By Maria Derevianko
Since it was the much anticipated pancake day and I had a very busy schedule, I didn’t have time to make my own pancakes in the morning, furthermore, I didn’t even have time to even have breakfast! Running around all morning I was hoping to stuff my face with pancakes later on in the day at Ethos, as they were celebrating Pancake day, like every place should have been. To my disappointment, when I finally had time to go down to Ethos, at about 3.30 the poor chef was having a rest from flipping them all morning and afternoon and the food was running very low too so I decided to go to Tibits.
I have been to Tibits numerous times, even before I became a vegan, and I always enjoyed it. It is tucked away in Heddon Street, just off Regents Street, which is very handy for any shoppers or tourists visiting Hamleys or such.
It is quite spacious inside with two floors, and an outside seating area. As you walk in you are greeted with their ‘food boat’ and spacious seating, not always with a member of staff. It is pretty informal so sometimes there are people to greet you and other times you just come in and choose a seat yourself, put all your things down, grab your purse and pick up a plate and pile on until your heart’s content before you pay for it all at the counter.
As you may have figured, it is a buffet, and it is pay by weight. Tibits being a small Swiss chain, they launched a few years back and have been one of the first ones to start this concept in the healthy eating game and have paved the way to many others. I personally think it is a great idea, especially for people who don’t normally “go” vegetarian, as they can choose lots of different foods and see all the different flavours and textures, I have hooked a few of my carnivore friends with the help of Tibits before, muahaha.
Great news is that from the 3rd March their ‘food boat’ will be completely vegan, every Tuesday, free of any animal involvement which is fantastic news, more choice for the vegans!
The food boat is incredible, there are many hot and cold dishes, as well as desserts, all constantly topped up and replaced by the chef’s, none of the food looks stale or dried out which just encourages you even more to try everything!
The cuisine is global and varies from Indian to Mediterranean to Italian to more European. There is also a juice and alcoholic beverages bar, just depends if you fancy a glass of wine or a glass of juice with your meal, everything is reasonably priced, considering the quality and location.
I went for some potato wedges, country style, leek potato quiche with organic spelt and tomatoes, biryani soru with tofu, carrots, sultanas all being medium spicy and a mushroom antipasti with bell peppers and courgette cubes with rocket. This was more than enough for me and I had a pretty pallet of colours and flavours. You also get a free bread roll with your meal, but as I try to be gluten-free when possible I didn’t go for the bread, as it does also fill you up, or shall I say bloat you up.
As I sat down in my quiet corner which felt like I was in my gran’mas living room with mismatching vintage wallpaper, big cushions and mirrors on the wall and square wooden tables, I tucked into my food. Leek potato quiche was one of my favourites from the meal, it was warm, comforting with those creamy potatoes there like one of my ex favourite dishes – potato gratin, and overall the leek works perfectly with the potatoes as well as all the other ingredients. Potato wedges were nicely done, not as nice as they are in inSpiral as those are coated in spices and herbs and are very crispy, these were also nice having some mild spices on them. Moving on to the Biryani which was nice and slightly spicy but I didn’t like the tofu there, as it should have been fried a little longer or just not there at all as it actually felt like it was unnecessary in that dish, I would have preferred to just have the rice with carrots, sultanas and more spices. Finally the mushroom antipasti, this was delicious and reminded me of a dish we have back at home where we marinate wild mushrooms, but these had more of a bite to them and were quite meaty; being button mushrooms it had a fresher version with a nice combination of flavours and textures.
I didn’t end up trying their pancakes, as I was pretty stuffed, my fault really having chosen so many potato dishes and eating so fast, so I guess I have to wait another year to have an excuse to stuff my face with savoury and sweet pancakes.