Franco Manca

I actually wanted to go to the Franco Manca on Westbourne Grove, but because I had limited time and needed to get some dresses before my holiday, I decided to go to the one in the Westfield (White City). Franco Manca must have grown a lot in relatively short time, because though I heard about it a few years ago, all of a sudden I see them everywhere. They have 38 restaurants in total now, whilst only starting in 2008. Franca Manca make their pizza’s with a sourdough base. Though it does have some gluten, it is easier to digest this way. I saw a lot of great looking pizza’s on Instagram and some good reviews. So I wanted to try this for myself and to see if they have some vegan options of course.

The waitress explained to me that you can choose your pizza (the have 6 options) and then add the topping you like. Some pizza’s already have lots of toppings, but the first pizza only includes the base, the sauce, oregano and garlic. So no cheese too. This makes it a perfect vegan pizza to begin with. They have 2 huge signs with their toppings and you can choose whatever you like. I went for the courgette, olives, onions and some spinach. My pizza was in front of me very fast. This must be thanks to the 2 huge pizza ovens. It looked amazing, quite big too! I started with the crust first. It was soft, but with a slight crisp. I expected to taste a lot more of the sourdough taste, but even though you could taste it was different, it wasn’t that obvious. The vegetables on top were perfect and very tasty. If you love garlic, then this is your pizza, because it has a big garlic taste. I liked it! The base in the middle was good from the bottom, but it was slightly undercooked on the top. This was a shame. I couldn’t finish the pizza because of this, because it was quite heavy this way.

Apart from the pizza and some small things (olives and bread) there aren’t that much vegan options, but in their defence, they do not have a very big menu. They do have one desert for vegans though, what is the very familiar vegan dessert: the sorbet. I didn’t try it though and I do appreciate that at least they have something. The Franco Manca in Westfield is a very beautiful restaurant I must say. Because of the very big windows from floor to ceiling, it’s super light and they have 2 huge pizza ovens (the red and the yellow one, here on the picture ^) in their open kitchen. I also really like their interior, it’s very industrial and it has high ceilings. I also really like the chairs, they really add to the style.

WHO? Franco Manca.
WHERE? Westfield White City, Ariel Way, W12 7GA.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, but a shame it wasn’t cooked properly in the middle, great interior)

Did you already know Franco Manca? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

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Pizza Express

I’ve been to Pizza Express quite a lot, but that is years ago. I was very excited to discover that they started offering vegan mozzarella. So I decided I needed to see this with my own eyes and very important too: taste this! I went to the Pizza Express in Camden. The day I went it was raining and as I hate umbrellas (cuz of loving the rain), I was a little soaked when I arrived. When I came in they stared at me like they didn’t know what to do with me. I wasn’t sure if this was because of being a little wet, or because they didn’t expect customers. It was just been 12:00, maybe a little early, but I always like to go on times it’s less busy, because then there is more time for answering my questions etc. I asked about the vegan options, but they didn’t really know what to say. So I chose a table and started to look at the menu myself.

There was a special vegan pizza, but you can swap ingredients around, until you have the pizza you like. This was the only thing the guy was able to tell me. Later I was told by somebody else that the special changes every 3-4 months and if it’s selling well, they stay on the menu. This made me decide to order this pizza, because we have to support vegan options (so you know what to order at Pizza Express now..haha!). It had onion, olives, artichoke, asparagus and the vegan mozzarella. It looked nice and as I love all these veggies, it was a good choice anyway. The pizza was tasty and I definitely enjoyed it, though it’s not a pizza I directly come back for. It’s perfect for if you’re going with somebody who isn’t vegan, because then you can still enjoy a good vegan pizza, whilst not have to go to a vegan place. I’m super happy that Pizza Express made this change and I really hope they keep at least one already vegan pizza on the menu. The pizza is not the only vegan things they have. They also have a salad called ‘Leggera Superfood Salad’ and this one is vegan too. I really want to try this one too on day. Anybody who had it already?

The Pizza Express in Camden is not really big, but it has nice big windows and the possibility to sit outside (when it’s not raining..). They also have a big mirror on one wall, I guess to make it look bigger. anyway.. it’s handy for if you want to check if there are any veggies stuck in your teeth, haha! Though I was pleased with my pizza, I thought the service here was really bad. I don’t know if all of them had a bad day or something, but nobody was really helpful. There was one guy who was new (his second day!), so I can’t blame him, but the rest had no menu knowledge. I only got short unsure answers, without a lot of information. I really had to pull it out of them and then they had to ask 3 times in the meantime. And there were some other things too, but let’s not be only negative, because there are a lot of Pizza Express restaurants and I’m sure this is not everywhere.

WHO? Pizza Express.
WHERE? 85 Parkway, NW1 7PP.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, few other vegan options, but not very helpful staff.)

You probably know Pizza Express already, but did you try their vegan pizza yet? Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Italy – Rome

I actually wanted to post this travel article last Monday, but I didn’t plan my things too well and my mum came over, so that’s why it’s a week later.. sorry! I planned to go to Rome this year and so I booked a ticket for the end of May. Steven wanted to come with me, what was extra fun. It was our first real holiday together, even though it was only for 3 nights. Steven chose a lovely hotel, right next to Vatican City, what turned out to be a super location. We also got the Omnia Card. This is a card you can use for public transport, the tour bus, 2 tourist activities and Vatican City, all for one price. We got the 72 hour card for £113. The good thing about it is that you don’t have to get transport tickets everywhere and you can skip the (very long) queues. Especially when it’s 30C, you want this! I thought it was very handy and it worked well, until we used it for Vatican City though. This was because it’s the only thing you have to book in advance, but it was very unclear how to do it and it didn’t work. Luckily we did get in, but very last minute. More about this later.

We had to get up very early the Wednesday we left. We had a quick breakfast (thank you PRET and Starbucks!) at the airport before we headed to our gate. The journey went well and before we knew it, we were in Rome. We took one of the many coaches standing in front of the airport (€4,90). With the Omnia card you can probably take the public transport from there too, but we thought before we find out where the buses depart etc. this was just easier. It doesn’t take more than 45 min before you’re in the middle of Rome. The coaches drop you off at the Termini train station. Perfect! It was lunch time when we got out and I did a little research, so I knew that there was a vegan place not far from there. We walked there and though the place, called iPhame, looked lovely, it’s very small and we couldn’t sit there. So we went somewhere else. On our way there we did see another restaurant we liked because of the floor and bar. They actually didn’t do any vegan meals, but they were very helpful and totally ok with me telling them what I wanted. I ordered a pasta with veggies and it was super delicious! We then took the tour bus, very close from there, to see most of the tour. We got out at Vatican City, because from there it was only a 10 min walk to our hotel. We stayed at the ‘Infinity Hotel St. Peter’, what is a lovely hotel. It was clean, neat and the bed was very comfy. As we woke up so early and it was already the end of the afternoon, we took a refreshing shower and relaxed a bit. In the beginning of the evening we took a little walk to explore Rome whilst there was a lovely summer eve breeze. On our way back we stopped at a pizzeria and I ordered a pizza with mushrooms and olives. Our expectations were high, being in Italy. The pizza was quite disappointing though. It looked nice, but it actually had no taste at all. It made us laugh as it seemed quite ironic, eating a pizza without taste in the middle of Rome. On our way back to the hotel we enjoyed the views of Rome by night. Beautiful really!

The next day, Thursday, we had breakfast at the hotel before we walked all the way to the Colosseum. The breakfast was quite ok for a vegan by the way. There were some fruit options, cherry tomatoes, different types of bread, jam, juice and also muesli and cereals. I did email them a few weeks in advance to ask about this, but they never replied. A shame, but I was happy to see that at least there were some options. The walk to the Colosseum was already an activity on its own, because wohw.. Rome is a beautiful city! We passed the Altare della Patria and many beautiful little streets, but to stand in the Colosseum was truly amazing. Something so historic and it’s just almost surreal to be inside. Imagining the things that happened there many years ago.. it made me feel absolutely amazed. When we came out it was lunchtime and though we did go to a place where they serve a vegan breakfast with croissants (and I really wanted one!), they were sold out. What is a good thing I guess, but a shame I didn’t get to try them. So we kept walking until we found something else, but it was a little tricky. We eventually sat down at a place that looked nice, but they also didn’t do vegan food. They were happy to serve the side dishes though. So I had potatoes and some roasted veggies. The veggies were nice and though the potatoes tasted ok, the structure felt like they were heated in the microwave. What was much better.. the gelato we had for dessert at a place around the corner from there. I had coconut (with little pieces of coconut in it) and chocolate. Gosh that was very yummy! A lot of gelato places (and you see them everywhere) do vegan options. Just ask! It was very hot, like 30C, but we did walk to the Roman Forum anyway. It was something we definitely wanted to see and the Colosseum and the Roman Forum together, counts as one on the Omnia card. It was a beautiful place and I’m very happy to have seen it. It’s hard and at the same time so amazing to believe that people actually lived there. They walked on the very same ground you’re walking on. Though in ruins, the temples there were actually used. I just love things like this. When we came out, it was the end of the afternoon already. We were so hot and we really felt our feet, so we walked back to the hotel to freshen up and relax a bit. On our way we popped into a supermarket and I was so happy to see so many vegan options! There was so much.. a lot of choices in seitan for example. In just an ordinary supermarket. I wish my Tesco across the road would do that too, haha! Steven and I chose some things to take home. (In the meantime we already tried the seitan in some wraps and it’s delicious. Only the seitan with rosemary was quite intense. Nice, but just very strong.) I also really liked the pasta with spirulina and so we took that too. We didn’t try that yet though. We walked all the way back to the hotel. On my phone I could see we took more than 21.000 steps (14 km) and so we really deserved a good break. Close to the was a place called Flower Burger and we walked there to get a take away later that evening. And YAY! This is a place you have to go to. First of all the place is 100% vegan, the place itself looks amazing (great texts on the walls) and they do the most amazing burgers. All handmade right there and they are delicious!

On Friday we planned to go to Vatican City, but we weren’t able to book it online. We tried it several times via the website and the app (which appeared to be non-existent). So we went to the Vatican and asked there. Turned out we needed to use the email we got in the whole beginning for this. What isn’t mentioned anywhere in the guide. Really unclear. Luckily there was still space for us the next day, but we had to go with a guide though. We both are not a fan of this, but it was the only way. And as it was something we both really wanted to do, we accepted. So we had to change the plan for today. We decided to go to the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps. We took the bus for the first bit and got out only a 5 min walk from the Pantheon. From there it’s only a short walk to the Trevi Fountain. I really liked seeing this. It’s also something you see in so many movies (including my favourite Eat Pray Love) etc. We took some pictures and of course we threw in a coin. We did it together.. how romantic! After the Spanish steps we decided it was time for lunch. The vegan places I looked up in advance turned out to be quite far from where we were, so we tried to look for something what looked nice. It was still quite early for lunch, but then Steven found a place with a vegetarian all you can eat buffet. Apart from 2 things, everything was vegan and I really loved the food. Very fresh and full of taste. It’s a cold buffet, so if you prefer a hot meal, you better skip this. We still had an activity to choose from our Omnia card, so in the afternoon we went to see Castel Sant’Angelo. But first.. some more gelato! We took the bus to Vatican City (Castel Sant’Angelo is next to that) and we had to go into a few shops before we found one who sold vegan gelato. This one did have so much choice though, so I had dark chocolate (obviously), banana, passion fruit and raspberry. We ate it on a wall in front of Castel Sant’Angelo, before we got in. It was nice to see the inside, but the best part was definitely to be on top of it. Not only a beautiful view from there, but also the first shot of the first Rome-scene of the movie Eat Pray Love, is filmed from Castle Sant’Angelo. I loved it!! Very hot though, but fantastic! We decided to go back to the hotel, to freshen up after we came down. Later that evening we took a stroll, trying to look for a better pizza. We found a place where the pizza looked good, so we sat down. The staff was very very unfriendly and unwelcoming. It kind of annoyed me, but we were too stubborn and determined to try a good pizza in Italy. The pizza was very nice luckily. The only thing was that they didn’t do sauce at this restaurant. Apparently the cheese was also the sauce and as I order without cheese, I got a pizza base with veggies. It was very yummy, so no complains about the food. It was just strange.

Our last day and it was Vatican City day. The day before, I bought little pack of Soy milk in the supermarket, so I was able to try the cereal and muesli at breakfast. I also suggest they put a plant based milk option next time. I hope they will. The whole guided tour started off a little odd. We had to walk around half the Vatican, before we entered and with a group of about 20 people and 813938134 tourists everywhere, it’s not the handiest thing and it takes a lot of time. Luckily we had a lovely guide and it was very nice to listen to all the things she knew about the Vatican. Being inside was ah-mazing!! I loved it, everything! So much art and all so detailed, it was fantastic really! Especially going into the Sistine Chapel and to see the famous work of Michelangelo was so amazing, that I have no words for it. Unfortunately I had a lot of pain in my neck this day and so going this day to admire Michelangelo’s work wasn’t the best combination (al lot is on the ceiling). I’m still very happy to have seen in though! Something super 
ironic and hilarious.. you were not allowed to talk in the Sistine Chapel (what is hard to begin with for me), but that every minute a man told everybody in 2 languages to be quiet.. very loud through a microphone, haha! And then, to finish our Rome adventure we went inside the St.Peter Basilica and wohw! I’ve never seen such a beautiful and such a big church in my life. It was breathtaking! We saw the Pietà and we walked around jaw dropping. We were both so happy, that in the end, we did get to see this all, even though the Omnia Card almost ruined it. We did have to keep an eye on the time for our flight that afternoon, so a few last pictures from the outside, before we went back to the hotel to get our bags. Not before we had another (pink) burger at Flower Burger for lunch though! Our flight was a little delayed, but it was alright, we just relaxed and before we knew it we were back in our beloved London!

You probably realised, after reading all this, Rome is a must go city! Rome is basically one big museum. Everything is beautiful and you keep walking around with your head turning from left to right and up and down (no wonder my neck was hurting the last day). You really feel like you don’t have enough eyes to soak it all in. I really loved seeing the Colosseum and the Vatican City, but I think what I loved the most is the little streets. There are so many beautiful little streets, with little balconies, flowers, amazing colours on the walls, old doors, going up and down, scooters lined up and even some great street art. I could walk these little streets forever. Also Rome is, surprisingly, very good with veganism. There are many vegan places and otherwise they are happy to make you something vegan. (Just make sure they have a fully understanding of what veganism is.) Most of the people we met were very helpful! Another handy thing in Rome is, that there are drinking fountains all over the city, where you can have a few sips or fill up your bottle. Perfect for when it’s hot and you have to make sure you stay extra hydrated. The thing I really didn’t like about Rome were all the people who try to sell you things, like selfie sticks, batteries, bracelets, water.. they are everywhere and even though you say no, they keep putting it (literally) in your face. It was a very aggressive way of selling and they’re everywhere you go. Try to ignore them though and keep looking around you!

HOTSPOTS:
iPhame – Via Agostino Depretis, 64, 00184.
Infinity Hotel St. Peter – Via Catone, 34, 00192.
Bar La Licata – Via dei Serpenti, 165, 00184.
Nest – Via del Leone, 23, 00183.
Flower Burger – Via dei Gracchi, 87, 00192. (!!)

TOURISTY:
Altare della Patria
Colosseum
Roman Forum
The Phanteon
Trevi Fountain
Spanish Steps
Castel Sant’Angelo
Vatican City (St.Peters Basilica + Sistine Chapel)

Have you been to Rome yet? Did you know about these cool hotspots or do you have any other recommendations? Are you really excited to go now? I would love to hear about your trip and experiences! You can leave a comment below or you can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Zizzi

img_0708Zizzi is a restaurant I kind of always knew was around, but never went to. I’m not sure why though. Maybe, and I’m not even joking, it’s because whenever I see this restaurant there is a Wagamama around the corner and as I love Wagamama, I always chose to go there instead. Silly, because now after going here, I’m actually very enthusiastic about these Zizzi restaurants. I went on the day I went to visit Richmond and strolled around the beautiful Richmond park. Richmond is a lovely area and it has nice shops and lots of nice restaurants. So after a long walk in the park, I sat down to choose a lovely dish.

img_0707I read about their vegan cheese and that is one of the reasons I went here. The menu has quite a lot of vegan options or dishes which can be made vegan. I went for a pizza, because I was curious about their cheese. Zizzi is one of the very few (for now, hopefully..) restaurants who offer a vegan alternative to mozzarella. I think they deserve a big compliment for this! I think it’s totally awesome that they do and it makes them very popular around vegans. Also because now you can easily go with a group ..family, friends or colleagues, this way everybody can order something they want, without they feel forced to go to certain restaurants. I ordered the ‘Winter Zucca’ pizza, with butternut squash, as I love butternut squash. It was lovely, though I found that they put a bit too much cheese actually, haha.. I feel like I’m being super difficult now. The cheese was very good though and the pizza was very yummy overall. Oh and if the vegan cheese option wasn’t enough, they also offer vegan ice cream. Super cool! Very tasty as well, I had a very lovely meal. Definitely recommend to eat here.

img_0706Something I noticed about the Zizzi restaurants, is that they are all based in lovely buildings. The one in Richmond is very nice and as far as I’ve seen, they all are in similar buildings. I like it. Inside it’s lovely too. A  lot of wood, warm lighting, a good overall atmosphere and super child/family friendly I would say. I think Zizzi’s is a very good restaurant to celebrate your birthday or to have a nice meal for any other occasion what involves eating with a bit of a bigger group. Because of the location and food that everybody likes. All Italian based. I mean.. who doesn’t like pizza? Also they have a lot of choice when it comes to the food in general. The staff was very friendly and helpful, what I always appreciate. They checked everything for me and were able to answer all my questions. Lovely restaurant!

WHO? Zizzi.
WHERE? 4-5 King St, TW9 1ND.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (good vegan options; vegan mozzarella, great locations, very approachable)

What do you think of Zizzi? Do you want to try a pizza with vegan mozzarella now? Please let me know in a comment below or show me on Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Strada

img_7766So, as many of you probably know, my favourite pizza is the pizza from Pizza East. They have the worlds best pizza, that is just a fact. I know, it’s a bit weird to write about Strada, but telling you that the best pizza you can eat, is at Pizza East. Though there is a reason, because before I discovered Pizza East, my favourite pizza was from Strada. They do have very yummy pizza’s too. I didn’t go to Strada for quite a while, because there is no Strada restaurant close to me and the ones that were closest to me, are all gone. Then a while ago, I went to Southbank in the afternoon, so I popped into Strada to have lunch.

img_7770I was very excited about going here again, just because I was wondering if I would still like the pizza that much, after being so used to the Pizza East pizza’s. So I normally always order a pizza with the same toppings: olives, mushrooms, onions, broccoli and aubergine. Though, then I saw this pizza called ‘Caprino’. It has tomatoes, roasted courgette and aubergine. It also has mozzarella and goat’s cheese, but I asked for olives and rocket instead of that. I just wanted to try something different. It had roasted veggies and I thought it was still a very safe choice. It turned out to be a very good choice, because it was delicious! I’m quite sure I’ll order it again, next time I’m here. You should really try it. What answers the question if I still liked their pizza. I sure did! The base is very thin though, what is img_7767good, but the only thing is that it’s a little soft in the middle, what makes it tricky to eat. The taste is good though. Neutral, but crispy, with more flavour on the sides where the oven burned the edges a bit (yum!). The tomatoes are semi-dried and they tasted so good with the roasted courgette and aubergine. After a whole pizza (yes I can eat a whole pizza) I was too full for dessert, but in case you want to oder dessert, they have sorbets in 3 flavours: mango, raspberry and lemon. They do have quite some vegan options on the menu. Olives and bread as a starter. Very nice rosemary/garlic potatoes, (skin on) fries, tender stem broccoli’s and salad, as side dishes. When I didn’t want to eat pizza, I often ordered 3 side dishes as a meal. Oh they also do a nice spaghetti with a tomato-basil sauce (order without the mozzarella) and bruschetta. The bruschetta looks very good. The lady next to me ordered it and she kept saying how good and tasty it was. So, a good thing to try too!

img_7768The Strada restaurants are very family/child friendly. The kids pizza’s are quite big btw. You could easily have them, with a salad on the side, as an adult lunch. The Southbank restaurant is quite a big restaurant, what is good, because it’s always busy. Mainly because of the tourists, but I also think because the National Theatre and the Southbank Centre are close. I like that the kitchen is basically in the middle of the restaurant and that you can see how and where the food is made. I also really like the big Italy prints on the wall, with the basil and yummy looking tomatoes. It sure works for your appetite! All together it’s a lovely restaurant to eat tasty food, but I do think it would be nice if they had a few more vegan options. It would also be handy if the menu showed you the vegan options available. They only specify vegetarian at the moment.

WHO? Strada.
WHERE? 6, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (tasty Italian food, they could improve the information on the menu)

Do you know Stada already? Or are you going to try it now? What would you order? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Candy bar / VegiDeli pizza’s

img_7513CANDY BAR
Ok, if they were allowed, they probably would have name it Vegan Snicker, because that is what it is. Jokerz candy bars are exactly like Snickers. There is a difference though and that is, that it tastes even better than a real Snicker. I don’t think the package looks that appealing and attractive, but I’m happy I discovered them. It’s also nice to give it to non vegans, to show them that everything they van eat, we can eat vegan. Haha! My brother who is not vegan, really likes them too and I think everybody I gave them to, likes them. They say ‘nothing artificial’ and ‘no trans fats’, but that doesn’t make it healthy unfortunately. They’re definitely healthier than original Snickers. And you know.. once in a while, you can treat yourself, isn’t it?! I always buy them at Portobello Wholefoods, but I never seen them anywhere else. I’m sure you can order them online though, so get your hand on these!

img_2294VEGIDELI PIZZA’S
A thing I kind of miss, is frozen pizza’s you can put in the oven at home. All the frozen pizza’s in the supermarket have meat or cheese on them. It would make such a difference to have a good pizza for vegans. I’m sure a lot of vegans agree with me here. A while ago I saw some advertisement for the V Bites pizza’s at Ocado (online supermarket) and I was very excited to try them. I didn’t  know they existed, but I ordered them straight away. My first thought was that they’re small, haha! I expected normal size pizza’s, img_2325but these are half of it. I ordered the 3 flavours, I tried them all 3 and they’re ok. They’re not amazing, but the base gets crispy in the oven and the cheese melts quite nicely. I missed vegetables though and more taste. That taste that you feel like you could eat another one. Out of the 3, I liked the ‘Cheezly & Tomato’ the best and I think if you put some mushrooms on it yourself, they will be a lot tastier. It was a nice try, but I don’t think I’ll get them again soon. Later I discovered you can also get them at Holland&Barret btw. Try them if you think you’ll like them.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Fed By Water

fbwI actually know about this restaurant for quite a while already. Somebody told me about it in the beginning of this year and then it was just on my hotspot list for ages. The reason is because at that time I looked it up it seemed like a hassle to get there. Silly me.. as when I looked again it turned out I can be there within 30 minutes by taking 1 train, from the opposite of where I live. Easy! My friend Pavla came to visit me that day. I didn’t see her for a long time, because she was traveling for quite a while. Before she went away we used to do some hotspot hunting together and it was very nice to go here with her.

fbw3The first thing I thought when I walked in was ‘what a cool place’! I immediately regret the fact that I only went here now. It’s all black and I would say it’s a mix between industrial and modern. It’s not very big, but there is enough space to sit very comfortable. The staff was so kind, as we took ages to decide what to get. Everything is vegan and it was just very hard to make a decision. When I’m at a place I really like, I always tell myself I should go again soon. The only thing is that there are always more hotspots to discover and my stomach can only take so much. Though, I must say I think about this restaurant a lot and I’m very sure I want to go again.

fbw2As a starter we ordered ‘cheesy balls’. They looked so nice, so much creativity on a plate. We shared all 4 of them and the flavours really came together. They also serve really cool 2 coloured bread. Not much later our main dishes came our way. It looked amazing! I must say that Pavla her food was a  bit tastier than mine though. Pavla chose this incredible vegetable dish what looked like a lasagna (if I remember well it was the ‘Parmigiana’) and it was so full of flavour, it was too good. I chose the ‘soy chunk skewers with bbq sauce and potato wedges’, as I wanted to choose something no other restaurant offers. The potato wedges were the best I’ve ever had and the salad was so crispy and fresh though, but the soy chunks were a bit tasteless. The only taste was the huge amount of bbq sauce on top. I still liked it because it was very chewy, so different and recently I like to try new things on the menu. We were sitting next to a big sign with all the desert written on it. I think that was very clever of them, because if there is a sign with ‘chocolate pizza’ next to you for almost an hour, you will order it. So we did. It was big enough to share and you can even divide it in 4 and still have a nice dessert each. It was deeeeeeelicious!

fbw4About Fed By Water. It’s located in Dalston, just across from the Dalston Kingsland overground station and they serve an authentic, traditional Italian cuisine. You can order soup, salads, pasta’s, pizza’s and some amazing starters. If you’re very hungry, I’d recommend the calzone as it’s huge! They also do something with live music. I can’t find anything on their website about it apart from that they’re working on it. Live music and vegan food sounds amazing though, doesn’t it? You can also get their food delivered and they do a catering service (what looks amazing btw!). More information about this you can find on their website.

WHO? Fed By Water
WHERE? 64 Kingsland High St, E8 2LX
CUISINE? Authentic, traditional Italian
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 9 (Just great!)

Do you know Fed By Water or are you very exciting to go now? I definitely recommend going there. The food is so great, the interior amazing and the staff very friendly. Please let me know about your experiences. You can do that by leaving a comment below or by showing me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Pizza East

13009958_1135535766490525_187710197_oDid you eat world’s best pizza before? Unless you went to Pizza East and ate one over there, I can tel you.. you didn’t! You don’t have to go to Rome or Naples. You only have to go to Portobello Road, a lovely location, just on the junction with Chesterton Road. You can’t miss the building as it’s right on the corner between 2 roads. It’s always quite busy, so especially on popular evenings and afternoons, make sure you make a reservation.

When I just started my new job, one evening I went to see if there are some nice restaurants around. I walked around a bit and the first one I bumped into was Pizza East. So I went inside and asked if there was a table for me. I was lucky and not long after I ordered my pizza. Now the pizza I always order is: onions, mushrooms, olives, broccoli, aubergine and no cheese. It’s obviously not on the menu, but make sure you mention you’re vegan (if you are) and they’ll understand.

13054443_1135535753157193_834688602_oSo that first time I wasn’t expecting anything yet and I was very pleased to see my pizza looked delicious. And then it happened.. I took a bite. OMG! I was just about to hold myself from jumping up to tell everybody how delicious my pizza was. This was amazing, really! I love pizza, it’s one of my favourite foods (I know.. so childish, haha!) and I was convinced that I never had such a good pizza before in my life. The taste of the crust is so perfect. you can really taste it was made in a good and proper pizza oven. Also it’s super thin, but still crispy enough in the middle. The sauce is simple, but full of taste and the vegetables still have a bite. I understand if you have to finish reading this post later because you’re running to Pizza East now. No worries, the post will still be here when you come back!

13023605_1135535699823865_126299270_nNow everybody who visits me I like to take to Pizza East, because I want everybody to experience this. When I’m with somebody else I like to order some delicious olives and almonds as a starter (I really recommend those). I always drink water, just because I want to make sure I can finish the pizza, because no way I’m having leftovers.
I never order dessert at Pizza East, for a few reasons: I’m full, I find it such a shame to eat something else after the delicious taste of my pizza and because they don’t have a lot of vegan options. Actually they don’t have any, but if you really feel like having dessert, they can make you a fruit platter with some mango sorbet. You have to ask for this though. I find the staff very friendly and helpful, what also makes it nice to go there. A funny fact is that almost all staff walks around on black Converse. I always wonder if that is on purpose or if that is a huge coincidence.

13016550_1135535739823861_2000364427_oSomething else I really appreciate at Pizza East is the interior. I love it. It’s all natural materials and basic colours combined with blue. You can also sit up stairs. I like sitting there best, especially on a hot day as you can sit next to an open window. And if you’re up stairs, make sure to check the ceiling. I really like it. Really adds something to the whole atmosphere. The only downside I would say is that it can be quite noisy. That’s why it’s nice to go on a more quiet evening.
Down stairs you can see how the pizza’s are made in the beautiful pizza oven. Very fun to watch. They also have a little bar in the back, where you can have a nice drink or/and you can wait until there is a table available.

And in the end I want to give you a little tip. Make sure they don’t charge your pizza as a Margarita + toppings. Sometimes that happens, but your pizza will be crazy expensive. They should charge you £4 for the base and then add the toppings. Your pizza will be around £11(if you order the same toppings as me), which is a fair price I think. One day I just hope vegan pizza’s like this will be on the menu, but until then let’s order them like this. Maybe 1 day somebody will notice vegan pizza’s are very hot!

Did you go to Pizza East before or are you going after reading this? Please let me know what you ordered or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! x