapas dishes we tried were good, but the seitan was the most flavoursome we’ve ever had so it deserves a special mention. And I had one of the all time great slices of cake. Full review coming in 2020, I promise!
Miss #1: Cafe Electric, Prague
There aren’t that many vegan options in Prague city centre, so I was excited to see this one which serves meaty and vegan dishes. The first time I went I ordered the vegan matcha pancakes and was very satisfied. The second time I ordered the vegan chicken dish, but it turned out that it was just regular chicken, and it had been accidentally labelled vegan on the menu. But they brought the chicken to me twice before anyone actually realised that I was asking for a dish they didn’t have. Poor labelling and bewildering service!
Hit #2: T’s Tantan, Tokyo
We might have had better ramen at Engine Ramen in Kyoto, but T’s served us extremely well in Tokyo and we ate a good number of dishes from the menu during our trip. The first bowl of ramen we had really set us up for a great three weeks of adventuring and feasting. Bonus points for having a branch at the airport too!
Miss #2: All Nippon Airways
Nobody has great expectations of aeroplane food, and I do not travel well anyway, but the ANA vegan meals were extremely disappointing. I honestly thought I was going to be sick when I ate the meals on our outbound flight, and just took my own snacks for the return leg. It’s disappointing to me that Ryanair are now dishing up vegan lasagne on their flights, yet the big airlines still can’t rustle up anything more exciting than fruit salad for “dessert”.
Hit #3: Kansuiro Ryokan, Hakone
This wasn’t necessarily the best food we had in Japan, but it was a wonderful experience. Being waited on hand and foot was weird, but we loved trying so many little dishes and getting the traditional experience. Totally recommended for anyone looking for a vegan-friendly ryokan in Japan.
Miss #3: Cafe Atl, Osaka
We paid more for two small pieces of raw vegan cake here than for two massive bowls of noodles in a restaurant around the corner. The cake wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t mind blowing either, and it’s one of those things that makes veganism seem less accessible.
Hit #4: Shams El Balad, Amman
Dr HH and I reminisce about the za’atar bread we shared here at least once a week. Everything was delicious, but that bread was something truly special!
Miss #4: Hip Hop Chip Shop, Manchester
A few years ago I had a battered sausage from this place that was one of the best things I’d ever eaten. Now in their permanent location they’ve switched from their mock meaty sausage to a more vegetable based one, and it was quite the disappointing switch. It wasn’t awful, but it was a let down compared to what it used to be. Here’s hoping they bring the mock meat back in 2020!
Hit #5: Pastva, Prague
Shout out to my local lunch spot! They have a different lunch menu every day, plus some truly incredible desserts, and the best chai latte in Prague. Points for consistent excellence!
Miss #5: Peppe’s Pizza, Tromsø
There weren’t too many vegan-friendly eateries open over the holidays in Tromsø, so we had to go to Peppe’s Pizza a few times. My general rule on non-vegan places is that the vegan option should always be something they’d be proud to serve to meat eaters too, and I just don’t think that was the case here. The vegan pizzas had Oumph!, which was delicious, but they swapped the cheese for vegan aioli – a poor substitute, and let’s face it, you’d never slop cold mayo onto a pizza and serve it to meat eaters, would you? Bring the cheese!
What were your highlights of 2019? Any big misses? Where should I eat in 2020?