This is the very first time that I’ve tried dirty south dining and boy oh boy have I been missing out! Being vegan it can be pretty difficult to find a restaurant that caters for my dairy intolerance; so when my meat-eating boyfriend and I came across this quirky gem of a restaurant, in Spitalfields London, we were thrilled to both find something delicious to eat in the very same place!
To say this place is crazy is an an absolute understatement! We browsed the huge menu from a cute wooden dining booth furnished with suitcases for seats and lit up by a pair of binoculars wired to the ceiling above us. The staff were so attentive, energetic, fun and friendly and felt much more like old friends chatting to us about our day than the typical hurried, stressed-out waiting staff at large chain restaurants. Talking us through the menu, our waitress answered all of our questions about portion sizes and helped us to pick a cocktail each when we were too spoilt for choice.
We soon discovered that Absurd Bird is all about celebrating difference, focusing on crazy colourful shapes and sizes, good humour and great food catering to meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike which is quite a winning combination. Oh, and the cocktails are 2-for-1 all day everyday!
I began my meal with a starter of cajun vegan bites which are made from battered broccoli and cauliflower served with a buffalo sauce, followed by a vegan chickpea and sweet potato burger patty served with salad, tomato and Sriracha – a red chilli and garlic sauce.
The cajun bites were incredible, the vegetables were so soft and succulent, coated beautifully in a light and crispy batter that crunched with every bite and topped off perfectly with a zingy hot dipping sauce that left my tongue tingling. Equally, the chickpea and sweet potato burger was jam-packed with vegetables, generously sized and refreshingly moreish with crisp salad in a huge fluffy bun.
However, a visit to a dirty south restaurant wouldn’t be complete without chicken, cheese and waffles! So we also ordered some side dishes to celebrate our love for cheese with these three delights quite possibly being a months supply of cheese-intake in just one go. I had the vegan mac and cheese option whilst my boyfriend had traditional mac and cheese along with mac and cheese balls – I didn’t even know that was a thing!
My boyfriend says: “The mac and cheese balls are sooo tasty and definitely something to come back for! I love the crisp breadcrumbs combined with the soft gooey centre of macaroni that is drenched in creamy cheese. Tasting both the regular and vegan options it’s so hard for me to believe that the dairy-free isn’t made with regular cheese, it seems so real.”
My boyfriend then followed his cheese-fest with a signature Total Melt and dessert of waffles, ice cream and caramel. Illustrated seemingly by a mad scientist on the menu, the innovative total melt served in a glass jug features a buffalo chicken waffle slider, buffalo chicken wings, buffalo chicken tenders, celery and tomato dippers and a cheese fondue with deep fried baby bell, cheese dust and tortilla chips. Wow!
The dinner jug was huge, crazy fun, delightfully hands on and drenched in cheese with the fondue, baby bells and cheese dust, right after a dish of mac and cheese with a side of mac and cheese balls – my boyfriend was literally in heaven grinning from ear to ear for the most triumphant cheat day of his life. No matter how much my boyfriend eats he always makes room for dessert as he has the sweetest tooth on the planet for which the waffles, ice cream and caramel went down a treat.
Our tummies triumphantly full, fuelled by cocktails and giggling over the absurdity of the quirky interior and ever-entertaining staff, we left our lunch with face ache from smiling, ready to return home for a contented nap and wacky cheese-fuelled dreams; 100% worth a visit should you ever find yourself in London, Leeds, Exeter, Bath or Glasgow.