Jersey has long been recognised as a foodie destination. We are mighty proud of our restaurants that serve the finest local produce. This might be a small island but we compete with the big guys when it comes to our food. For an island that is just 9 by 5 miles, we have an impressive array of restaurants. Whether you want family friendly grub or Michelin starred elegance, there is a restaurant with your name on it. However, until very recently, there was one area of the market that Jersey was seriously lacking – tasty Vegan food. It’s lacking no more (finally) because we now have The Sinful Vegan.
The Dying High Street
St Helier, like many towns and cities on the mainland, is having something of a crisis. Battling to lure customers to shop isn’t easy when you are fighting against a woeful lack of parking. We should know, our Saturday mornings are often spent scouring for a car park space. Then there is the other enemy of the high street – internet shopping. Why are we going to drag ourselves into town when we can just sit at home, click and have our shopping delivered to us? Plus, it’s often far cheaper to shop online.
With more and more empty shop fronts appearing every month, it takes a brave person to open up a new business in St Helier. However, the owners of the Sinful Vegan are clearly not only very brave but also very sassy. Just off the main King Street, and behind the market, you will find The Sinful Vegan nestled. This once thriving street is a mishmash of shops and businesses. An independent flower shop straddles the corner opposite a £1 shop. An empty shop which was once Austin Reed now looks abandoned, full of flyers for bands that have graced the island recently. There is the delicatessen that is a cheese lover’s dream, serving cheese boards alongside fine wine. Then we have The Sinful Vegan, it’s a modest and unassuming shop that doesn’t give any hint of the taste explosion that waits for you inside.
A Grey Saturday
One grey and drizzly Saturday morning, we made our way into St Helier. This was after we had spent at least half an hour looping the town, trying to find somewhere to park our car. However, The Sinful Vegan was well worth the hunt for parking. Taking part in Veganuary and being gluten intolerant makes eating out a challenge that would make even the hardened restauranteur quiver at the thought of serving me as a customer. I have eaten elsewhere on the island and found that some gluten-free and vegan offerings to be tasteless and lacking in imagination. Being vegan and gluten-intolerant shouldn’t mean that I have to miss out on taste. Finally, we have The Sinful Vegan, a restaurant that delivers big on taste.
The Sinful Vegan
This restaurant doesn’t have a lot of seating space and when we arrived it was already busy. However, I managed to nab us a table and I eagerly started browsing the menu. We were having breakfast, but the restaurant also serves lunch and dinner. Plus, it has an impressive array of weird and wonderful Nutritional Lattes.
I chose the PB=B and asked for the gluten-free option. I was served a dish that appeared deceptively simple, but sometimes the simple things in life are the best, and that’s certainly true of this dish. I was served gluten-free sourdough bread toasted, with a slathering of peanut butter, topped with sweet-tasting bananas and blueberries and finished with a swirl of date syrup. It was a sublime breakfast. Without wanting to go over the top, I could have cried into my breakfast (yes, food and my emotions are very closely entwined). The struggle for a tasty breakfast in a restaurant that meets my long list of needs is an exhausting one. All very first world problems, I realise. But, what has frustrated me in the past is that you often find yourself paying extortionate prices for substandard food because of the label gluten-free and vegan. This is even the case when buying bread in supermarkets from big brands. Gluten-free bread has long proved to be a disappointment and don’t even get me started on some of the vegan pizzas. Believe me when I say that calling them vile is being kind.
Therefore, you can appreciate my rather over the top happiness for what was a rather simple plate of food. There were angels singing, as Mr C sat next to me rolling his eyes at my exuberance for my plate of food. He is a through and through carnivore and was therefore, rather disgusted when I dragged him into The Sinful Vegan. He just sat there drinking his black coffee, eyeing the menu rather suspiciously. As I munched on my plate of perfection, I sipped on my coffee made with oat milk and sighed a happy sigh. Finally, my stomach has found its happy place.
That’s A Latte Money
A week later and I was back in town with an hour to spare. Naturally, I made my way back to the Sinful Vegan. As it was just 11am, I found myself in that betwixing hour. Too early for lunch, too late for breakfast. I decided to treat myself to an indulgent Nutritional Latte and I settled on the CBD Latte. Derived from Hemp, CBD oil is combined with Espresso, Vanilla and Oat Milk. According to the menu it has “multiple health benefits, without the psychoactive high”. It might be good for me, but it wasn’t good for my wallet. This is a drink with a hefty price tag. It will set you back £4.20. I did wince but I reasoned that I needed to try it for research. Would I have it again? Not at that price, no. I can never justify spending that much on a coffee. Yet, it was a really tasty drink. Perhaps that is the going rate for that sort of drink. I don’t know. I suspect it probably is and I certainly don’t regret trying it. I would just love for it to be a little cheaper. However, I appreciate that the ingredients for the drink are probably expensive.
Overall, I would heartily recommend seeking out The Sinful Vegan. I will be heading back to dive into of their brilliant sounding Buddha Bowls as soon as I can find another excuse to head into town.