Even the most hardened of carnivores amongst us cannot fail to be aware of the advantages of following a plant-heavy diet, whether you choose to dabble in it occasionally with the ‘Meat-free Monday’ movement, commit to vegetarianism or even veganism or like myself, simply try to incorporate more plant-based foods into my everyday life where possible.
While vegetarian foods used to be consigned to the last item of a menu, the swing towards eating more vegetables is evident in the increasing options available in restaurants and in an increasing number of vegetarian only restaurants opening in the capital. Tibits, a Swiss outpost has now opened its second branch in Bankside and I went along to try it out.
It’s a mistake to write it off as merely a vegetarian restaurant though and it has some interesting differences. It’s a buffet self-service restaurant, but instead of it being one of those ‘all you can eat’ style places, Tibits charges you for the weight of your plate.
The interior is like any other restaurant, brightly lit and buzzing with tables set around a large buffet bar. Cakes and coffees are available to one side at the large counter bar and chefs are darting around the bar, topping up all the plates regularly.
There’s a large variety and for the bystander who would stumble into the restaurant, it’s not even immediately recognisable that this is a vegetarian restaurant – there is so much on offer. There’s a wide cross selection of cuisines – Vietnamese noodles, Mediterranean falafels, a wide variety of salads and roast vegetables, soups and of course dessert.
Dishes are clearly marked with what they are – vegetarian, gluten free and regardless of your dining preference or requirement, you wouldn’t go hungry – there’s plenty to choose from. My particular favourites were the Bloody Mary tomato salad, okra tempura and spicy noodles and I could have enjoyed a few more platefuls of that, but I wanted to save some room for the delicious looking cakes on the counter.
With a cup of tea, we finished off with pieces of the moist chocolate pear cake and left satisfied, but best of all confident in our feeling that we were doing our little bit for the planet.