I haven’t written a food post for a while, but if anything’s going to inspire me to do so then it’s vegan ribs! I’m a bit of a part time vegan (don’t judge) and I love going to 100% vegan restaurants, because the food is ALWAYS good. So when I heard that Norwich has the only fully vegan restaurant in Norfolk, The Tipsy Vegan, I knew I had to go there and sample as much as possible. And honestly, I would encourage every carnivore in Norfolk to go meat free for the evening and try the food here, you won’t be disappointed (unless you’re just plain stubborn and awkward, in which case don’t even bother)!
The Tipsy Vegan is located on the beautiful St Benedict’s Street, alongside lots of Norwich’s other best independents, and it’s worth taking a walk up there for this reason alone. The restaurant itself is small and cosy with a vintage speakeasy feel, and the atmosphere is very friendly with a mixture of larger groups, couples and families – apparently vegan kids are a thing these days, who knew?!
Their menu features lots of meaty classics re-imagined the vegan way, such as the ‘steak’ sandwich, tofu ‘fish’ and chips (which I’m definitely trying next time), and what we came for – the tempeh BBQ ribs. Before any of this though we had to have starters. Two of us, myself included, had the Korean bao buns. I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken about baos in my blog before – I LOVE them. They’re warm, squishy lumps of doughy goodness, perfect comfort food! The Tipsy Vegan’s are filled with sticky bbq tofu and Asian kimchi slaw, and come with a kale salad and cripsy tempura fried vegetables. The other two on our table had the mushroom ceviche – a citrus cured mushroom salad which was so fresh and lovely, and came with guacamole and a bowl of crispy tostadas. The starters here are absolutely massive which is always a win, and the quality lives up to the quantity too!
For mains, despite some stiff competition on the menu, 3/4 of us went for the tempeh ribs. These come as either a half or full rack (full obviously?), and are served with corn on the cob, coleslaw and potato salad. I can’t tell you how good these ribs are! If you haven’t tried tempeh before it’s a kind of soy protein from Indonesia, and in my experience has the most meaty flavour and texture of all the soy substitutes. Combined with The Tipsy Vegan’s bourbon BBQ sauce, I would go as far as to say these ‘ribs’ are better than the real thing! All the flavour without any of the fat, gristle or bone; what’s not to like?
The odd one out on our table had the portobello mushroom burger with a walnut and breadcrumb stuffing, which also received a glowing review. I managed to steal a few of the parmesan and herb chips that came with it too – it’s hard to believe that some of the food here is really vegan, especially these cheesy chips that tasted just like the real thing! How do they do it…
After all this I still had to try a dessert, for research purposes of course, so I went for the chocolate caramel tart with vegan vanilla ice cream. This was extremely rich and chocolately, maybe a bit sickly for some but right up my street! And the vegan ice cream literally tasted no different to dairy ice cream, honestly.
If you haven’t already guessed, The Tipsy Vegan gets a big yes from me!
Find it at: 68-70 St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, NR2 4AR