We tried the vegan “vish and chips” to see how fishy it is

It used to be that being vegan meant a life limited to boring dishes like nut roasts and things with lots of lentils.

But now they can enjoy fake meat that looks just like the real thing, including breaded fish with skin and all.

We decided to try the fish and sausages that went on sale this week at the new pop-up vegan restaurant in town.

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The Vish and Chip Shop opened yesterday at Lane7 bowling alley in the old Leicester Central station and will be open for the rest of this month.

I ordered some fish and breaded sausage with fries to see how compelling they were for a meat eater.

The answer is that they are awesome – but not there yet.

All the food looked like the real thing, right down to the flesh fibers of the fish and inside the breaded jumbo sausage.



It looks a lot like fish. It smelled like fish too.

The Vish

There was a recognizable fishy smell in the vish and the first bite didn’t break the illusion that I was really eating a dead animal.

It wasn’t until I started chewing that things didn’t seem quite right. For starters, the fish and the giant sausage taste a bit odd.

It’s not the taste of something inedible, just a hard to place flavor that shouldn’t be there. I threw in a load of salt and continued.

The fish paste was excellent but there was something completely wrong with the texture of the ‘meat’.

The soy protein didn’t break down like real fish would and soon I didn’t feel like I was eating fish at all.

After a few chews, it just wasn’t pleasant to eat.



It didn't really taste like fish, though.
It didn’t really taste like fish, though.

The giant sausage

Perhaps because they don’t look much like living things of old, the hot dog-style sausage was the more compelling of the two.

Other than a tough skin around the sausage, things were pretty good texture-wise.

It wasn’t the best sausage I’ve ever eaten in my life, but if you honestly told me that it was honestly part of a pig, I’d probably believe you.

Fleas

When your “meat” ingredients are all trying to pretend they’re something they’re not, it’s probably tempting to forget the chips.

After all, vegan chips are just chips, unless you’re used to making them with fancy ingredients like lard or whatever.

But the folks at Vish and Chips really do make some pretty amazing chips – perfect size, great flavor, and ideally brown and crunchy on the outside while being soft and chewy in the middle.



The fries and the jumbo sausage were the best bits
The fries and the jumbo sausage were the best bits

The verdict

It’s not like the real thing. The sausage is almost there but the fish was just too weird to enjoy, really. Good to see they’ve nailed the looks of everything, but the textures and flavors still need a little work.

In conclusion, if you know how the real thing tastes, you probably won’t think much about it. But the fries are really good.

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