FED by Water opened in Dalston in late 2015 based on the concept of informing people of the nutritional importance of pure water. Despite these purist values, the menu offered meat and dairy options alongside a large vegan menu. However, it seems that a bit of reflection, perhaps to bring their cooking principles in line with their overall ethos, and overwhelmingly positive feedback from their customers about their vegan options, led them to change their menu to 100% vegan on May 21st. So with this in mind, and despite having delicious pizza the night before (don’t judge me!), I hot-stepped it down to their industrial-chic outlet on Kingsland Road to sample their fine Italian delights.
Pizza is one of my favourite food groups and one that I was determined to still enjoy as a vegan. Sure, it can be veganised by removing cheese or any other non-vegan toppings, but having the opportunity to enjoy substitutes for meat and cheese is rare. (Well done Zizzi for introducing non-dairy cheese across their restaurants!) Fellow vegans will understand what I mean when I say that I was overwhelmed by the menu. "I can eat everything??" is always my first thought at vegan restaurants: not just looking for the little v, vg or having to decipher a non-labelled menu. Scanning the menu, I was super excited to see ingredients such as smoked tofu, seitan salami, soya ham and a whole range of cheese made from nuts, soy and rice.
After much deliberation, a couple of Aperol Spritzes and of course FED’s special filtered water, we settled for the Stuzzichini mix to start: a small platter of olives, dried fruit and nuts and baked bread bites, as we wanted to save space to devour every single mouthful of our mains (spoiler alert: we totally managed this!). At £5.95 this is one of the cheaper starters which range from £2.95 for focaccia to £15.95 for the platters. A lot of other diners went for the seriously awesome looking cold cuts and cheese platter, served with a bread basket – not just a basket of bread, but a basket made from bread that’s also full of bread! – which I most definitely had food envy over and will be ordering next time. Other mouthwatering starters available include scrambled tofu and vacon (vegan bacon), seitan carpaccio and raw bites of sundried tomato and flax seed crackers with cashew cream.
The range of pizzas on offer is incredible (as is the pasta and salad menu). Not only are there are 13 available (plus build-your-own) but you also get a choice of base: regular, dark (charcoaled) or green (made from ground hemp seeds), whether to have it fluffy or crispy and finally what sort of cheese you want - cashew or soy. We opted for two to share: a ‘Hot’ with spicy seitan salami, chilli, olives, tomato sauce and cashew cheese on a dark base and a ‘Fresh’ with smoked tofu, rocket, capers, olives, tomato sauce and soy mozzarella on a green base. Both were absolutely divine and I’d be really hard pushed to choose a favourite. These were two of the cheaper pizzas at £11.95 each and, given that the most expensive pizzas are as much as £15.95 plus it’s up to £3 for additional toppings, it is certainly more pricey than the Franco Mancas, Pizza Pilgrims or even Zizzis of London - but it’s worth it as you're getting delicious, unique pizza with a range of vegan toppings.
There are also around five desserts on offer including ‘Tiramisex’, a non-dairy take on Italian tiramisu, at around £6 each. We were completely full from our pizza so didn’t sample any, but if the rest of the menu is anything to go by then these too will be delicious.
FED by Water, Unit 1b Dalston Cross Shopping Centre, 64 Kingsland High Street E8 2LX
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