Well, there I was, sweating away at the London Film and Comic Con (you weren’t expecting that were you?) when I realised I needed nourishment. I’d had Pizza Express on the previous day, which is fine and has at least one fully vegan pizza (it is so refreshing not to have to say ‘Can I have this, but without that, and maybe replaced by this other thing instead, blah, blah, blah…’) so I was resigning myself to having another filling, if not overly healthy lunch at the Kensington Olympia. Then, as I emerged from a crush between a life-sized Lego Batman and a sweaty Wonder Woman (don’t ask) an oasis of health greeted my eyes.
Before me lay a health food-style takeaway called Crussh. Their salads looked healthy from afar, but would they be filling? Their sandwiches looked tempting, but would they all have chicken and fish in them? They also had snacks, but would the crisps contain the dreaded milk? Well, I needn’t have worried, because although there was a bit of tuna around and some cheesy crisps, most of their offerings were at least vegetarian and there was a good choice for the hungry vegan.
They called their salads ‘healthpots’ as well they might. There was a red kale, quinoa and french lentil one, a butterbean, cherry tomato and parsley one and a char-grilled cauliflower, pomegranate with tahini dressing one, as well as other healthful options like the superfoods healthpot or the detox healthpot.
All very tempting, but I wanted a sandwich. It is so incredibly rare to encounter a vegan sandwich in one of these fast food places that I simply had to experience the novelty. I went for the Veggie 5-a-day sandwich, which had houmous, avocado, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, beansprouts and spinach. I must say it was really tasty. I added some Kettle chips, of which there was a good vegan choice and finished things off with a Nakd bar, yum. But what to drink? I try to avoid cola and such things, but wanted something more exciting than water which I’d been chugging down all day (it really was crowded and hot in there.)
There was a staggering array of fresh made juices, so I decided to splash out on a ‘love juice’ which, despite the dodgy name, was pretty lovely. It was basically just blended fruit although I think their menu on this occasion was an ‘events’ menu and not their run of the mill one. Beware smoothies as it seems milk is in all of them. Beware also their add-ons such as boosters and wheatgrass, as strangely some appear not to be vegan, but there is a fine selection of vegan-friendly juices.
I was very happy with my choice of lunch and even went back later on for a snack as they had plenty of muesli bars, crisps, popcorn and so on to keep me going when I was flagging. It wasn’t cheap, but what sandwich bar is? It was simply nice to encounter somewhere that knows what a vegan is. Everything of their own production was clearly labelled with a ‘Ve’ symbol for ease of choosing and their processed offerings were labelled as you would expect in a shop. All in all a tasty, hassle-free experience. Who could ask for more?
Crussh stores are all over London, so if you’re a local check them out.
For anyone visiting the capital, they will provide an oasis of veganness (is that a word?) and a welcome break from whatever boring meeting, crowded visitor attraction or um, massive space full of Boba Fett impersonators that you might be attending.