It's been a lazy weekend. I've been unwell this past week and have been feeling a bit sorry for myself. It's been raining, so the planned walk with the grumpy flat-mate has been put off. Instead I decide to indulge in some retail therapy (well , credit-crunched retail therapy - i.e. go and try and exchange the watch that's broken down less than 4 months after you bought it) and then plan to grab a veggie burger. Somehow I manage to con the flat-mate into accompanying me.
I niftily finish off my shopping. The grumpy flat-mate is now less grumpy. He is looking forward to a nice plate of chips. For once, Oxford St is virtually shopper-free on a Sunday afternoon and there are no crowds . So we make it rather quickly to Red Veg in Soho's Dean Street. I'm really looking forward to this meal. I've read about Red Veg and the reviews have been fairly good; I am salivating at the thought of really good veggie burgers and hotdogs.
Walking into RedVeg, I'm not particularly impressed. It feels like I've walked into a really tiny kebab shop. White walls, a steel counter with not much in it, specials scrawled rather out-of-sight on the board and a little window, with a serving tray-ish hatch (like the ones at McDonalds where burgers pile up) connecting the kitchen with the counter. A lone member of staff, politely distracts herself from a phone call to take our order. A veggie burger with cheese, a portion of chips and some cheese-stuffed Jalapeno peppers. We pay up less than a tenner and wait for our order to make its way out of the kitchen.
Grabbing a drink each (£0.95), we seat ourselves in the sad-looking seating area by the window. The lady at the counter resumes her telephone chat. There's only space in this tiny place for about 2-3 tables at a time and (unlike Maoz falafel nearby) unfortunately that doesn't make this place feel cosy and welcoming at all. The flat-mate and I make small talk as we watch the shoppers filter into Tesco nearby and soon enough, our food is ready. We head to the counter to pick it up and start munching soon after.
The chips are fried in what tastes like days-old oil . They have that disgusting smell you remember from the bus when some teenager nearby is carrying some fried-chicken and chips. The flat-mate doesn't mind them; he thinks they are better than the ones at McD's. I still can't stand them.
The burger consists of a soggy bun, some brown-ing lettuce, a slice each of onion and pickle, lots of chemically-enhanced ketchup and a burger-inside that tastes of nothing recognisable. In fact, I open and double-check the burger, because it certainly doesn't taste vegetarian or like anything else for that matter.
The jalapenos are slightly nicer; they are at least crispy on the outside, even if they do smell like they've been in cheap cardboard wrapping for far too long.
I'm disappointed. I can't believe this place made it to a recently published rather famous list of "good cheap eats in London"; I'm definitely not in repeat-customer mode.
The food is vile. The ambience is dire. The place has no personality .
We head out less than 20 minutes later. Its been a wasted journey.
The sum and substance of this review -- Red Veg is cheap..... but the food is nasty. And so, in my book, however cheap it is, it's certainly not value for money. Definitely one to avoid !!
95, Dean St, London