I’m a born and raised meat eater. I love a cheeseburger like nothing else and I’d tuck into a steak without any hesitation, hungry or not. So when I got asked if I wanted to review a vegan restaurant, I had my reservations. I’m not sure I’ve ever believed there could be a substitute for a good burger. I’ve tried turkey burgers before – not my thing. I’m all good with a chicken burger, but a burger made from all veggies? Hmmm. I’ll be honest, the expectations weren’t high at all. But, now I have to eat my hat. Because by Chloe in London has turned my head. This 100% vegan restaurant, with all dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, is the dawning of a new day. With a menu featuring everything from mac’n’cheese to chocolate cupcakes, I was not expecting this to be a restaurant I would recommend to others.
So let’s just tuck straight in here and address the burger in question. I ordered the by Chloe Guac Burger- which is apparently their best seller. The patty is made of black bean, quinoa and sweet potato. Served on a whole grain bun, it comes dressed with corn salsa, onion, guac, tortilla strips and chipotle aioli. Did it taste amazing? Yes. Did it taste like a burger- no. So that’s out there in the open. It was a taste sensation that I’d gladly tuck into again, as the flavours work together perfectly to give the burger a real bang for its buck, but it’s no beef burger. But hey, it’s not supposed to be. That’s the burger discussed. However, I want to quickly move on because there’s so much more to discuss here.
The one surprising dish that I would have never guessed was vegan was the Pesto Meatball sub. The meatballs tasted like meatballs, people, not meatballs made from Portobello Mushrooms and mixed veggies. Covered in marinara, sweet peppers, pesto, cashew mozzarella and almond parmesan, you’d have trouble telling the difference between this a real Italian meatball sub sitting across from it. Both are equally indulgent feeling, but by Chloe is actually filling your body with wholesome ingredients. My brain, at this point, is flipping out a bit. Is Vegan really not that bad after all? You mean if I go Vegan, it isn’t like eating cardboard all day everyday while alternating between Tofu and raw veggies? This is all just to show you how ignorant I am to this movement in culinary culture. I know zero about vegan lifestyle and I’ve always been too lazy to pursue it. So there you go.
Moving right along, we did try one London special – the fish and chips. This was a crispy fried tofu served with mushy peas and tartar sauce. Again, an impressive dish that tasted delicious. The consistency of the tofu felt a bit dense for replicating flaky fish, but I understand from a vegan friend that they’ve come as close as you can to turning tofu into fish. So, well done by Chloe.
Dishes you absolutely can’t miss if you’re going in… the mac’n’cheese (it’s cheesy delicious with no cheese in sight…a marvel), the iced tea, the sweet potato fries and the chocolate cupcakes. The salads also looked amazing, although we stuck to the junk food classics for this trip. Next time I’m back, I’ll change things up a bit. And the end result here is that, yes, I am in fact going back. I was so impressed, so overwhelmed by the beautiful decor and the incredibly friendly staff, that I’d love to make this a regular lunch spot. And if this carnivore can get her teeth sunk in, surely it’s worth a go for the food loving masses!
Covent Garden, London / One Tower Bridge