I always have my little ear to the ground for exciting vegan events in London. Kerb’s Livin On The Veg popped up in my Facebook feed and I just knew I had to be there.
8 masters of vegan food sorcery competing for the coveted golden carrot prize.
No faffing with alfalfa sprouts. No limp mushrooms in substandard buns.
Just Dirty. Vegan. Junk food.
And that, my friends, is what this blog is all about!
The ticket was £25 which scored me a dish from each trader and a cocktail on arrival. Each ticket holder was given a token to pop in the ballot box of their fave after tasting.
I’m pretty sure when I was born my stomach was harvested and replaced with that of a sparrow. I love food, it would be a bit awkward if I didn’t considering I write a food blog, but I’m not good at downing large volumes so consuming 8 portions was a slightly terrifying prospect for me.🙀 Thankfully, I had Ludz with me who’s stomach knows no limits!
The venue was West Hanyside Canopy, Kings Cross. A perfect outdoor setting for a balmy evening of face filling with London’s most delectable dishes. The DJ belted out the beats and also took it upon herself to photobomb me, the cheeky little terror!
So. To the food…
BIFF’S JACK SHACK – Jackin’ Wings
Sugar cane speared jackfruit wings with buffalo maple bourbon hot sauce, blue cheeze, kale, peach and almond slaw.
First off, I’m a total newbie to ribs. As it was the first dish of the day, I was an eager beaver and proceeded to ram the whole thing in my mouth. I was thwarted by the fake sugar cane ‘bone’ in the middle. Clever idea lads, I like it! I then adopted a ‘rabbit nibble’ approach which was way more successful. The perfectly crunchy coating gave way to sweet spicy jackfruit covered in glorious hot ‘n’ cheezy sauce. Even the green on the side tasted like success. Good start!
LEMLEM KITCHEN – Split Pea Timtimo Afro Taco
Red lentil stewed in garlic & ginger on injera & rocket with red cabbage and ginger slaw & pickled green chilli in a wheat tortilla.
Injera. It’s a bit funny isn’t it. Looks like a crumpet that got in the way of an elephant but works little a little flavour sponge to soak up all of that delectable Eritrean goodness. He was spicier than expected but was perfectly complimented by the fresh crunch of the slaw. 👊
PETARE – Venezuelan ‘Chip Butty’
Arepa stuffed with cassava chips, sweet fried plantain, “feta”, avocado and garlic sauce.
Did my tastebuds know love until now? One bite and I was instantly transported to a cheesy, chippy world of joy. This posh chip butty spoke right the heart (more accurately the stomach) of this northern girl. If it had’ve asked me to flee the country to its homeland of Venezuela, I would have happily taken it’s hand and said ‘lead the way my arepa prince’. 💋💋
SPICE BOX – Cauli Spice
Charred makhani smothered tandoori cauli steak with coriander chutney and homemade pickles on a grilled naan.
Now this is not a first dater – part of the fun was trying to eat it without covering myself in that creamy wet. Had a korma-like charm partnered with a super fresh, moreish naan. The cauli adds a nice bitey texture and you’ve gotta love those charred bits!
EAT CHAY – Korean BBQ Bahn Mi
Baguette filled with crispy BBQ seitan, mushroom walnut pate, pickled carrots, parsnips and sriracha mayo.
I’m sure you’ll empathise if vegan/veggie, I’ve had more than my fair share of lame sandwiches. This was certainly an exception. It was the kind of fun filled bread based beast that had all the right elements to kick the ass of any of his meat laden foes. The BBQ seitan tasted almost honey glazed and was pretty damn addictive!
GREEDY KHAO – ‘The Boat To Bangkok’ Vegan Thai Red Curry
Tofu Puffs, Butternut squash, Jasmine rice, Coconut milk, Sweet basil, Chillies and Crispy Shallots.
Ludz’s fave. A wild Thai taste party. The lip tingling flavours! The crunchy shallots! It was so good I wrote a poem about it:
The tofu puffs and butternut went to sea,
In a beautiful bamboo boat.
They took some basil, and plenty of chilli,
Wrapped up in a Thai curry coat.
Dirty Vegazine looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
Lovely curry! Oh, this curry I love,
What a damn fine curry you are.
(slightly stolen from Edward Lear)
TEMPLE OF SEITAN – Fried Chik’n Slider
Fried ‘chik’n’ slider in an agave mustard glaze.
Temple of Seitan innit so you know that shit’s gonna be good! Of course it was. Simple, hot chik’n-y goodness. You just can’t go wrong. The agave coated bun had a brioche-esqe quality which contrasted the savoury filling nicely. Solid performance as always. 👍
YOUNG VEGANS – Mud Pie
Chocolate peanut butter mud pie brownies.
Science fact of the day: the human stomach has a separate compartment to accommodate sweet thangs. This may not be true but, as full as I was at the final hurdle, I knew I had to try this. My earlier plan to take this one home was quickly abandoned when I relaised that this chocolatey beauty was served hot with a dollop of ice cream. As you know, I’m not a sweet one, but, Oh. Wow. The oozing molten centre, the cheeky pockets of peanut butter, topped with a cloud of dairy free icey delight. True #dessertporn. This is not just a pudding…
I popped my vote in the ballot box and admired the beautiful craftsmanship on display courtesy of the highly skilled participants of Mr Potato Head’s vegetable decorating corner and then, unable to move ‘cos of fullness, was air lifted home.
You all smashed it.
More of this please Kerb!