by CHLOE London review – Vegan fast food
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The famous by CHLOE vegan restaurant has come to London. The brand that originally started selling trendy vegan fast food in New York City has made it over here. They’re selling some London exclusives and the coveted classics that gave by CHLOE its reputation. Of course, everything is dairy free!
Since it opened a few weeks ago, my friend and photographer Izzii (who took all the amazing photos in this post, check out her Instagram!) suggested we try it out and review some of the top picks off their menu.
Find reviews below of by CHLOE’s…
- Daily Pancake
- The Guac Burger
- Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese
- Espresso and Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Beetroot Ketchup and Chipotle Aioli
The restaurant doesn’t disappoint in terms of Instagramable features. There’s a neon sign (pictured below) for taking those all important shots. As well as toilet mirrors with ‘yas queen’ and little crowns in case you fancy snapping while washing your hands (?). The décor is very cute with swinging chairs, distressed mirrors, and striped wallpaper.
The packaging also has that Instagram vibe; pleasingly simple graphic design representations of the food embossed on white paper bags. It’s touches like these that sets the restaurant apart, you really get the feeling they’ve thought about every little touch, nothing is phoned-in or half-assed.
I should also mention that the staff were really polite and friendly. They took their time to explain what was in the dishes and also turned the neon sign on for us. Not to mention putting up with us taking multiple photos.
The drinks are very ‘on trend’. You’ll see a variety of kombuchas and juices all at eye-watering marked up prices; a 330ml bottle of kombucha was £5.20, we saw the same bottle in a wholefoods store for £2.50 later on that day.
Saying that, the kombucha was delicious. We got the Royal Flush, first flush Darjeeling, it was sweet, slightly lemony, and had a bit of a yeasty (sorry) beery kick.
When it came to the food, there was plenty of choice. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try the London special of Fish ‘N Chips which was sold out. Instead we got The Guac Burger, the Daily Pancake, a small Mac ‘N Cheese, and a Cinnamon and Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookie.
The Daily Pancakes
What is it? – Dense, moist banana pancakes with walnuts and dark chocolate chips which you can smother in whipped cashew maple butter and maple syrup.
Value for money? – Pricey! The price was in the £7-£8 region (I forgot to ask for a receipt, sorry!) and for that we got two pancakes which were topped with bananas and came with maple syrup and the butter complimentary. Average for breakfast in central London and they will fill you up. 3/5
Appearance – Like everything at by CHLOE they’re very cute and appealing. Leaving the maple syrup and butter on the side means you can ruin the aesthetic yourself by drenching them in toppings. The only thing that would have improved them would be having some chopped walnuts and chocolate chips on the top to indicate what’s inside. 4/5
Texture – A little fluffy and very gooey with a nice textural contrast coming from the nuts and chocolate, very reminiscent of banana bread. They absorbed the topping very nicely. 4.5/5
Taste – They taste as though someone griddled banana bread and then drenched it in maple syrup and butter, so pretty great really! The butter adds a really nice salty contrast to the sweet. The dark chocolate is a nice slightly bitter surprise when you get to it. 5/5
Overall – 16.5/20 – The price is really the only thing that lets them down. I think they are very much worth a try and you will be surprised that they’re vegan.
The Guac Burger
What is it? – The Guac Burger contains a vegan bean patty covered in guacamole and sweet corn salsa in a fluffy wholemeal bun.
Value for money? – Quite overpriced. This was £9 for just the burger. Fries are £4.50 and have to be bought separately which is a pretty hefty price. I don’t quite understand what justifies this price, even if it is central London. 2/5
Appearance – It came in a cute little bag with a burger icon stamped on the front. The burger itself looked very clean, everything stayed in its rightful place and the guacamole provided a nice burst of green keeping it looking fresh. The patty itself looked a lot like a regular thin brown fast food patty, so not entirely appealing. Yet, the whole thing together with the bun looked almost as perfect as the burger icon on the packaging. 4/5
Texture – There wasn’t a huge amount of contrast between the textures which is something that I feel a burger benefits from. The bean patty is soft, the guac is soft, and the bun is soft it all kind of melds into one. However, they did manage to counter this nicely with a sweet corn salsa and crunchy onions. 3.5/5
Taste – It tastes how you’d imagined really. The patty was beany and nicely seasoned. The guacamole was fresh and vibrant, with a good hint of coriander. The salsa was a little hard to detect for me. I did end up having to add some of the ketchup and aioli myself. I’m not saying it was bland, everything was well seasoned, but it didn’t really blow me away either. 3/5
Overall – 12.5/5 – This again comes down to the price being far too high for what it was. Definitely a nice burger, but I could get the Cajun chickpea wrap from prêt which has the same flavour profile for half the price.
Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese
What is it? – Not in fact macaroni at all but conchiglie in a thick smoky ‘cheese’ sauce, topped with mushroom bacon, breadcrumbs, and a smattering of parsley.
Value for money? – Not really. We got the smaller size, which was around £4.80, the bigger size was around £8 (again sorry for not getting the receipt but those were pretty much the prices). It was quite filling though and would be good for a light lunch. Either way, it’s pretty steep for what is just pasta and a veggie sauce. 3/5
Appearance – With the ‘bacon’ and other toppings this is a bit of a stunner. The only thing that gave it away as not being full of dairy was the that the sauce wasn’t quite smooth and a little more naturally orangey (according to Izzii it was more orange than it had been the other two times she had it). 4/5
Texture – The sauce was creamy and coated the pasta wonderfully. The ‘bacon’ had a nice chew to it. The breadcrumbs provided a bit of texture. My only complaint was that the pasta was a bit more on the done side and was almost mushy which was a little disappointing. Nonetheless, this is fast food and it’s not like they could spend 10 minutes cooking your pasta so it isn’t a huge problem. 3.5/5
Taste – It didn’t exactly taste like cheese but it did taste quite a lot like pure comfort and to be honest I’m not a huge fan of fake cheese flavour anyway. It was more like a creamy smoky, rich sauce that is pretty addictive. The ‘bacon’ also added to the smokiness making this a real treat. 4.5/5
Overall – 15/20 – I’d definitely recommend giving this a try for the ‘bacon’ alone. This would be great on a cold day, true comfort food. Trying not to sound like a broken record but this is pretty expensive for a small pot of pasta, especially when it’s so cheap to make at home.
Cinnamon and Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookie
What is it? – A rather big, thin, crispy chocolate chip cookie with a hit of espresso and cinnamon. Not bad to look at either.
Value for money? – Not too bad. This was around £2.50, which is about what I’d expect to pay for a cookie in London, especially since this was quite big. 4/5
Appearance – I can’t really fault the appearance here; what’s more appealing than a massive cookie dotted with melted chocolate chips. I was actually originally going to buy the classic chocolate chip cookie but when I saw this one I just couldn’t resist. 5/5
Texture – A crisp cookie rather than the chewy cookie l was expecting, making it the perfect texture to dip in a hot drink. The crispness was really nice in contrast to the melty chocolate (yum!). 4/5
Taste – The cookie tasted more like a traditional chocolate chip cookie than I was expecting. There was a hint of coffee but I couldn’t really detect the cinnamon (although Izzii said she could so that might just be me). So I was a little disappointed, but the cookie was still delicious and I’d have never guessed it was vegan unless I had already known. 3.5/5
Overall – 16.5/20 – Lacking a bit in the espresso and cinnamon department but it was made up for with being crisp and chocolaty. A really good vegan cookie.
Bonus round: Chipotle Aioli and Beetroot Ketchup
What are they? – Sauces that are unique to by CHLOE, you can help yourself to as much as you want from pumps in the restaurant.
Value for money? – Yesss! Completely free, since the containers come with lids you can take as many as you want and stuff them in your bag if you’re sneaky. 5/5
Chipotle Aioli – Smokey, creamy, vinegary, and quite sweet. Makes a great accompaniment to the burger and I could imagine it going nicely with fries. Perhaps a little sweeter than I would’ve liked but I’m not complaining. 4/5
Beetroot ketchup – I’m probably a bit biased here since I don’t like ketchup or beetroots all that much and this one didn’t do it for me. It had a strong beetroot flavour with the classic vinegary sweetness of ketchup. If that sounds good to you then I imagine you’ll love this, personally I’ll stick to the aioli. 2.5/5
So, is it worth a visit?
Definitely. The prices are hiked up because it’s a famous brand in the centre of London and I think they are a little high for what’s on offer. Nonetheless, the food is fresh and delicious with a lot of variety. I’m disappointed not to have tried the Fish ‘N Chips because they sounded pretty interesting, but I’ve heard good things. It’s also just really nice to go somewhere where you can eat everything off the menu.
The service was very friendly and the food came out promptly. Note that it was pretty quiet when we got there and I’ve heard that it can get very busy so the waiting times we had may not be indicative of more popular times.#
In terms of food I would definitely recommend the Daily Pancake, Mac ‘N Cheese, and the sweet items. The burger was nice but the price was slightly mind-boggling, especially since you’d have to buy fries separately.
If you aren’t a fan of Instagram culture and seeing people take pictures of food annoys you, you should probably give this a miss or get it to takeaway. Yes, we did take a lot of pictures and so did everyone else which is part of the point I guess. The aesthetic is one of the main attractions and the attention to detail was really impressive.
I would visit again but only on payday.
Again, a big thank you to Izzii for her photos. Follow her on Instagram.
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