I, like a pig hunting truffles, am constantly on the lookout for vegan food. I have tripped over chairs, taken detours, and have travelled to try a specific restaurant or dish. I love food. So when a friend of mine from university recommended tibits in London, I made it my mission to try it next time I was in the capital. Tibits is apparently a nationally recognised brand in Switzerland; hoping to make a mark here in the UK with their branch in Heddon Street, a pocket of quiet cuisine across the road from Carnaby Street.
It’s a pay-what-it-weighs dealio, with a massive selection of vegan options (with a couple of vegetarian dishes thrown in for good measure), where you grab a table and a plate, decide what you want, and then go and pay at the till. They also sell alcohol- cocktails, wine, beers and the like, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and hot drinks. Neither Sam or I tried any alcohol (it seemed a little sacrilegious), instead opting for a coffee and a fresh juice. There was also free water on tap. One thing to note, none of the staff seemed to be on the lookout for any new or ignorant customers, which made the layout a little confusing.
Instead of the typical variety of meat replacements and traditional dishes, most of the food seemed to refer to Moroccan, Indian, and Asian influences; food that is traditionally (and somewhat accidently) vegetarian / vegan. The average cost advertised for lunch is under £10, but I was a little excited so my plate was closer to £15. The buffet was changed continuously with freshly made hot and cold food, which meant I orbited the ‘food boat’ four or five times before I committed to the till.
The hot dishes are apparently changed daily so you can visit regularly and keep on trying something new. The cold dishes are less varied and include their signature dried bean salad and Mediterranean salad as well as many other salad varieties.
And now for the important part. The taste. Every single thing that I could fit onto my plate was delicious. The wedges were hot and crispy, both the meditation and the pumpkin salads were moist and delicately seasoned, and the houmous was particularly creamy. Every single thing I managed to try was so good that even the meat-eater loved it!
We visited for Thursday lunchtime, so it was pretty quiet. Looking around, most of the visitors seemed to be on their lunch break, so I would recommend tibits to any tourists or young families who need to escape the chaos of Regents Street, Oxford Street, and Piccadilly Circus.
There are two levels, as well as outside seating. The dark, almost ‘oriental-feel’ styling of the first floor contrasted with the buffet table lights which made the food stand out and look even more inviting. The flowery wallpaper and velour seat covers in greens and deep pinks seemed to try and emulate a calm, relaxed environment, whereas the music was definitely not in keeping with that theme. There was a lot of Bublé.
I would definitely go back to tibits, especially because of the flexibility of the price. If you can control yourself, (which I clearly can’t), lunch can be from £7 upwards. We eat the food so quickly that we had to give ourselves time to digest afterwards- a trait that I noticed in fellow diners. All in all, tibits was a real find, especially when on the hunt for vegan-friendly food and is certainly one to look out for next time you are in London.
Taste: 4 / 5
Variety: 4 / 5
Location: 5 / 5
Overal Rating: 4 / 5
12-14 Heddon Street
off Regent Street
London W1B 4DA
Phone +44 (0)207 758 4112
Fax +44 (0)207 734 0428