By Maria Derevianko
As my vegan journey continues and I have now feasted my buds on vegan bangers and mash in Manna, a vegan Sunday roast in 222 Veggie, a vegan bunless burger as well as vegan pizza in Bascilico all that is left now is to try is a vegan pie from the original British classics..
I wasn’t crazy about inSpiral as many people are the first time I went there, so I thought it was only fair that I should review it again and see if it wins me over this time.
Me and a couple of my raw girlfriends headed down there on a Monday evening. As you can imagine it was very busy, but that was expected, I just prayed that they had enough food as last time they didn’t have much food left. To my luck they did have plenty of mains and still plenty of desserts left, hooray!! That is kind of what you would expect when you go out to eat, for the restaurant to actually have enough food to feed your hungry, after work appetite.
I ordered the GF (no that’s not girlfriend, it stands for Gluten Free in case you were wondering) pie special which was millet and mixed vegetables served with roasted carrots and potato wedges, a hummus tasting sauce (possibly the basil mayo) and kale salad, I also went for their fresh vegan mango lassie. We squeezed ourselves onto the tiny corner tables and plonked our bums on their tiny chairs whilst their music set the tone for the evening ahead.
Food came promptly, well presented. The pie came in a ramekin and looked like a savory apple crumble which was served on the side with all the other goodness.
As InSpiral pride themselves in gluten-free, vegan food this pie was not your original looking pie which is what I expected but again this food is a vegan remix of the originals so you can’t always expect it to look the same as the “normal” dish but it looked like a cross between shepherds pie and apple crumble. Inside there was cauliflower in a creamy sauce with pieces of other vegetables which I didn’t take notice of as much but still blended into the pie well and were not offensive in any way. The crumbles on top I guess were the millet and worked lovely together with the creamy filling. I really enjoyed the potato wedges, carrots and the vegan mayo that it came with, I scraped every bit of it with the softly roasted carrots and the generous potato wedges. I am hesitant to say that it was basil mayo as I didn’t taste any basil in there at all, it reminded me a lot of hummus but it was much smoother, super scrumptious! The kale salad I wasn’t a huge fan of as it was just a bit, meh.
The service is always super duper friendly and fun, music was blasting and fragrant incense added to that ‘organic barefoot’ ambiance of the place, after all it is Camden!
By Maria Derevianko
So since I am now an enthusiastic born again vegan (which just means no animal products for those of you who are foreign to the concept), I am on a mission to find all the yummy vegan joints which I can make my “locals” and which will make all the carnivorous, unhealthy bastards (looking at you Koray and Esin) want to get a piece of this plant based, nutritious, delicious and fastidious (or not) eateries..
I decided to go down to InSpiral Lounge, in Camden Town. It claims to be a cafe, bar, lounge all in one anything goes kind of place, and it sure is.
The place is fairly small but has plenty of light coming in from the old fashioned windows overlooking that random river Camden possesses with a busy atmosphere of people chattering away to some background music, supplied by their own in house DJ. Everybody was drinking organic vegan beer which seemed pretty popular but since I don’t really drink, let alone beer, I settled for a lychee, berry and basil juice whilst waiting for my friend to arrive and happened to have eavesdropped on a nearby conversation about cocaine and relapses, which the happy go lucky group of foreigners were having next to me.
They have a great variety of super healthy juices and smoothies such as “Greengasmic” but to my disappointment they had run out of the ingredients for not only that, but it seemed like they were running low on food supplies too as the salads, the one thing you expect to have in abundance coming to a vegan place, were nearly finished and “Unorgasmic” looking.
There are a few choices of how and what you can have. The most popular option is to go for a pick’n’mix option with a small or a big plate (both under £10) where you get to choose from a buffet style, over the counter layout. There you have your hot food, which would be your chickpea curries, your cauliflower ratatouille as well as your grains and faithful steamed veggies, as well as the sad looking, please finish me salads. I went for a bit of everything, as I am adventurous like that. It is all served to you on a school dinner tray with a very enthusiastic smile by a yogi looking man with great teeth..
I enjoyed having a bit of everything on my plate as you get to try many things at once, as well as getting to experience and learn another way of how you can incorporate the humble yet mighty chickpea in to your pack lunches. The coconut curry was delicious; it had a mild taste and no strong spices or dominant flavours but was still just rightly seasoned, to be enjoyed with the other colourful bouquet of flavours which I had on my plate including some roasted potatoes which were tossed in spices such as cumin seeds and cinnamon – they were baked to perfection.
Although we were very FULLfilled, I would have liked to have tried their infamous vegan cakes, but due to them either being extra busy that day or it just being so late in the day, they didn’t have any cakes displayed to tempt me, but I will pop in another time to try them out as I am on the hunt for the best vegan cake ever, so my search continues.
I would recommend going there earlier in the day as it does appear that they don’t seem to keep their food and drinks in constant flow, due to them running out of so many things, come 7.30pm on a Sunday. They have events on all the time so it’s worth checking out their website for what’s on, but it seems like the place is normally pretty packed and can get a little loud with the music and the chatter but it’s definitely worth checking out if you want affordable, edible vegan food.