I recently visited Islington’s new plant-based Chinese restaurant, Tofu Vegan - I had wandered past it a few times and after numerous recommendations from friends, I decided to see if the food lived up to the hype. Spoiler, it did.
The entirely vegan menu offers an array of dishes from the Sichuan province, but not all are centred around tofu as the name would suggest. There are of course options for those adverse to bean curd, from noodles to dumplings, vegetable dishes and more. What stands out is the dedication to authenticity - you won’t find any westernised items on the Tofu Vegan menu and that’s what makes it so special.
We were greeted with warm, friendly service and were seated towards the back of the bright, spacious restaurant with views of plants and illustrated walls; quite comforting for a midweek lunch on Upper Street.
The waiters informed us of their favourite plates and recommendations. We were advised to order with an open mind and to choose dishes based on texture so they could complement one another. We shared wontons in a spicy sauce, the chef’s special sizzling tofu in a fish fragrant sauce and the highly prized ‘double-cooked fish’. If the smells coming from the kitchen were any indication of our meal to come, I knew we were in for a treat.
The wontons arrived and were chewy, addictive and hit every flavour note. I’m salivating just recalling the taste of them. Then came the ‘double-cooked fish’ - something that I wouldn’t usually order but was encouraged to try with the promise of a refund if it wasn’t to our liking. It didn’t resemble any vegan fish alternative I had tried before, and safe to say there was no need for a refund as it was crispy, sweet, salty and delicious. We finished with the sizzling deep-fried tofu in a sweet, sticky sauce that was fiery with chilli and fragrant with garlic and ginger. Our only mistake was not ordering rice, but we’ll know for next time.
I couldn’t get enough of Tofu Vegan so it’s a 10/10 return from me, and you should go too.