Food review: The vegan 'fakeaway' catching attention on Instagram
- Credit: Nuts About Plants
I think we can all agree it's been a long winter and spring, so far, isn't pulling too much out of the bag.
The one thing we can get excited about is food.
And one of the few positives of lockdown is the proliferation of new food options as creative chefs step in to add a bit of fun and flavour while we are still stuck at home.
For me Instagram has been a great place to explore this explosion of entrepreneurism, often lead by women at home with children.
So, as we battened down the hatches for another windswept weekend, we set about ordering from Nuts About Plants (not a place to buy trailing lobelia or evergreens as I first thought).
Vegan dishes in a rainbow of colours that Timmy Mallet would deem too much had been popping up on my feed for weeks alongside people posing with healthy shakes and thanking 'Hayley' for all the delicious fayre I was missing out on.
There's not a lot of choice, which for me is always a hallmark of something fresh and made with care and all the Google reviews were five star.
- 1 Four fish and chip shops listed among the best in the country
- 2 New escape room to open in Great Yarmouth
- 3 Woman's appeal against condition on pub conversion rejected
- 4 Hotel and restaurant for sale for £150,000 less two years on
- 5 Watch our virtual tour of Pleasure Beach's new Snails and Fairytales ride
- 6 Council to splash out £1.9m on Great Yarmouth town centre
- 7 Extra police as pub gardens opening could coincide with Canaries promotion
- 8 Delivery driver fined for 'flagrant' seafront stunt caught on CCTV
- 9 Man staged his own kidnap to get ransom from his family
- 10 Trio from Great Yarmouth charged with Norwich betting shop robbery
Food isn't even available every day and there is a rolling menu featuring Lebanese and Ramen dishes and numerous smoothies and drinks that all looked amazing.
On Friday there was a choice of a burger or wrap with various sides.
The Porto Burger was described as smoked vegan cheese stuffed into a panko crumbed Portobello mushroom with home-made ranch or Sriracha mayo with home-made dill pickles in a brioche bun.
Meanwhile the Zinger Wrap sounded equally delicious with oyster mushrooms coated in a zinger spice mix then air fried.
There were a variety of sides including probiotic slaw, kimchi, wedges, the sauces and lots of smoothies and shakes.
We ordered over WhatsApp (a new thing for me, no more menus pinned to the fridge) and arranged to pick it up from a house in Bradwell - around a 20 minute drive from where we live - at 5pm.
When I arrived Hayley (who, it turns out, is a mum-of-one who has just moved back from Dubai after 15 years where she had a vegan restaurant) was still packing my order which was fine and we chatted a bit (long-distance - me bellowing down the hallway from the doorstep) as she put it all together and explained what was what.
As a greedy sort I was delighted to see numerous large looking packages being loaded into paper-bags, all pleasingly eco-friendly, but I had to drive home with the heating on full-blast to keep the food as hot as possible (whether this works as a strategy I have no idea).
Anyway, back at home, husband having been instructed to warm plates, it was time to unpack.
It's no exaggeration to say this was quite an event generating an almost festive excitement because we rarely have takeaways.
This is largely because they take too long, and we could probably rustle up something better ourselves - so the stakes were high and potential judgement severe.
The first test was portion-size, and I'm pleased to say there was plenty.
We ordered a portion of wedges each, and the servings of slaw and kimchi were generous and looked beautiful with their glossy, bright hues.
The burger was absolutely bursting with flavour and the texture was awesome - moist without being soggy or overly messy - and certainly the best of its kind we have ever eaten.
There was a definite crunch from the pickles and there was so much going on it was hard to say where the mushroom ended and everything else started.
I loved the slaw also and although I tried with the kimchi (I really want to be a proper grown-up and like it) fermented cabbage really isn't for me, sadly.
My 15-year-old daughter who eyes pretty much everything I put in front of her with suspicion and a scowl ate her wrap uncomplainingly even though she doesn't even like mushrooms, which is high praise in her book.
We all pushed the boat out and had a shake.
I absolutely loved my 'Delightful Turkish' which was infused with rose essential oil. My husband went for the orange-flavoured 'Terry's' which he enjoyed although it's not normally his thing, but the vegan take on a 'Snickers' shake proved "too peanutty" for my daughter (but I was happy to finish it off).
Another time I think I would try one of the juices or smoothies.
Overall you are literally having a professional chef cook for you in their own home , which is amazing and a fantastic addition to the food offering in the Great Yarmouth area.
We were stuffed full for the whole night. Can't argue with the flavours and can't wait to try something else too.
For the three of us our total bill came to £56, so not super-cheap but you get what you pay for.
All the food is completely home-made and vegan and comes in eco-friendly packaging so no bursting bin full of rubbish when you have finished which is another thing that puts me off.
The burger was £7 and the wrap £6, sides are £3 - so all reasonable.
The thing that pushed it up was was the shakes at £6 each, and I know plenty of people pop by just for one of those.
Overall I would say restaurant quality food so not to be baulked at.
Hayley quickly responded over WhatsApp and was happy to answer any questions using a sprinkling of emojis which I always think comes across as warm and friendly.
You could pay in advance via a bank transfer (which I did) or pay cash on the doorstep.
She was lovely in person and chatty during the handover, clearly delighted her vegan food is going down so well in an area not renowned for its hipster vibe.
Definitely the burger, it was more substantial than the wrap and really was delicious.
We are not vegan but lean that way so it was really great to find something we can enjoy that doesn't cost the Earth in all senses.
Irrespective of whether it was meat and dairy free it was enjoyable, tasty food clearly made with love and care.
Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.
How you can support your favourite restaurant in lockdown
Takeaways - While more places have opted to stay closed for the next few weeks, plenty are still open and offering takeaway meals for delivery or collection.
Vouchers - A valuable way to help businesses, you can buy yourself - or a loved one, as a gift - a voucher now to enjoy when it's safe to do so down the line.
Shop local - Make sure to support restaurant and pub suppliers, including beer, cheese and fruit and vegetables, by shopping local.
Social media - It's not an easy time for many people financially. A simple like on Facebook or follow on Instagram shows support for traders, though, and can help them build exposure.
Don't forget them when they reopen - It might feel like it, but this lockdown isn't forever, and our support should be consistent.
If you like that, try these
Tipsy Vegan, Norwich - The Tipsy Vegan serves plant-based, world-inspired sharing plates and cocktails, as well as Sunday roasts. Its dishes include Korean barbecue tempeh and chorizo and parmesan arancini.
The Green Eatery, Norwich - Newly-opened, The Green Eatery serves vegan curries, noodle dishes and plenty more online and at its city centre branch.
River Green Café, Trowse - It's currently closed, but the River Green has a steadfast reputation with diners from across the county. Vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike flock here.