Café Van Gogh, Brixton

Please note that due to Copyright Trolls, all images have been removed until I can manually review them, one by one, and ensure credit is appropriately displayed. So if the story suddenly makes no sense, then...well...soz.

This is a long process, so please bear with me...it will likely take until the end of 2024 until all images are reviewed and displayed correctly. Sigh.

He loves gravy and is kooky, anonymous and spooky, he eats roast dinners every Sunday, it is the Lord Gravy. And this week he went to Café Van Gogh in Brixton.

Yet all is not what it seems, as he awaken to find himself handcuffed to a bed.

“Buenas tardes, Lord Gravy”.

Attractive Spanish woman.

What is going on? Lord Gravy looked around, realising that he wasn’t in his own bed. What happened the night before? Why is he in bed with a hot Spanish señorita? And why the fuck is he writing in the third person?

“Did you sleep well, my darling?”.

“Can I offer you something to help you wake up?”.

Too many thoughts going through Lord Gravy’s mind right now, but this was an infinitely better scenario than last Halloween’s kidnapping. So far…

Isabella, topless to Lord Gravy’s delight, reached over him to grab a small plastic bag from the bedside table, and a key.

“Bump of coke, Lord Gravy?”.

He’s creepy and he’s ketty

“That was ketamine”.

“Oops, silly me”, replied Isabella. “Well, we need to get up, Lord Gravy, we’ve got a table booked for a roast dinner”.

A hot Spanish woman that likes roast dinners? Could this Halloween get any better? But how did this happen?

10 minutes later, Isabella and a rather wonky Lord Gravy, were on their way to Café Van Gogh, hand in hand. But Lord Gravy was confused before the ketamine, let alone after. How to find out who she was, without ruining what could be a dream kidnapping? Or was this just a dream? What even is reality? Are we all just constructing our own reality around us?

Maybe all these people don’t actually exist? Perhaps all the other people in my existence are what my brain has created to keep me occupied. Sorry, to keep Lord Gravy occupied. He’s never going to be able to stick to writing in the third person, is he? Fucking northern comprehensive schools.

Attractive Spanish woman.

“All my life, I’ve dreamed of meeting an overweight British man, with a few teeth missing, who writes poetically about crap British food”.

“When I read your blog, I instantly knew it was you, Lord Gravy. And how cute that you have spent all your life looking for a Spanish wife, ever since you fell in love with a holiday resort rep in Mallorca”.

Lord Gravy finally managed to mutter some words, “so how did you find me…I’m supposed to be anonymous”.

Anonymous like gravy

“You gave the game away last night, when you went to Chez Bruce. I worked out which table you were on from the photographs you posted, followed you onto the tube, with two of my friends to make it look more normalmente – we were all dressed for a Halloween fiesta, and we got talking. We invited you to una fiesta, and, well…now we are la pareja de ensueño”.

“Eh?”.

“The dream couple, Lord Gravy. No hablas español, Lord Gravy?”.

“Hablo un poco…yo enseño de Duolingo”.

“Aprendo…no enseño”.

The dream couple arrived at Café Van Gogh, to the continued confusion of Lord Gravy.

“Don’t we need to get on the tube? I’ve booked to meet my regular accomplice at a pub in east London.”.

“Oh, I changed our booking, Lord Gravy. Somewhere we can walk to…don’t worry, your accomplice knows”.

They’re all together ooky

Cafe Van Gogh is a community-focused cafe based on the edge of Brixton – walking distance from Oval tube station.

They are a not for profit organisation, who employ people with disabilities, aim for zero waste and “try to make the right ethical choices”.

Anti-wokies out there currently crying into their angry cornflakes. Suella Braverman…this place is not for you.

Inside Cafe Van Gogh was pretty small, both us and another small group were crowded around the entrance, whilst we waited for a group upstairs to finish – it was pretty cosy in there, and pretty warm too.

Photo stolen from Google as I was too scared to photograph the whole place:

Café Van Gogh inside, stolen from Google review - sorry Google.

Overall, the vibe was cute and artsy. But could they do a good roast dinner?

Lord Gravy likes a roast

Café Van Gogh, roast dinner menu

“There’s…only…vegan…roasts…”.

“Es cierto. You remember your vow to me, last night, don’t you?”.

“Yes, of course”.

“Lord Gravy, I’m so touched that you already love me enough to convert to veganism. I thought I’d need longer to convert you. Together we will save the world – la pareja de ensueño”.

“Yeah…”.

“And if you ever eat meat again, I’ll chop off your ear”.

Lord Gravy looked startled. “It’s a joke, Lord Gravy. Van Gogh…chop your ear off…”.

Options were limited if you wanted a roast dinner – you could either have a nut, beetroot and chickpea wellington, or you could have a nut, beetroot and chickpea wellington. However, if you have a nut allergy and message them ahead of time, they do have an alternative pastry with rice thing.

Our roasts took around 10 minutes to arrive –

Café Van Gogh, vegan roast dinner

So, put a witch’s shawl on

Soooooo…welcome to Vegan Roast Dinners in London.

I bet you thought it would never happen. Sorry, Lord Gravy bets that you thought it would never happen.

Let’s start with the carrots, as is traditional. Lord Gravy should at least like the carrots on a vegan roast dinner, but they were far too tough. You might be surprised to know that Lord Gravy has in the past eaten at a raw food restaurant, and these carrots were close to uncooked.

Some people like their carrots this crunchy – Lord Gravy isn’t keen. But at least they were freshly not cooked much, and had a hint of herbs.

Red cabbage isn’t Lord Gravy’s favourite vegetable, so it is slightly ironic that it is being served on his first roast dinner of his new vegan love life. And here it had a slight wateriness. He didn’t eat it all – it was rather tiring, but it wasn’t totally unappealing.

Five roast potatoes were supplied – vegans really fucking with the system by going well past the London legal limit of three roast potatoes.

All were crispy to some respect, but in a chewy and tough kind of way. You’d have thought that a vegan restaurant could be able to do good roast potatoes – but it was almost like they’d tried to ruin roast potatoes.

“Nom, nom, nom, Lord Gravy”, smiled Isabella, whilst Lord Gravy began to consider other nationalities of attractive women.

Some ket so you are crawling

Café Van Gogh, vegan Sunday roast

The Yorkshire pudding was strange. However it had some appeal – it kind of reminded Lord Gravy of the texture of a doughnut, along with a fried taste. It certainly wasn’t a Yorkshire pudding, and you could hate it if you wanted to – but Lord Gravy quite liked it. Quite.

The wellington filling was of more appeal than the “pastry”. The flavour of the filling was not a million miles from sage and onion stuffing, the crunch of the nuts had appeal, and the coarseness of the chickpeas added some further texture. However, the soggy pastry holding it together was kind of simulating sweaty cardboard.

Finally, the gravy. Resembling the texture of wallpaper paste, it was one of the thickest gravies that Lord Gravy had had for some time…at least in London establishments.

It was quite lacking in flavour, though with a hint of onion. It could have been worse.

“Es sabroso, sí, Lord Gravy? Muy beuño”.

“Erm…yeah…can we leave and go pour milk over the floor at M&S now please?”.

He’s had a vegan roast, Lord Gravy’s family

“5 stars, sí, Lord Gravy?”.

“Well, I’m thinking more 4.5…out of…”.

Let’s cut the crap. Café Van Gogh is a wonderful community enterprise, a home from home for those into plant-based diets, a cute café with really sweet people running it – service was good and friendly throughout.

With sincere apologies for a negative review, but Café Van Gogh doesn’t need me to love their roast dinner. And I didn’t love it. That I disliked the vegetables is kind of problematic when reviewing a vegan roast dinner, the roast potatoes were too chewy to be enjoyed and the pastry of the wellington was quite ghastly.

Minor compliments – the gravy was thick and inoffensive, and I quite enjoyed the doughnut-like yorkie, though not in preference to a normal yorkie.

But I’m not supposed to like it. This isn’t aimed at me. So if you happen to be a vegan and are reading my blog about meat dinners, or just like experimenting with vegan food – do consider them. I’m not their target audience, after all.

My score is a 4.55 out of 10. My accomplice scored it a 6.01 out of 10 and my imaginary Spanish wife scored it a 10 out of 10. Or is she imaginary?

I’ll be back next week, and probably not reviewing a vegan roast dinner. Probably never again reviewing a vegan roast dinner. I tried…

Liz Truss on the phone, possibly ordering ketamine.

Yeah I’m going to need three grams of ketamine for my meeting later…

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Summary:

Café Van Gogh, Brixton

Station: Oval

Tube Lines: Northern

Fare Zone: Zone 2

Price: £16.00

Rating: 4.55

Get Booking

https://www.cafevangogh.co.uk/

Instagrim

Loved & Loathed

Loved: Well, I liked the idea behind the enterprise. And I guess the weird vegan yorkie thing was curious.

Loathed: Roast potatoes chewy, carrots too tough, gravy lacking flavour and vegan pastry ghastly. I'm never going vegan. Soz.

2 responses to “Café Van Gogh, Brixton

  1. Well, you tried. Vegan and vegetarian dishes are probably better when they don’t try to imitate something else. I guess they couldn’t think of a dessert which didn’t contain something forbidden and just went with wine.

    1. I think you could definitely do an awesome vegetarian roast dinner…at least an 8/10, in theory. Only really the meat and gravy needs changing.

      Vegan is more difficult. But I didn’t even like the carrots.

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