Tuesday, June 14, 2011

vegetarian on the go - london buffet

My diet is mostly meat free - there are various labels, but perhaps a useful description is 'rarely eats meat'

When visiting London, I usually make an effort to take advantage of the opportunities to lunch vegetarian.

The lunchtime take out buffet above is excellent value, and grabbing a tray, I can sit out in a public area, and enjoy London.

I'll just repeat some of the items from the sample menu:
  • Basil salad
  • Singapore noodles
  • Lemon Grass
  • Seaweed
  • Spiced Aubergines
I am not a mad Tofu fan, however, I usually taste a bit of most things from the buffet, and 9 out of 10 things hit the spot :)

According to one reviewer, this type of buffet might be described as "Tai Chinese fresh veg style"

There are many of these buffet style vegetarian restaurants across London, and I usually make an effort to find the nearest when booking a city break.

Vegetarian to Vegan - what to leave out:

Although my diet is not so easily labelled, you might consider me almost Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, Pescatarian, or 'Flexitarian', that does not prescribe that I may not have an interest in animal additives in food generally.

Gelatin is a substance made from boiling the skin, bone, and connective tissues of animals.

Cheap low fat yoghurts might have Gelatin added, and apparently even some breakfast cereals and fruit juices. Can't see the point really so perhaps I should make an effort to read and avoid those.

Fish is an important part of my current diet, however if I ever decided to alter my diet to contain less fish, then any real ale home brewing in which I engage might want to avoid using Isinglass as a finer.

There seems to be a distinction made between 'bright' and 'cloudy' when it comes to any discussions about 'Real Ale' and Isinglass. I suspect this is more about habit, and like the colour grey, there is a whole shade of appearance between 'bright' and 'cloudy'.

My guess is that Greene King IPA (which always looks really bright in the glass) would definitely have used a finer, however insisting on finer, is perhaps just a concession to aesthetics - a bit like insisting all apples are bright green and perfectly round - silly really.

Certainly if I ever brew real ale at home, I would make an effort to produce a couple of batches, without fining just to test my theory.

E120 or Cochineal as a colouring, perhaps that one is an easy one to avoid also.

Notes and Further Reading:

The reviews of Buffet V / Veg are not universally good. There are one or two folks who seem to have wandered in (maybe after a few drinks), and expected sticky sugar coated Chinese meat dishes.

Buffet V as a advertising label, does seem to be downplaying the vegetarian aspect of what it offers (rightly or wrongly).

Perhaps in avoiding the fuller 'veg' or 'vegetarian' in the signage, they might be opening themselves up to negative internet feedback.

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