The Road Trip – Shoreditch

It all started with a conversation on Whatsapp…

Sukh: *Shares Image of a poster for Vegan Nights* Wanna go?
Me: Sounds good. Need more deets though. Where and how much?
Meera: So are we all going?
Me: I think we should.
Meera: Road trip it is.

Dishoom all the way – From Bombay with love

I’ve heard great things about this franchise, when I mean great I mean great. So, I thought I’d add this to my mental to-do bucket list.
A couple of days prior leaving for London, Sukh had suggested we should go to Dishoom, I mean why say no right? So I thought I should just check out the website and see what the menu has to offer. I noticed with every Dishoom Restaurant as the locations vary so does the menu and decor. Every restaurant has a story which was really fascinating, which made me want to go even more!
Although the Gujarati in me did think ‘this stuff isn’t cheap’ then I thought to myself, this is an experience, it’ll be worth it.

In all honestly I was a little apprehensive, I mean we’d had breakfast and left a little late and by the time we found parking I think it was past 3pm. So we knew it was time for Lunch and I’d really hoped the food was amazing to woo me enough that I’d want to go back.

When I walked in I was greeted by a warm welcome, keeping in mind it was wet, cold and miserable outside.
When you enter, you really do feel as if you’ve just been time warped into an era long gone. The atmosphere, the decor, the music, makes you really wonder about those days.

So, we sat down at our table, which was lovely (it was a white marble effect table) there were plates on the table which actually had stories on it and when i looked closer, they were dirty! I thought to myself, I’m not going to be eating of them for sure, that kind of did put me off from reading what was written on the plates which was a shame.

Menus: The menu was a very thin piece of paper which reminded me of a newspaper which I thought was quite cool. We then had asked for the Vegan Menu which was much smaller.
Anyway I had opted to go for…

Fine lady’s fingers for the fingers.

I thought I’d go for something ‘safe’ something I’ve eaten and enjoyed before at various other restaurants, also made at home.
I also ordered
The seduction is in the tumble. Potatoes with brown skins, smoky-grilled, broken apart, tossed with butter, crushed aromatic seeds and green herbs.

The love waitress had mentioned they used Olive Oil as the Vegan option also they were a little spicy and came with chopped green Chillies which I thought would be best to avoid, so I ordered the dish without Chillies.

The Okra Fries looked AMAZING! I took a bite and knew they were the ones, you know that feeling when you take a bite into something and can’t believe how delicious it is, like in my mind I was blown away. They were THAT good!

I’d like to say the same about the Gunpowder Potatoes, however, I simply can’t. I was in all honesty so disappointed, I was so disappointed they had no flavour and were really greasy I think a bit too much Olive Oil. I mean anyone would read the description and would think they’d pack a punch. ‘Gunpowder’ to mean screams spices. I just felt a little let down.

Dark Sugar Desires – Temptation all around

As we were looking for parking, we spotted this little shop and thought if we had time then we’d go see what was inside, as we could only see slabs of Chocolate from the window.

As I entered, I saw Chocolate to my right, Chocolate to my left, good heavens Chocolate all around!
This shop has all sorts from Chocolate Pearls to Fruit & Nuts dipped in Chocolate, the also have Chocolates with mini pipettes full of puree which I thought was unique. Although, I was a little disappointed as the Vegan range wasn’t as vast as the rest, but hey I guess that’s one thing they can sure work on.

On the day I ended up getting the Chocolate Popping Candy and Chocolate Covered Almonds. If truth be told, I did struggle putting the Almonds into my bag as there were only tongs to pick them up with. Not too sure what I made of the Popping Candy Chocolate, I’m a fan of Popping Candy and have had Popping Candy Chocolate before, the only difference is that the Chocolate I’m used to has Popping Candy mixed into it, whereas this was ‘filled’ I think I was a little slow clocking on to that, I mean, it was a little obvious that it had to be filled considering the size and shape. I think my only complaint would be that it would be easier to consume if the Popping Candy was mixed into the Chocolate and perhaps sold in slabs.

I will end up going back there one day, as I really would like to try the Chilli Chocolate Truffles and Chocolate covered Macadamia Nuts.

So, who’s the Cereal Killer at the Cafe? *crunch crunch*

I genuinely had no idea this place even existed. As we were walking to Dark Sugars, we passed this place and Sukh had suggested to go check it out once we were done.
I soon as I stepped in, I felt as if my childhood had just slapped me in the face; Nostalgia. You really do feel like a kid again. I couldn’t help but point at cereal boxes and different items and say OMG I remember that!
The tables we were seated at felt like the tables at our primary schools, there was also a cassette on the table, oh so retro! I hadn’t noticed this before but I soon realised, behind Meera and to my left, there were…Beds. You read that right. BEDS! The bed behind Meera had a Tellitubies ‘outfit’ and the bed to my right had a Baywatch one. The beds made it feel as if we were trespassing in someones bedroom.

There was a moment when Meera said ‘someone actually sat down and thought about the theme and thought about cereal’

After looking at the Vegan Menu (there wasn’t a whole range of items on there) I thought to myself, that’s a bit too much for cereal, keeping in mind I had cereal for breakfast. I had to save my appetite for the next stop, Vegan Nights, besides after the food I had at Dishoom I was satisfied.
Meera ordered a scoop of Soy Ice Cream with Frosties whereas Sukh opted for a Loaded Hot Chocolate.

I sat there for a moment and really tried to soak everything in then I thought to myself I have to make my brother aware as to where I am! So I Whatsapped him a picture of the wall in front of me which had the Cereal Killer Cafe sign. He knew where I was, London. He laughed when I sent him a picture of the glass full of Water, because that’s all I was having.

The dude working there was really nice, there was a moment where he looked at me and said ‘is there anything I can get for you? Sure?’ I think he thought I felt a little left out as I didn’t order anything.

This is a great place to hang, and a great place to have a conversation of ‘back in the days’
I would love to go back here one day. Just a shame about the Vegan Menu, there really wasn’t much choice, that’s understandable.

Vegan Nights – Food as far as the eye can see

Finally, we made it.
I’ve never been to anything like this before so I for one was very excited.
So after a quick bag search, I thought to myself…Let the fun, commence.
There was food indoors which mainly consisted of desserts and treats, and the food outside was the Mains.
Outside, there was a vast variety of food available from Chinese, Steaks, Burgers, Pizza, Hotdogs. A part of me was so overwhelmed just being there.

After checking out what was indoors we thought we’d see what there was outside, after walking about and soaking in the ‘vaatavaran’ we thought it was far too cold so we went back inside and found a nice comfy spot on the sofa and spoke about what we were going to eat and contact lenses, can’t quite remember how the conversation jumped but i remember we did laugh a fair bit. I had noticed it was raining, so I made a point of staying seated and the the rain pass.
After the rain had finished, we ventured back outside and thought we should go around the food court and check out the stalls again to make up our minds. Initially wanted a steak as I’ve never actually eaten one, then it suddenly dawned on me, I love noodles, perhaps there’s a stall that does noodles?
Sukh had made her mind up about the Hotdog, so she went to get that and Meera found a Filipino food stall that did noodles. I don’t think I’ve ever had Filipino food before so this was a first.
We both went for the Pancit which consisted of cellphone Noodles and another type of Noodle mixed with veggies and Tofu. Both of us also opted to have the stir fry without Tofu and instead I had Prawns. I think I was so out of it, I looked at the lady and said ‘Prawns? Vegan…right’ I think that’s the most stupidest thing I’ve ever asked, I mean HELLO WAKE UP YOU’RE AT A VEGAN FAIR! defiantly a face palm moment for me, I bet the lady thought I was loopy too.
Personally speaking, I found it lacked flavour, I could hardly make out what was in it, what was obvious was the Soy Sauce, but the Prawns! Oh GOSH the Prawns! I’ve had Prawns before, but these were on a whole new level! They were so delicious, I really need to find them and make a curry or something!

Dessert? Like of course! I noticed a place that did Churros and Chocolate Sauce, so my mind was made up from the get go.
IT’s been a VERY long time since I’ve had Churros, urm…6/7 years perhaps?
I was so excited and cold that I didn’t take a picture outside of the Churros. So the Churros don’t look as amazing as they tasted. I took one bite and just felt so much warmth, it’s difficult to explain. The Sugar the Cinnamon oh and the Chocolate sauce, it just hit the spot.
I had one, then I had another one…I couldn’t Churro anymore. Meera was standing in a que for deep fried cookie dough and as I walked over to join her I had overheard the ladies standing behind her say ‘those Churros look amazing’
So I thought, I’m not wasting money, let me share…So I turned around and said ‘ladies, would you like a Churro?’ They gave me such a strange look they must have thought I’ve lost the plot. Anyway after the ‘Are you sure, we’ve been saying the Churros look amazing’ was out of the way, they kindly obliged and took one each. Then there was 1 left. I took a long pause, then just went for it, although the Chocolate Sauce went a little cold. I enjoy Churros just as the next persona but they were massive! 6 for a fiver in my eyes and for the size they were, was fantabulous. As i like to say ‘paisa vasool’ (got my moneys worth)

Little did I know I’d get a hangover. Strange, I know. I don’t think I’ve had this reaction from being stuffed from food before, but I wasn’t making any sense on the car journey back.

I would defiantly recommend going to Vegan Nights, even if you aren’t Vegan, it’s fine, we’re all lovers of food. It’s the experience that matters.

Despite the British Weather, the day came to an end just like that, and all I bought back with me was a bag of Chocolates and some Cocoa covered Almonds, inspiration and wonderful memories.

until the next road trip….

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