LIVIN’ ON THE VEG
One weekend last month I was kindly invited by the nice guys at KERB to attend their Livin’ On The Veg vegan food festival at King’s Cross. I took along my vegan son, Sam, who was the perfect companion for this event and immediately informed me excitedly: “This is the future, Mum”.
On arrival we were presented with a postcard with eight perforated tokens and proceeded to work our way around the eight different stalls all offering one dish showcasing their vegan speciality. The idea is that you try everything and vote for your favourite dish at the end, which adds an extra element of fun.
First off we chose the shortest queue at Greedy Khao and enjoyed their creamy vegan red curry on steamed jasmine rice. A ‘Can’t Believe it’s not Butter’ moment ensued as we literally could not believe that this was not chicken.
We then headed to Temple of Seitan and wolfed down a mini ‘chicken’ butty with jalapenos in a soft roll and once again could not believe that this was not the real KFC deal. (Actually it tasted miles better.)
Next up was a Banh Mi baguette at Eat Chay – a crusty baguette with mushroom and walnut pate, pickled carrots, coriander, cucumber, sriracha mayo and crispy onions. Fresh, fragrant and tangy, this could have been a meal on it’s own, but on we soldiered.
Next stop was Biff’s Jack Shack Jackin’ Wing with buffalo maple bourbon hot sauce, blue ‘cheese’ and kale served alongside a delicate and pretty peach and almond slaw.
Sam, who seemed determined to get through all eight courses as quickly as possible, noticed that the smallest queue was at the only dessert stall and rather controversially persuaded me to have the one sweet course next. So we headed for Young Vegan‘s Mud Pies and were greeted with a generous portion of sweet and salty, unctuous and gooey molten chocolate pudding, topped with a peanut butter sauce and vanilla ice cream and grated chocolate. It was hard to believe that this chocolate pud was untouched by anything dairy. Trying to limit myself to only a few mouthfuls of this chocolate nemesis proved fruitless and after a few minutes, my plate was clean!
By this time almost falling into a sugar coma, we brushed ourselves down and made our way to Petare for a Venezuelan chip butty consisting of sweet fried plantain chips, chunky avocado salad, ‘feta’, garlic and habanero mayo in a fried arepa beautifully served on a banana leaf. Rich and tasty, creamy and crunchy, with a hint of spice cutting through, it wasn’t long before dish number six had bitten the dust!
Coming in at number seven was a split pea Timtimo Afro Taco at Lemlem Kitchen. Fortunately this was more delicate and lighter than the other dishes so came just at the right time.
At the eighth hurdle we realised we had run out of steam and as the queue was snaking several times around the centre of the food court, we sadly had to leave without tasting the spiced cauliflower steak offering from Spicebox.
We loved this well organised and innovative food event. Portions were all generous and all served piping hot, which meant that the event was very good value (£25 for the eight dishes with one alcoholic drink), and certainly better value than other similar food events we have been to. All dishes were attractively presented and combined colour, taste and texture in a surprisingly satisfying way. There were two bars, one at each end of the food court, where we were able to redeem our drinks tokens for either a beer or a vodka cocktail. Additional drinks could be purchased, including a selection of wines.
There was a great atmosphere, an eclectic crowd and some fab music courtesy of DJ Sam Young (he must have known that I was coming as he included more than one or two familiar eighties hits!) There was even seating at the edges of the food court which meant our mother/son bonding evening was even more relaxing.
After voting for our favourite dish, we staggered home and I had to agree with Sam that this really is the future! Neither of us can wait for the next one.
To find out about future KERB events click here