Bristol’s vegan community is already out in force to sample the wares of a unique new takeaway that is open by popular demand on a Monday evening.
But they are by no means the only early fans of Matter Fastfoods which opened its doors on Saturday and already seems to be attracting customers from far and wide.
The delicious waft of fried food hits me first when stepping inside what claims to be the UK’s first vegan fish and chip shop; this small Fishponds takeaway smelling possibly better than any chippy I’ve ever been in.
There are plant-based offerings aplenty on the surprisingly substantial menu, but with the waft of deep fried flavours already tantalising my taste buds, I opt for the ‘tofish and chips’ with a side of mushy peas in a bid to recreate the seaside staple.
Popularity aside, the proof will be in the plant-based pudding as to whether this friendly takeaway will stand the test of time or prove to be just a flash in the pan.
So can a battered tofu fillet take the place of the more traditional version?
Delicately flavoured, fried to perfection and accompanied with a lemon wedge, hot mushy peas and a bonus fresh side salad, the tofish was a taste revelation that left me satisfied but without the sick-to-my stomach full of a more traditional greasy takeaway.
And leaving the best to last: the chips. Always my own favourite of any fish and chip supper, the ‘proper chipshop’ chips were lavishly coated with salt and vinegar, fried to a golden brown crunch and tasted as good as any I’ve ever devoured on the harbour side of Cornwall’s finest fishing ports.
Matter Fastfoods is the brainchild of Jon Aron – the owner of Matter Wholefoods in Easton – and its ethos is not just to cater for vegans, but to offer all customers a healthy, plant-based takeaway alternative that actually tastes good.
The company is committed to sustainability, makes deliveries with an electric van and uses only organic produce, with this refreshingly down-to-earth outlook and failure to boast about these facts setting it apart.
With prices that better reflect the takeaway total of my childhood, my tofish and chips, with a side of mushy peas and an elderflower presse set me back £7.70 – another reason, if any more were needed, why a vegan alternative could be the way ahead.
Matter Fastfoods, 660 Fishponds Road, Bristol, BS16 3HJ
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