Tibits, W1

New Year’s (foodie) resolutions:

  1. Try new places
  2. Try new things
  3. Make the Blog look pretty

SO to ease me into this, the first two blog posts I’ll be writing this year are about tried and tested old favourites. Ah well. I’m also having massive technical issues trying to sex up the blog. Resolutions are going well, I think you’ll agree.

Anyway, on to Tibits. The first thing you need to know about Tibits is that it’s vegetarian. Some of you meat eaters will write it off on this basis, thinking that despite the fact that I’m a fellow carnivore, I’m also an ex-veggie and therefore must have taken leave of my senses at some point and this is just a throwback to that time. YOU ARE SO WRONG, MY MEAT-EATING CHUMS! Everyone, and I mean *everyone* likes Tibits. Some more than others, I’ll give you that – the old school who genuinely cannot conceive of a meal without meat as the centrepiece are always going to be a hard sell – but this is a firm favourite of mine, and, meat-eating or otherwise, my friends agree.

As you walk into Tibits the first thing you’ll see will be a huge ‘food boat’ in the middle of the restaurant, groaning under the weight of all the delicious salads (I know, I know, but I promise I speak the truth) and other treats. You get your table, and then you fight your friends to the death to decide which of you gets to go to the food first and who’s left behind. If it’s you (you lucky thing!) before you start loading up a plate, case the joint. You don’t want to pile your plate too high and then discover some delicious treat you don’t have room for. They don’t like you putting stuff back for some reason…

The food boat is set out thus; cold stuff on the bottom, hot stuff on the top. Mostly dedicated to savoury, but with about a quarter dessert.

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You can make yourself a standard main course out of the hot food, if that’s your bag. They do amazing quiches in particular, the potato wedges are great and though I’ve never had a curry I’m told they’re spectacular. My firm (hot food) favourites are the cream cheese stuffed peppers (which they didn’t have on my last visit *sulks*). These are SO AMAZINGLY DREAMY, especially when you have them with one of the delicious chutneys. If you’re lucky enough to be able to sample these, don’t limit yourself to just one. Two is adequate, three is better and four is optimum. Sometimes we have an extra plate to share just piled with these.

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The falafel is also excellent – much better than it looks – also great with a blob of chutney.

So, that’s the hot food. For me though, the salads are where it’s at. Throw away everything you thought you knew about salad, because this stuff will blow your mind. Everything is just so, unbelievably *tasty* – it’s amazing! My personal favourite is the orecchiette pasta salad with tofu (I know I KNOW BUT YOU’RE WRONG OK), sundried tomatoes and olives. A salty match made in heaven, and pleasantly carb-y. Also smashing is the pumpkin salad with sesame seeds, the carrot salad with ‘secret dressing’ (made from unicorn tears and rainbows) and the beetroot, all of which are regulars and firm favourites. This visit I also v much enjoyed the soya bean salad which was really fresh and zingy.

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Once you’ve loaded up your plate, take it to the counter. There they will weigh it for you and you pay based on how heavy the plate is! Cool ay? Do what we do; have a competition with your friends to see who can get the heaviest plate. It adds a pleasing competitive dimension to the meal. You lose if you don’t eat it all though, obvs.

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While you’re at the counter, order one of the delicious juices for extra health and vitality. My favourites are the tutti frutti and the red fitness. Slurp.

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Pay, take your plate back to your table. Now, if you were the first person at the food boat you face a dilemma; do you sit and wait for your friend/s to come back with their food (the polite option) or do you scoff away and devil take the hindmost (the selfish option)? I usually end up picking at pieces of pasta while I wait for the others.

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When you’ve eaten your plate, despite the fact that you’ve eaten mostly salad, you will be alarmed to find yourself surprisingly full. This will feel strange to you, and challenge everything you thought you knew about salad. TOLD YOU!! You’ll still have room for pudding though, because if you’re very lucky they will have… sticky toffee pudding. Not just any sticky toffee pudding… the ONLY sticky toffee pudding. Gooey, moist and dense, packed with dates and covered with lashings of toffee sauce. Sometimes they have dairy-free (SHUT UP AND ACCEPT IT OK) vanilla cream to eat it with – in which case you’re really winning – but I like it just by itself.

You come away from Tibits stuffed to the gills, but also feeling virtuous, because you know everything you’ve eaten* is organic and wholesome and stuff.

*OK, maybe not the sticky toffee pudding #whatever

Best. Feeling. Ever.

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