Isle of Wight’s Craft restaurant specializes in vegan cuisine

Plant-based food is now common. So much so, we weren’t even going to mention that Craft in Ryde is a vegan place – although it’s hard to pass by with the word VEGAN shining in neon pink on the restaurant’s wall.

Craft is aiming squarely between the eyes of the fast food market with a menu consisting almost exclusively of pizzas, burgers and fries – let’s face it, it’s all about convenience these days.

Our burger was a meat imitator; fake moos declared sumptuous; dense and satisfying. The disc was contained in a decent bun and
topped with sauces, leaves and the obligatory pickle.

Our Mediterranean pizza (main image, above) was a classic dish loaded with familiar ingredients. The dough had the right level of elasticity, topped with Craft’s mozzarella equivalent (Mozza-Hella-Yeah).

The hamburger.

Sun-dried tomatoes and olives punctuated the creamy mozz with their salty tang; the basil pesto gave the moist slices a rewarding Italian flavor.

The burger pizza was a bit of a hybrid – maybe neither side won the battle. It wasn’t a flimsy pizza, but with the proto-patty it needed natural flavors such as basil and garlic.

We got dirty with the delicious fries. These skinny fries were a meal in themselves; a decent bowl – plenty for two to share.

We loved the stimulating blend of flavors created by the sweet chili sauce and garlic mayonnaise, the chive pieces and the pickled red cabbage garnish.

Our dinner at Craft was relaxed and filling; the charming but unpretentious environment was matched by surprisingly plentiful food.

Loaded fries have just made it to the evening menu, and of the two pizzas we preferred the Mediterranean as it was more honest about its origins.

Isle of Wight County Press: Dirty fries turned out delicious.Dirty fries turned out delicious.

Craftsmanship can appeal to curious vegans with the use of tastes that give insight into the food’s flavor profile but aren’t too outlandish to put off traditionalists.

However, we prefer something genuine and not some weird simulacrum.

Would a carnivore really be fooled by this Moving Mountains burger with its juicy beet bleed? And, more pertinently, why go to so much trouble trying? It’s probably just us.

We are happy to recommend this friendly restaurant. The cooking was gloriously assured, and the honesty and flavors of the tomato and olive pizza showed true craftsmanship.

MATT AND CAT’S BILL:

Classic burger £8
Mediterranean pizza £14
Burger pizza 14€
Dirty fries £5.50

TOTAL: £41.50

EVALUATION: Four stars. Really very good; well worth seeking out.

CONTACT DETAILS:

Craft Vegan, 9 Esplanade, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2DY.

T: 01983 812413

W: craftvegan.co.uk

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