I must admit whilst I don’t suffer from lachanophobia, the thought of going to a restaurant solely offering vegetarian food can appear daunting at times. However, Tibits Bankside is one of those modern restaurants that have managed to make vegetarian cuisine appear sexy. They are a very successful restaurant group from Switzerland having opened their first UK branch on Heddon Street in 2008, now they have decided to expand further into Bankside just behind Tate Modern.
Allay your fears about a lack of variety at vegetarian restaurants; here, they have up to 40 dishes served buffet style at any one time. It’s presented in what they term a “food boat”. Appealing colours and alluring ingredients are plentiful on this boat and I like the fact, they don’t forget about gluten-free guests, people with nut-allergies and vegans with all dishes carefully labelled.
We tried numerous dishes and every one of them was a resounding success. Gnocchi with tomato sauce might be simple as a dish, but it was heartwarming and still had an al dente texture even though it was served buffet style. I think the key is they have a steady flow of customers, so that food is replenished and cooked fresh regularly instead of lying around not eaten.
Other dishes we enjoyed included spelt risotto marinara, which was cooked with tomato, basil and kelp, a red lentil and beetroot curry which was slightly spiced to give the dish a welcome kick and orange and white potato cake with savoury yeast flakes. I am pointing out these particular dishes because the general misconception is that vegetarian food isn’t particularly filling, but these options will no doubt fill you up readily. Not only that, but the dishes are extremely nutritional; for example, the yeast flakes contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and protein.
I find edamame beans slightly tedious as a dish at times, but here it comes with zesty lemon dressing and sundried tomatoes. They’ve also managed to combine two of my favourite ingredients into one dish: wakame salad served with glass noodles. That alone would already guarantee my repeat business. I could go on about their other tempting dishes such as okra tempura with their delicious homemade chutney, but by this point, you’ve probably already ordered your uber to Tibits Bankside.