Doughnut Time Sia Later

We recently took a trip away, which required us to take the train from London. Which meant that after quite a hectic couple of days away it seemed only right that we reward ourselves with another Doughnut Time. I think we managed about 50k steps over the two days we were away so we needed that sugar fix for the final hour train ride back home.

I decided to try the Sia Later doughnut, which was red velvet with cream cheese style icing on top and dried raspberries. Very similar to the Liam Hemsworthy one they did, but obviously without the brownie pieces! To give you an idea as to their size, here is a picture of it in my hand. Now I do have slightly smaller than normal hands but still…these doughnuts are genuinely colossal.

I really enjoyed this one, as the doughnut itself was pretty simple: red velvet, with icing. Personally, I found the icing very overpowering – but I find that icing is always overpowering – so I only managed about 3 bites before I had to scrape the icing off and actually enjoy the doughnut. The raspberries were a nice little tart addition, but there weren’t enough of them to be in every bite. Just one of two bites really had that sharp raspberry tang to it. So more raspberries would have been nice, along with less icing.

I am finding that when it comes to these types of desserts (the very extravagant, showy ones) less is definitely more and the simpler ideas are normally the better ideas. I’ve said before though, that with Doughnut Time it seems every single doughnut is a winner, so no matter which one you pick you are going to be in for a real treat, but in my personal opinion I think I will now stick to the simpler doughnuts as I seem to enjoy those most.

Again, Doughnut Time is really expensive. Each doughnut is about £5 so definitely not something I would eat on a regular basis. In reality I usually only have one of these doughnuts maybe once or twice a year, depending on how many times we actually venture into London for a tourist day. If you are visiting London, definitely pick one up just for the sheer experience of it, but for me this is definitely not something I could afford nor eat on too regular a basis.

Overall: 7/10. Doughnut is lovely, but needs less icing as gets very sickly very quickly.

T xxx

PSA: Choccy Dodgers!

A lady at work bought these in and turns out they are also vegan friendly! They are basically Jammie Dodgers…but with chocolate instead of jam. They are made by Jammie Dodgers so really there isn’t anything special about them, aside from the fact that they have chocolate in the middle.

Have any of you guys tried BN Biscuits? They are these sandwich cookies from France that are square, have a smiley face on the front and have a chocolate filling in the middle. My family I and used to go camping in Northern France a lot when I was little, and these cookies were a staple of those holidays. They are not vegan friendly, plus I think you can only buy them in France or via Amazon, but these new Choccy Dodgers genuinely take me back and are a nice little reminder of past holidays.

Not really ,much to say about these…they are Jammie Dodgers, but with chocolate. Personally, I do prefer the jam ones as an overall biscuit, but just for pure nostalgia reasons these chocolate ones are good. Give them a go!

Overall: 6/10. Chocolate biscuit, not really much to them, but a fun new addition to the vegan selection.

T xxx

Yo! Sushi vegan box and gyoza

I am normally so good with my weekday lunches: it’s usually a big bowl of fruit, some hummus and veggie sticks to dip, and a sandwich of some sort. It’s probably not the most perfect lunchtime meal, but it keeps me going for the rest of the day and sees me through to dinner. That being said, it does get quite boring after a while of eating the same things every day.

So I decided to treat myself to something a bit more exciting. Now the Yo! Sushi near me is constantly packed, so I did order this on UberEats to ensure I got what i actually wanted. I have never had Yo! before, so I went into this very blind, but seeing as how the local shop is always packed with people I assume it must be pretty good food.

I went for the vegan box as that seemed to give samples of each vegan sushi piece that they did, so would let me try them all without having to buy them all separately. I also went for the gyoza because….gyozas are always great! It came with six avocado maki, two inari tacs and three yasai rolls. Now the maki rolls are pretty standard – I don’t think it’s possible to make rice, acovado and seaweed taste bad – so are always yummy. The inari tacos were also very yummy, but they are super messy. That may be simply because I am not great with chopsticks, but they did seem to be packed to the brim with filling so every bite would send the filling out the other side. They also quite the kick of spice, which was quite a shock for me.

My personal favourite were the yasai rolls. The sweet tofu, the vegetables and the mayo and teriyaki sauces just add an extra layer to it all. It seemed like a good middle ground between the simple maki and the big inari tacos. I could have eaten a whole plate of just the yasai rolls, so I think I will definitely pick these up again!

The gyoza was not really my cup of tea. They were very tasty, but they were fried. Maybe it’s because I have only ever had gyoza from Wagamama’s where the gyoza are all boiled, so are obviously a lot lighter and softer. The fried ones were just…strange to me. Probably because it was not what I was used to. Also whatever they fried them in seemed to take a lot of the flavouring away from the actual gyoza contents. It seemed quite salty, so you will definitely need a drink with these to help wash them down. Still very tasty, but I think I prefer my gyoza soft rather than the hard fried version.

The thing that really shook me, was the price. I did buy through UberEats so obviously there was a slight increase in price than if I had gone to the shop in person, but even then the two packets cost about £15 – just on their own!! Um…WHAT? Now the food was very yummy, but was it really £15 worth of yummy? This would literally be something I order maybe once or twice a year, let alone on a monthly basis. I mean £15 would probably be enough to make my lunches for a week (if not two!) so to spend it all on one meal seems stupid to me. Especially when you think of some of the other options out there, it seems expensive even for sushi. I am glad I tried it, because I’d wanted to for ages and wanted to see if the hype was legit, but now that I have I don’t think I’ll be going there too often…unless I declare bankruptcy.

Overall: 6/10. Super overpriced, but worth the very rare indulgence.

T xxx

Linda McCartney’s tomato and basil meatballs

I think I have found the meatball of all meatballs. The best of the best. In the ranking of vegan meatballs, these are currently top of the board.

Linda McCartney is normally a pretty sure thing: No matter what you choose from the entire range, it’s going to be good. The food isn’t amazing, but it is consistently high quality. I always make sure to have some of the mince or the chicken pieces in my freezer because they add that little bit of protein and little extra something to a meal without much effort.

These were tomato and basil flavoured meatballs, so in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have used them in a tomato and basil sauce. They are really good though. They taste like spaghetti (probably easiest way to describe the flavour) without having any overpowering flavours. The texture is also a lot lighter and softer than most other meatballs: I find with meatballs they tend to be really solid, chewy balls that can end up being very stodgy and filling. But these ones almost crumble when you eat them. They maintain their shape really well so don’t worry about them falling off your fork or anything, but they really do seem to melt in your mouth and are very light and airy meatballs.

Price wise, Linda McCartney is a bit pricier than others on the market. Being one of the first brands to even offer vegetarian food (let along vegan!) meant they could charge whatever they liked and people would have to buy them as they were really the only option. But nowadays there are so many options out there, they need to start being a bit more competitive. Now you do get 15 meatballs in a bag, and as they are frozen they can easily do you about 4-5 meals, without any need to eat them all quickly before they go off. Definitely a good thing in my book and will definitely be picking these up for those emergency meal plans.

Overall: 10/10. So far the winners in the meatball race.

T xxx

Wicked! Birthday cake ice cream

Don’t….I already know. It is Wicked so it will probably be disappointing. Ironic right?

I bought this a while ago when they released a load of new products, that I had hoped meant they had maybe improved some of their recipes and actually made food that is…well…nice. But so far, none of it has been good and so I am now steering completely clear of Wicked products.

This ice cream, for the most part, is alright. It’s nothing special, but wasn’t terrible (which is kind of what I had expected for a Wicked product). It tastes like Birthday cake, and it is creamy enough to be ice cream, but it doesn’t do anything new with the formula and doesn’t really impress you with any of it. It’s good….it tastes like what it says it should taste like. But it is nothing groundbreaking or anything to get too excited about.

There isn’t really anything to say about this. It is ice cream, and it tastes like birthday cake. There are also lumps of cake within the ice cream, which is quite a nice addition, but otherwise it is pretty basic. I don’t really know what more can be said.

Overall: 5/10. It’s alright. Nothing fantastic, but nothing terrible.

T xxx

Doughnut Time Candyman

A trip into London is not complete until you have been to Doughnut Time. They have shops in Covent Garden, Soho and Borough, so are pretty easy to find if you are in the main central parts of London. I will always recommend visiting them too because their range of doughnuts change throughout the year and every one I have tried has been to die for! So with a free day and lovely sunny weather (for October in England anyway) I took a day trip into London, mostly for a change of scenery and to make a start on my Christmas shopping. It was therefore only right to grab a little treat on the way back…

I decided to try their Candyman doughnut, which as you can see is shaped like a little ghost. Mine did get a little bit squished on the journey home, but hopefully the picture shows you the size and detail of it. I have tried their Hemsworthy doughnut before and in all honesty I could not have eaten one of their huge doughnuts again! Don’t get me wrong, this Candyman was still pretty big compared to most doughnuts out there, but my Doughnut Time standards he is absolutely tiny.

I really enjoyed this. The doughnut dough was light and soft, and the icing was sugary but not overwhelmingly so. I wasn’t feeling sugar sickness after the first two bites like I normally do, and it was just the right amount of sugar. That being said, I definitely could not eat these on a regular basis because my arteries truly could not cope with this, but as a once/twice a year treat? It definitely carbs all sugar cravings you may have for at least 6 months.

Now it does say that there it is filled with Lotus Biscoff in the middle, but I barely had any. As you can see from the picture I had maybe one tiny little drop of it, to the point that I couldn’t even taste it compared to the sugar. I am sure you know how flavourful Biscoff is, so to not even realise it was in the doughnut while I was eating it says a lot for just how little there was in it. I think I had maybe one bite that had even a slight Biscoff taste, but the rest was just your standard sugar doughnut.

Obviously this is a Halloween exclusive doughnut so it probably won’t be around for ages, and I do wonder if it will ever come back again. I actually preferred this to some of the bigger, more extravagant doughnuts that they have on sale. Don’t get me wrong, they are all brilliant and you’d be happy with whatever doughnut you pick, but I preferred Candyman because it was quite a simple design that tasted lovely. Sometimes that is all you need. It’s also probably the first doughnut I have tried from them that didn’t leave me lying on my couch in a sugar coma.

Price wise, these things are expensive. £4.95 per doughnut! But at the same time, the doughnuts are huge, and they do all look every impressive. They also taste amazing, so the price is pretty justified. Doughnut Time also only seem to have shops in London and Reading, so unless you live in those areas this is not a store that you can visit on a regular basis. Hence why I only ever get one when I am on a day trip into London, because after a day of walking around 20K steps through the streets of London, I feel a posh Doughnut has definitely been earned!

Overall: 9/10. The Biscoff addition is pointless, but this is definitely a wonderful seasonal addition that I hope they bring back next Halloween!

T xxx

Richmond meat free meatballs

I am a big fan of the Richmond meat free sausages, so was very excited to see them expanding their range slightly. I noticed these, along with some bacon rashers that I will also be trying in the next few weeks. The meat free meatballs currently on the market have been very slim, and the one or two I have tried have either turned into blocks of cement when cooked or are just mushy no matter how much you try to cook them.

I was very impressed with these. Richmond have done it again!

These are really good. Be warned they are kind of weird when you first take them out of the packet, because they are quite a wet, patty-like texture. But once cooked they crisp up lovely and have that wonderful soft centre you want in a meatball. They are also surprisingly filling: You get 16 in a packet, but honestly 4 or 5 is more than enough for a decent meal. Don’t let their small size deceive you!

They are also grease free – some meatballs I have tried end up leaving a thin layer of grease across your baking tray which is then a) gross and b) a nightmare to clean up afterwards. But the Richmond meatballs appear to have little to zero grease. Which is also surprising because they still manage to cook really well, and get a lovely even crispy outside without too much assistance from you.

Downside, is that there isn’t that much flavour to them. The sausages have a load of spices and herbs in them to make them taste exactly like the meat product it is trying to replace, and they therefore do make a really good meal on their own. The meatballs however are really quite plain. That being said, I guess they are made to be added to a sauce so you can always add more flavours to them if needed/wanted. So absolutely perfect to add to your spag bol!

Price wise, I picked these up for £3, so again slightly pricey compared to other options on the market. However, you could potentially get 4 meals out of one packet so I guess that is pretty good value for your money. I also imagine they could be pretty versatile and could be used in a number of different dishes, so you can easily make something tasty using these.

Overall: 6/10. Very plain, but a lot of potential.

T xxx

Tesco Free From choc orange bar

Guys I think I have found it…the vegan chocolate orange bar to beat all others. I am sure that we are all aware by now about my utter disappointment with Tesco, following their changing of the ingredients in their own brand chocolate bars to now contain milk. As such, I have not been able to find a decent flavoured chocolate bar, aside from the really plain and simple ‘milk chocolate’ and ‘dark chocolate’.

I found this at my local in the free from section while I was actually looking for something else. I thought I would give it a try because in all honesty the free from chocolate bars are quite nice anyway so even if it isn’t perfect, I knew it wouldn’t be awful.

This is DEFINITELY orange. I would say it was almost the exact same taste as a Terry’s chocolate orange – at least so far as my memory serves – so that is a massive win for me. The chocolate itself is surprisingly creamy (I find plain chocolate can sometimes taste slightly powdery for whatever reason) but the orange flavour was strong and made for a lovely chocolate bar. That being said the orange flavour can at times be a little bit too strong, where it clearly didn’t mix as evenly as wanted, so there were a few mouthfuls that were overpoweringly orange. Could get quite sickly I imagine if you had a whole bar that was poorly mixed, but for the most part I have found that a few squares every now and again just give you a nice little sugar rush and nice fruity pick me up.

Unfortunately there is the free from/vegan tax imposed – granted the whole bar only costed £1.50, but seeing as I could otherwise have bought a dairy version for £1 and an actual Terry’s chocolate orange for around 70p in some stores, it does seem slightly unfair that I have to pay more for an item that (in theory) has less ingredients in it. But I also understand supply and demand so hopefully the more people who buy this bar, the more demand soars and the cheaper Tesco can start to sell them for. Until eventually one hopes the dairy versions are the more expensive options and the vegan ones are the cheapest.

Overall: 9/10. Vegan tax is rude, but worth it for the long run.

T xxx