Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Tipsy Vegan

Guest reviewed by Mrs Fry Up Inspector


68-70 St Benedicts St
Norwich
NR2 4AR

Breakfast served 

  Saturday & Sundays
11am till 3pm
(Brunch 11 - 3 every other day but not including the Irish Breakfast) 

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 So finally I got to try The Tipsy Vegan in Norwich after plenty of beans on dry toast whilst watching the Inspector guzzle up a plate of juicy fry up opposite apart from the exceptions of amazing brekkie's from Olives, River Green Cafe, Street Cafe and House (in our Fine City). I know you all probably want to hear more about that previously mentioned grub the inspector usually eats but a vegan brekkie doesn't have to be just for vegans, it's often a lush slice of home cooked food well worth giving a go! I'm not a fan of the label vegan anyway as it seems to incite so much contention so lets just focus on the food! 




 
There it is!




 The cocktail bar as you enter. The Tipsy Vegan is open in the evenings too for dining and cocktails so it's not just a place for morning munchies! 
 
 
 
 
Comfy seats by the window and plenty of space. Always interesting people up and down St Benedict Street to contemplate, admire and wonder at.




 Plenty of other choices for breakfast too!




 But some kind of hybrid of a hot cooked savoury breakfast is always my preference.




 Water is complimentary. 




 So you don't necessarily need to buy these! But the Coffee is lovely, The Inspector didn't want one if it wasn't made with cows' milk but ate his words when he tried it and they tasted good! 




 Home made beans, tofu bacon and leeky sausages all really flavoursome so try before you pour salt all over everything not that anyone would do that, ahem. 




Colcannon Fritters and White pudding, so good. Just the right amount not to be too rich, so many flavours going here all complimenting each other. 




Yes it's green! And on a breakfast! Meaning you can feel fully virtuous you've had your intake of goodness. And it's blimmin tasty too. 




Scrambled tofu, the flavour reminded me of devilled eggs, and this was a good thing.




Ketchup in a pot ... but a generous amount so that's okay.


Upon entering - We'd been to the Tipsy Vegan before and had the Tempeh Ribs that were scrumptious. They were also super filling which always pleases the husband so thankfully the suggestion of a trip back didn't result in a sad 'but what about sausages' face. The staff are really friendly when you walk into the restaurant which is opposite Norwich Arts Centre at the end of St. Benedicts. It's simple inside and tables are well spaced so you aren't squeezed into a corner or falling off a ledge (*cough Franks Bar). The music is just the right volume so you can still hear yourself speak (getting old!) and the soundtracks are just up my street. Not sure it was The Inspectors street since when I proclaimed 'Ooh Pixies!' he said 'Where?' expecting to see small pointy people approaching. Anyway - 9/10

Service - The staff are lovely, take you to your seats and explain what's on offer in a relaxed fashion. The food arrived quickly, much quicker than expected, always a nice surprise! 10/10  

Contents - Leek and Herb Sausage, Tofu Bacon, Colcannon Fritters, Scrambled Tofu, House Smoked Beans, Sauté Spinach, White Pudding, Sourdough Toast. 9/10
 
Presentation - I'd seen pictures online of the breakfast and thought it looked good but those pictures just don't do it justice at all. Maybe I just don't like plates with corners. Everything was spaced out for you lot who have issues with things touching other things so you will have no problems here, these items are not close friends, merely acquaintances with a clear awareness of personal space. 
9/10 - (a round, heart shaped or preferably cat shaped plate will bring that up to a 10)

The food - It was sooo good and piping hot! No one wants a luke warm breakfast especially when they're waiting 5 minutes to tuck in because some oddball opposite keeps taking photos of it! I would certainly declare it one of my all time favourites and can't wait to go back. (Ahem... Inspector!) All of it is made in house, no bought in frozen shapes here! Often even the fanciest places still don't go to that effort so I was really impressed. The leeky, herby and slightly mustardy sausages were firm and chunky, the tofu bacon was so much better than the usual shoe insole 'facon' and the fritters and white pudding were lightly fried to perfection. The scrambled tofu was well seasoned and firm, not sloppy or dry. Eggs are the one thing that I used to love love LOVE but done this well it's so much better. The home made beans are faultless with subtle smoky flavours and enough squidge to make sure the brekkie isn't dry. The fresh bread made a great base and the Inspector remarked that he liked the spread. This is the person who will eat butter with a spoon if any is left in the bowl. 

And the spinach was a lovely contrast to all the heavier elements especially as the only downside for me could have been that there weren't any tomatoes or mushrooms. These two food groups along with chocolate, biscuits and red hot chillies pretty make up my five a day, they're my total faves. However the breakfast was so good I didn't actually notice until the Inspector mentioned it. 
We asked for tomato sauce which came in a small pot between us. Better than fiddling with messy sachets whilst your breakfast goes cold and you squirt it across the table (just me?) but I always prefer a bottle as I like a generous splurge of tomatoey goodness.
They also do other breakfast options including Mexican Hash, Brunch Tacos and Pancakes.  Judging from the whoops from a nearby table when those arrived they're worth a try too. 9/10 

Value for money - The Irish breakfast costs £9, I had a Cappuccino (£3) and the husband had a Fentimans Ginger Beer (£2) and a bottle of water and glasses is brought to the table too. I think this was a really fair price for such good food all hand made from scratch. (Apart from the base Tofu which they don't make themselves). You won't need anything else, it's super filling but not so much you have to roll yourself home. 8/10
 
Overall - I loved it, it's a really peaceful atmosphere even when busy, the staff were lovely and St Benedicts is a great street for people watching out of the window. At some point I'd like to go back and try the cocktails and the Beer Battered Fish and Chips as I hear great things about those too. Vegans, veggies, omnivores or just living on the joys of life I highly recommend The Tipsy Vegan! 9/10