Don’t Miss: Brighton’s Newest Vegan Venture, BangBaoBy Alicia Grimshaw
The OG city for vegan cuisine, Brighton has always been a hub for plant-based culinary delights. From vegan fried chicken to not one, but two, plant-based doner kebab joints, this seaside city has become a sounding board for vegan innovation.
Making their mark on the forever-growing vegan scene in Brighton is newly opened BangBao, located in the iconic North Laines. Due to lockdown restrictions, the venture – started by Amy Bennett, 21, and Dominic Sherriff, 26 – is operating as takeaway only via Uber Eats, but their animal-free wares have already proved popular with locals.
The duo met while working as head pastry chef and head chef respectively at a vegetarian restaurant in Brighton. Amy and Dominic wanted to start their own restaurant because they felt their workplace, although not serving meat, didn’t align with other environmental standards they believe in. Challenging themselves and transitioning to completely vegan cooking, after four months of planning, (in the peak of the pandemic), the pair quit their jobs and BangBao was born.
Expect trailblazing plant-powered dishes that showcase Amy and Dominic’s creative flair and knack for turning humble vegetables into forward-thinking Asian inspired dishes. Enjoy the likes of Indonesian-style pork belly bao bun, with caramelised apple puree, crackling crumb, coriander and gem lettuce. The pork is made from scratch by Dominic, who after much trial and error, worked out how to create a product with the same texture, richness and flavour as a pork belly, using tofu and tapioca, and a secret blend of spices.
Also on the menu is roast ‘beef’, cured and coloured from beetroot and other veg flavourings, the ‘beef’ is from house-made seitan, and it’s marbled to look exactly like real beef, with the fat made from cellulose and other veg proteins. And for something sweet, the raw cookie dough bites, made from coconut oil, matcha powder and cacao nibs are just the ticket.
All the takeaway packaging is environmentally friendly – made from recycled materials sourced from a UK supplier – and the vegetable produce is from East Sussex to reduce food miles.
While this is probably the first time you’ve heard of Bangbao, take it from us – it won’t be your last.