Livin on the Veg was a vegan street food battle presented by KERB in the heart of London. With tickets at £25-£30 per person including eight of the best vegan dishes London has to offer this event sold-out easily and united veggies, vegans and omnivores with amazing food. The portion sizes were perfect, allowing you to get a great taste for the food without filling you up too much. With entrants receiving a voting token upon entry, all the food stalls present one dish to battle it out to receive the golden carrot award. Below I’ll be giving you the low-down of the best stalls.
My Top Three
Petare – Venezuelan ‘chip butty’ – The Golden Carrot Winner
Firstly, I love a chip butty. Some people think it’s criminal to have so many carbs in one meal, but I am not one of those. I was skeptical about this dish, thinking ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’ but damn they put the humble British chip butty to shame. Pairing chips with sweet plantain, vegan “feta”, avocado and garlic sauce (boyfriend: “tastes like big mac sauce”) was a winning combination for me and earned my vote for the best dish at the show.
Greedy Khao – Thai Red Curry
Made with tofu puffs, butternut squash, coconut milk and crispy shallots this was incredibly delicious. It was our first choice upon arriving (as the boyfriend and I have a shared love for Thai food) and set the bar high for dishes to follow. As someone quite sensitive to spice, I found that the balance in this dish was perfect as it mixed spicy chillies with calming coconut milk and sweet butternut squash.
Young Vegans – Chocolate Mud Pie
This mud pie paired two of my greatest loves together: chocolate and peanut butter. It’s a winning combination that never fails me. These gorgeous mud pies were served warm, with a delicious gooey chocolate center, vanilla ice cream served on top and chocolate shavings to finish it off. This was the perfect treat to end the event on and I suspect that if the event had been a dessert competition this would’ve won easily.
The Other Contenders
Biff’s Jackshack – Buffalo Wings
Finally – a chance to try some jackfruit! This was a great faux-meat dish with fried jackfruit ‘buffalo wings’ (including a sugar cane ‘bone’) accompanied with maple bourbon hot sauce and blue cheese. This was the boyfriend’s favourite, which is likely down to his love for chicken, spice and cheese. Whilst I loved the texture of the jackfruit, the flavours weren’t quite to my taste – but that’s only because I don’t like hot sauce or cheese.
Spice Box – Tandoori Cauli Steak & Naan
I was quite disappointed with this offering from Spice box as I found it quite bland in comparison to the other stalls. They often have a stall close to my work which I love to visit as their food is full of flavour and wonderfully healthy. If you ever see them, grab the Jackfruit Jalfrezi over the Tandoori Cauli Steak and you’ll have yourself a delicious meal.
Lemlem – Afro Taco
Another one that polarised the boyfriend and I: he was turned off by the spongey inkera layer (he doesn’t even like pancakes!) whereas I thought the whole package was perfect. This dish packed together so many complimenting flavours and textures: split peas, injera, red cabbage, ginger slaw and pickled chillies. I look forward to stopping by at Lemlem again in the future.
Eat Chay – Korean BBQ Bahn Mi Baguette
The filling here was delicious, I can’t fault that: crispy seitan, mushroom walnut pate, pickled carrots parsnips and sriracha mayo. Unfortunately this was more baguette than filling which threw off the balance and kept me from really appreciating this dish. They’re a vegan stall at Brick Lane each week, so I look forward to trying other dishes of theirs in the future.
Temple of Seitan – Fried ‘Chicken’ Slider – The Runner Up
Arguably the most well-known stall there, I kept this one until last as I was excited for the omni-boyfriend to try their famous ‘chicken’. Whilst he enjoyed it, he accused me over ‘hyping it up too much’ (doh!). Their little chicken burger with an agave mustard glaze was very tasty and continues to prove that going vegan doesn’t mean missing out on delicious junk food.
All in all, it was a great event and I hope to attend more like this in the future. It was a great way to taste many vegan delights across London, which’ll help me recognise the vegan/vegan-friendly stalls in future. The event itself had a good atmosphere, reasonable queue lengths and a really nice variety of cuisines. I hope to see more of all the stalls that took part.
Let me know below which dish would’ve had your vote!