Wednesday, 3 February 2010
I went for a meal with my boss the other day. We had been in Norwich sorting some things out and decided that it was time to grab something to eat. We called into a Wetherspoons and looked over the menu. As it was the 1st of the month, I thought it was probably wise to look for a vegan option, this is not an easy task with the menu for this large pub chain. Aside from a side salad there were 2 vegan options and both required a special alteration to the meal.
The first was a tomato soup which needed to be ordered without bread. Just a bowl of soup. Surely there could be a dairy free bread option? I was really surprised by this. The other option was the one that I went for. It was a Chickpea, sweet potato and spinach curry served with yellow basmati rice and poppadoms (naan bread is replaced with extra poppadoms to make the meal vegan) with a small tub of mango chutney. It sounded nice enough so I ordered one.
When it arrived, it looked like it had been sitting around for a while. It had a slight "skin" on the top of the curry sauce and the rice was a bit cold. The poppadoms were stale and slightly chewy - not good because I had 4 to get through. The chickpeas were overcooked and chewy and the curry sauce was vaguely spiced but pretty bland. The tiny pot of chutney wasn't really worth bothering with either. There certainly wasn't enough for 4 poppadoms! I was really disappointed. As the only proper vegan meal on the menu it was really poor.
One of the more popular vegetarian options on the menu is a 5 bean chilli which I considered ordering. The problem is that it contains Quorn mince which isn't vegan friendly. Surely this is a pretty unnecessary addition to a dish that is already crammed with beans. It doesn't quite make sense to me really. There should be more options available in such a large chain of restaurants.
I was pretty appalled by the lack of choice and the poor quality of the food. I'm not sure that it would be too difficult to have a vegan chilli (even if ordered without sour cream on top etc.) made with beans and vegetables rather than Quorn just so that there is more choice available to those who eat a different diet from what is considered the norm.
Low scores for Wetherspoons.