By Chloe's Full Brekkie Proves That Vegan Doesn't Equal Bland
American import By Chloe may have its roots in New York and LA, but it's got eyes on its London audience. The vegan restaurant has launched a vegan full English breakfast, available for Veganuary 2019 only — we do find it a little confusing that a vegan restaurant feels the need to do a Veganuary special, but onwards.
Sausage, bacon, mushrooms, beans, egg and tomato all adorn the plate, in their vegan forms. Nothing much needs to be done to make tomatoes and mushrooms vegan — except perhaps changing what oil you're cooking them in — and yet the mushrooms have an overwhelming dryness that cannot be explained away by vegandom.
The tofu scrambled 'egg' has a satisfying consistency very close to that of real egg, and ample flavour comes from the vegetables its served with. The nest on which it sits — some sort of oatcake, we think — is mystifying, its presence unnecessary, its blandness all-consuming.
The maple carrot bacon resembles strips of roast sweet potato, but the restaurant's disposable plastic cutlery (something it's working to get rid of, we're told) doesn't stand up to its chewiness. Cutting proves futile so we fold a whole 'rasher' in at once, releasing a sweet taste not unlike that of sweet potato thanks to that maple — but with an added stodginess. And yet, it's moreish, almost as much so as regular bacon is to a carnivore, but without hinting towards a clogging of your arteries.
The texture of a nut roast is the best way to describe the jackfruit 'sausage', but with significantly more flavour. A heat emanates from it that stops short of spicy, making it a satisfying eat, if a bit on the dry side.
Throw in the strong taste of the addictive smoky cowboy beans, and the flavours of this breakfast bounce vigorously against one another, almost but not quite gelling together. So many powerful notes fight for attention that diners may find themselves grateful for the palate-cleansing blandness of that underwhelming oatcake after all.
The Full Brekkie a masterclass in the fact that vegan does not equal bland, but may not hit the spot for and recently-converted vegans wishing to fill the meaty Full English hole in their lives.
By Chloe — London locations at 34-43 Russell Street, Covent Garden, and 6 Duchess Walk, One Tower Bridge. The Full Brekkie costs £11.50 and is available until 31 January 2019. A 50p donation for every The Full Brekkie bought is donated to the Veganuary charity.
- New York
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