It’s all very well having an all-out dining experience where you are waited on hand and foot like a financial king but there are times when, amid those back-breaking multi-million deals, that you want to tell the world to sod off and just simply be left alone to enjoy your meal in peace. Tibits, not only caters to that solitary need, it is also tailor made for those pesky and harder-to-cater-for vegan and veggie dietary demands.
Sister restaurant to Zurich’s outstanding Hiltl (Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurant and a must-eat destination when you are next in town), Tibits has taken on the laid-back charm that its older sibling has become known for. Located on Heddon St, it’s close enough to hedgie heartland to make the worthy lunchtime walk.
With no a la carte menu, me and my (purposely chosen) carnivorous companion went plate in hand to the ‘food boat’. Forty dishes of all tastes and sizes laid out in all their glory, it was like a Mr Motivator pick’n’mix; perfectly balanced and full of colour. Free from the limitations of a predefined meal, we whirled our palates round a culinary world – the only thing holding us back was the looming thought at what the plates would weigh in at (yes, it really is like a pick’n’mix!).
Throwing caution to the wind, I haphazardly matched mushroom risotto made with spelt rice with quark ginger gnocchi and spring vegetables, laced the sides with Thai green aubergine curry, the odd falafel and a healthy serving of their freshly-made tzatziki, among other things. It was a real feast – and I certainly wasn’t going to be bothered with polite portions and dainty bites.
The food didn’t last long, despite the mountainous task we had created for ourselves, and the puddings were just as good and, of course, we didn’t confine ourselves to just one. Surprisingly, after all of that, neither of us felt disgusted with ourselves or ill at the thought of another mouthful – Tibits is also a glutton-friendly environment, apparently.
Tibits really have nailed this niche in the market and have done it so well that even the more flesh-loving diner, like my companion on the night, not only doesn’t notice the lack of meat on their plate, but they also revisit – of their own free will – bringing with them more of their kind to convert.
Tibits, 12-14 Heddon Street, London W1B 4DA