Andrew Kay Dines – Vegan Ventures at Bill’s Restaurant

andrew kay at bills restaurant

So Veganuary, such an ugly non-word, but… well how did you do? I was always unlikely to embrace the whole idea, I’m not a vegan. Nor am I a meat head, far from it, but I do enjoy lots of food that does not include either meat or fish.

Anyway January was riddled with vegan food, from honest presentations to downright propaganda. Each to their own, I will continue to eat as I have, with care.

Bill’s restaurant offered a vegan menu that in truth included a selection of their regular meat and dairy free dishes so I took along Dr W, yes a real doctor, to give it a whirl. I have enjoyed Bill’s over the years, particularly when said Bill opened the first on in Lewes, a real jewel and more recently where after a few years of feeling not quite as good, it has regained its spirit.

Dr W is doing dry January, mine is damp but we started by giving their alcohol free cocktails a try and they are very good, grown up drinks but booze free.

The doc started with toasted focaccia, hummus and and olives, very good hummus and delicious tiny black olives. He was very happy. I chose the miso aubergine fritters. I love aubergine, probably too much and combining it with the slightly sweet and salty miso work perfectly. These were good, crisp outside and creamy inside and they came with a bowl of smokey sauce which was very nice but delivered in far too great a quantity, I liked it but not the idea of wasting it.

andrew kay at bills restaurant

Dr W likes hearty food so the Mushroom and Tarragon Suet Pudding was right up his street and when it arrived he tucked in with gusto and despite the generous portion made light of it. He thoroughly enjoyed it and cleaned the plate, pudding, mushrooms and the bean cassoulet pictured.

I read through the menu a few times before finally deciding to try Bill’s beetroot steak. Now forgive me if I query the naming of a vegan dish a steak, I am sure that there are better words, or at least I was. The beetroot steak looks steak shaped and is to be honest more burger like in texture. It’s a combination or textured vegetable protein I think and beetroot and it’s very tasty. I liked it but felt that it sort off flaunts the principals of veganism. The potato and sweet potato chips were superb, really very good but I can live without the vegan bearnaise which didn’t quite hit the spot. On the whole though it was tasty and filling and if it makes vegans feel better then good for them.

My pudding was extraordinary. A frozen amaretto parfait served with shortbread crumb, coconut flakes &raspberry sauce delivered on every level, to make a creamy dessert without cream is wizardry and I foolishly woofed down the lot as the portion was huge,really huge.

Dr W chose sticky chocolate pudding with hazelnut crumb and coconut ice-cream. It was a cross between a chocolate fondant and sticky toffee pud,bitter sweet and gooey, a nice end to a very satisfying dinner and all for sensible prices, nothing scary. It didn’t make me vegan but it did put a smile on my face.

100 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YE

01273 692 894

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