If you're looking for great vegetarian food in London then tibits restaurant is for you. It's different to most restaurants in that rather than choosing from a menu you go up to a buffet, choose as much or as little as you want from a range of up to 40 dishes which are then weighed so you only pay for exactly what you want.
Where is tibits?
tibits restaurant opened its first branch 17 years ago and now has eight branches, mostly in Switzerland but with two in London. We visited their Bankside branch, which is their newest restaurant, opening in June this year.
I'm so used to having two or three options on a menu, or worst, one, that when I go to a vegetarian restaurant I'm a bit like a kid in a sweetshop. tibits takes this to a whole new level as there's no pressure to make any decisions or choose just one dish - you can try just a little bit of as many of the dishes as you fancy. I started with a plate of salad and dips such as za'atar hummus, virgin bloody mary salad and tangy cauliflower with black sesame seeds. I then followed up with some hot dishes including samphire stir fry, lemon and pistachio rice and several delicious curries.
Is tibits good for vegans?
Vegans are well catered for as well. Most of the dishes on the summer sample menu are suitable for vegans. In fact I think this would be a brilliant choice of place to eat out for a group of friends, some of whom are vegan and some who aren't. The novelty of being able to select what to eat from a buffet and try lots of new things without committing to a whole plate of something that you're not sure whether you'll like or not would appeal to many meat eaters - my husband certainly did a good job of trying lots of new things!
How does it work?
You go up to the buffet with a plate, and select as much of the dishes you like the look of as you fancy. You then take your plate up to the counter and pay per weight for the food you've chosen - see below.
How much does it cost?
The cost is £2.80 per 100g for dinner, or £2.50 for lunch (you can do takeaway as well). Unless you're particularly good at judging how much food on a plate is going to weigh it's perhaps a little difficult to know how much you'll end paying. Our plates of food ended up costing something between £10-£15, so not that different to a typical restaurant.
Is there dessert?
Yes, yes, yes! Actually the dessert selection was one of my favourite parts. They had a rather nice looking bircher muesli. But I couldn't quite get over this being a breakfast food and so opted to try a piece of pineapple upside down cake, sticky toffee pudding AND cheesecake with a serving of vanilla cream. And this my friends, is the beauty of the tibits offering. If you've ever stared in agony at a dessert menu and wanted a little taste of all the options then this restaurant is perfect for you. And in case you're wondering the pineapple upside down cake was my favourite hands down.
Is it kid friendly?
We didn't take the kids with us, as we went in the evening and date nights for us parents who don't get out much are a. awesome and b. really important! However, I think my kids would LOVE tibits. We sometimes go to an Asian buffet with my parents and all three of my children love the excitement of taking their plate up to the counter and choosing what to put on it. They don't always choose the healthiest options however they'll get there one day I'm sure! And tibits certainly has a lot less beige food, salt and MSG than the Asian buffet we usually go to...
If you have small children tibits has a ground floor toilet with baby changing table and plenty of high chairs available. It does however have a few steps up to the front door so if you're coming with a buggy you'll need to carry it up.
We really enjoyed our night out at tibits. As a vegetarian it's brilliant to be able to choose from a selection of dishes and for non-vegetarians it's good to be able to try different things without committing to a single dish, especially if you're not familiar with or sure about vegetarian food. It's also brilliant for vegans.
Disclaimer: we were invited to tibits restaurant and received a free meal in return for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.