Please note, this site is no longer all-vegan; however, it still has a full vegan menu alongside its original fish menu. Time Out Food editors, October 2019.
It’s true: fish-and-chip gurus Sutton and Sons have made the menu at their second Graham Road location 100 percent vegan. It still looks like a cosy, classic chippy, but it’s anything but traditional.
A ‘prawn’ cocktail (for ’70s nostalgia vibes, presumably) made from Japanese potato starch looked uncannily like the real thing. The taste was fishy-ish, without being overpowering – a bit like actual prawns, really. Similarly, some impressive ‘valamari’ confirmed that if you know what you’re doing with a shiitake mushroom, you can make something that looks and feels a hell of a lot like calamari, albeit with a milder flavour.
Most intriguing was the battered banana blossom (a flower from the banana plant that gets vegans all excited), looking for all the world like cod or haddock. The light, floral flavour was pleasant, if not that fishy, but with tartare sauce and a squeeze of lemon, it did the job. And let’s not forget the chips, which were thick, satisfying and grease-free. Perfect for slathering in the rich curry sauce or a generous portion of mushy peas. The batter, by the way, was great – crisp, but mercifully light – and it was a nice touch to offer items without it. And if kooky fish-free-fish isn’t your bag, there are plant-based burgers, pies and sausages galore.
It would have been so easy for Sutton and Sons to open a bog-standard vegan chippy serving deep-fried seitan and tofu and little else. Instead, time and thought have been put in to the project, resulting in genuinely interesting dishes. Sure, they don’t taste exactly like fish (good luck tracking down something that does), but the creative, tasty non-aquatic alternatives served here, by people who know their chip-shop game, are worth celebrating.