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The Tipsy Vegan, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘The rich chocolate and caramel torte is to die for’

PUBLISHED: 11:18 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:18 29 June 2017

Korean Bao Buns at The Tipsy Vegan.  Photo: Doug Faulkner

Korean Bao Buns at The Tipsy Vegan. Photo: Doug Faulkner

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An eagerly anticipated vegan eatery has opened up, is The Tipsy Vegan worth the wait?

The Tipsy Vegan on St Benedict's Street, Norwich. Picture:D Faulkner The Tipsy Vegan on St Benedict's Street, Norwich. Picture:D Faulkner

I have to admit I was a little bit excited to try The Tipsy Vegan’s fare.

While the offerings for herbivores in Norwich are growing rapidly they do have a tendency towards curries and Middle Eastern dishes.

As this restaurant and cocktail bar is the brainchild of Cheryl Mullenger and Michelle McCabe, owners of market stall Bia Kitchen, I was confident I would enjoy it.

MORE: The Black Horse, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘This place needs to be raved about’

Duo of skewers at The Tipsy Vegan.  Photo: Doug Faulkner Duo of skewers at The Tipsy Vegan. Photo: Doug Faulkner

The Tipsy Vegan had been open for about a week when we visited and the friendly staff were still enjoying the thrill of being part of a new venture.

My eye was immediately drawn by the sweet potato tacos, which are designed for sharing, a glance at a table digging in across the way confirmed they looked delicious but in the end I plumped for the duo of skewers. These consisted of flavoured tofu and seitan along with bits of courgette and onion.

The skewers themselves were delicious, with the tofu managing to carry a delicate flavour, one set sweet soy and the other lemon and herb. I was slightly disappointed by the rice and salad that came on the plate which were plain but a homemade flatbread and vegan tzaziki were a nice touch.

My roommate, a full on carnivore, decided to go for the Korean Bao Buns saying “I have never had good tofu” which I thought was slightly harsh on my cooking. He got his wish. The cute steamed buns came with barbecue coated tofu and kimchi slaw and looked like something you might see someone eat in a Studio Ghibli film.

Chocolate and caramel torte at The Tipsy Vegan. Photo: Doug Faulkner Chocolate and caramel torte at The Tipsy Vegan. Photo: Doug Faulkner

However, again the side, an Asian salad, didn’t really punch its weight and we both felt we’d have benefitted from larger portions. The upside to the size of the mains is they leave room for pudding and one thing I’ve missed since diving into veganism is cheesecake. With that in mind I chose a gin

and blueberry cheesecake, which presumably wasn’t made from actual cheese. It didn’t quite have the flavour I was hoping and you could taste the coconut used in cooking but it had a lovely zesty feel to it.

MORE: Eric’s Fish and Chips, Thornham, restaurant review: ‘Once in a lifetime dishes’

My friend went for a rich chocolate and caramel torte.It was fantastic, the shortbread base melted in the mouth, the chocolate had a deep flavour and

Gin and blueberry cheesecake at The Tipsy Vegan.  Photo: Doug Faulkner Gin and blueberry cheesecake at The Tipsy Vegan. Photo: Doug Faulkner

the caramel wasn’t too sweet.

Drinks

The Tipsy Vegan, as the name suggests, likes a tipple and has an exciting range of cocktails, designed by London bar Knowhere Special. Drinks include Gin Genie, The Friar’s Friend and The Shoemaker. There is also a selection of vegan beers, including some from local breweries such as Panther Brewery.

Ambience

The dining area is quite small yet makes good use of the space. It allows you to feel cosy and relaxed without making you feel packed in like sardines.

The décor has a vintage flavour and the window seats make a nice spot for a bit of summer people watching.

Loos

Small but clean and tidy, although there is only one toilet per gender.

Parking

The Tipsy Vegan is not far from many of the city centre car parks with St Andrew’s the closest to it.

MORE: The Last Wine Bar, Norwich, restaurant review: ‘Some of the best food you’ll find in Norwich’

Location

The restaurant can be found on St Benedict’s Street, which is becoming something of a foodie hub with Richard Bainbridge’s Benedicts and the recently opened Farmyard nearby.

Price

With the mains at around £9 and desserts at £5 it is good value for money. At £9, cocktails are definitely a treat.

Highlight

Dessert. I don’t even have a sweet tooth but that chocolate caramel torte was something I didn’t even realise I was missing from my life.

In Summary

It’s one to watch - while the menu will most likely evolve over the coming months there is a lot to like about The Tipsy Vegan and it has certainly earned a revisit or two, especially as they are now serving brunch!

This is an independent review.

To see all of our food reviews click here.

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