Following research, we loved what we saw about tibits and asked to drop by to take some shots. They were kind enough to provide us with the following meal, however all thoughts and opinions are – as always – formed independently and without agreement to be favourable.
Returning to the UK as vegetarians has been a huge blessing, and for those who don’t know it’s because no matter where you head throughout the country, more often than not you’re going to find something specifically tailored for the vegetarian diet, if not the occasional vegan dish as well no matter if you’re in a high street chain restaurant, a typical English pub or some small local bistro – and that’s not forgetting all of the health food shops that are widespread across as well should you wish to grab something to make in your hostel or rented kitchen.
With such a focus in the UK on the growing society of vegetarians and vegans, it’ll come as no surprise that there is a market to be explored for restaurants who wish to provide something a little different to the 4/5 veggie meals you might find on a late night pub menu.
One such restaurant who’ve been spearheading that growth is the Swiss-owned centrally placed tibits on Heddon St, just off the splendid curve of Regent Street in London.
tibits London is part of the tibits business of family run vegetarian restaurants in Switzerland that works towards providing an accessible place that people can experience delicious vegetarian food prepared with fresh and (mostly) local ingredients without the wait you’d typically expect in a restaurant, whilst remaining cosy enough to share coffee or brunch with a friend or eating a business lunch with a team of colleagues.
A Design For (A Healthy) Life
Having walked past the parent restaurant in Zurich last year, we knew that we’d just have to drop in on tibits London to see how the design differed from one to the other, and how localised the menu might be for the business and tourist clientèle who regularly fill it’s variety of seats. We were in for a pleasant experience in even better surroundings.
Across two floors and with light streaming in through the multitude of windows, this restaurant is not only light because of the sun coming through the side wall windows and stunning skylight, but also because of the light colours and flower-themed decoration that is noticeable throughout, without being too much or tacky
When we arrived we were greeted not only by smiles and people eager to help us, but also by an atmosphere that is rare and at times often hard to be a part of when you visit any new location.
Sitting down with the menu we had the pleasure of listening and watching as the team that work at tibits London talked and planned for the day ahead between themselves, not in an ‘us and them‘ style as you might find elsewhere, rather as friends. You could even describe it as ‘banter‘ if you’re inclined.
Entirely lost in the laughter and pleasure that everyone seemed to be taking from working together, we finally stopped watching to scene unfold to look over the menu and choose a drink to get the party started.
The drink we chose was called ‘Tutti Frutti‘ and as fruit choices go it was pretty darn delicious. Full of flavour, it’s combination of Orange, Apple, Kiwi, Banana with Sea Buckworth Syrup had us wishing we’d ordered double and in larger measures.
How It Works
There is a menu to choose from, but that’s not the heart of what’s on offer here. What’s really worth writing about and is the best reason for visiting is the seasonal selection of freshly prepared vegetarian, vegan, wheat and gluten-free foods available from the ‘food boat‘ – a buffet of incredible food – in the heart and centre of the restaurant.
After you’ve loaded up your plate full of food (prepare to cram, ladies and gentlemen!), you wonder over to the counter bar, pop your plate on the scales and pay, by the weight. An interesting concept that we know you’ll love.
A Lucky Moment
Purely by chance, I had the good fortune to stop and talk a little with the head chef at tibits London who has been there since the store was opened and has seen the menu through every seasonal change, through every recipe idea, practice, and perfection.
It was really interesting about the deep thought, discussion and process that goes in to the menu not just here, but at all of the tibits locations, and with the chef travelling back to home base periodically throughout the year, there are always new recipes being talked about and trialed that he’s eager to share with the other chefs, but more importantly, the customers.
As he explained, each store has a typical menu that they all must follow in order to provided the same consistent high quality product from each restaurant to the next, but there is a section of each menu that can be used by the individual chefs to bring some of the tibits mentality and ethos to traditional local dishes. For instance, tibits London is the first location to offer Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding, a favourite of the British dessert menu.
I’m sure that you don’t need me to tell you about just how delicious the Sticky Toffee Pudding is, but it’s delicious! You really have to drop in and try it, even if you’ve already eaten elsewhere before hand – leave room for dessert!
What I love about this focus on localisation is not just the benefit to my taste buds, but also as a representation to those who are perhaps visiting tibits with friends who aren’t vegetarian or vegan themselves is that there is a whole world of different tastes that are there to be tried and with a little imagination there’s no reason that you can’t replicate the same dishes at home.
In fact, you can replicate the same dishes at home.
Buy The Book
In the restaurant you may also pick up a copy of tibits at Home, a one stop book full of recipes from the selection that you’ll be dying to try at home.
Finding A Seat
With us arriving just before lunch it didn’t take long for the streams of people to start arriving to grab their plates at the door and begin the process of arduously selecting which incredible food to choose, and which to save for another time (at the food boat).
Not wanting to be left out, we soon left the camera aside and literally ran to the food boat to make the hard decisions about which foods to select.
Being a couple, it’s always great when it comes to buffet’s because we can always cover all the bases by selecting something that the other hasn’t. Not this time.
Regardless, the selection we both made was incredible and on our plates were a small selection of a whole number of choices. We chose Swiss Knoodel, a salad of Apple, Figs, Tofu and Pear, Thai Curry, an incredible Celeriac Salad, Aubergine Curry, a rally tasty Vegan Red Tartare, and a number of beans and grains.
Of course, when it came to dessert there was only one choice.
Okay, make that two. Franca can never pass up on a bowl of homemade vegan Bircher Muesli with Coconut Milk.
To Go, To Everywhere
There is of course the option to grab something to go from tibits, and if you’re really looking to enjoy the great range of food available from the menu of 40-plus dishes.
12-14 Heddon St
London W1B 4DA
Honestly, if we were heading to London or knew anyone who was, we’d have to recommend tibits, no matter if they’re vegetarian, vegan or omnivore – it doesn’t matter. We really can’t express it enough just how universal the menu and experience is at tibits and no matter what your diet is, you’ll find a healthy and fresh arrangement of food that you’ll be dying to grab another plate of, and to top it off, the place looks fantastic too.