We Tried Vanilla Moon’s Beyond Meat Burger And Here’s What We Think
TOBI: Establishments in Lagos have slowly started to put in the required effort to have more inclusive menus. There are a lot more vegan and vegetarian options now versus four or five years ago, BUT I think they can do better. Maybe extend sentiment to halal eating but this is a good start.
Vanilla Moon, a new opening, has a Beyond Meat burger and we (Denise & I) decided to try it.
DENISE: When Tobi and I got enlisted for another vegan review, my exact thoughts were ‘oh no, not again’.
Frankly speaking, I just wasn’t ready to give vegan food another try since our little stint on Vegan shawarma at shawarma express. I can still taste the ugwu in my mouth. Yuck.
TOBI: For those unfamiliar, Beyond Meat is a plant-based substitute for meat and was created by an American called Ethan Brown in 2009. In 2016, the company released the first plant-based burger to be sold in the meat section of grocery stores and is available worldwide. Well, maybe not worldwide like that, but if you look hard enough you’ll find it in Lagos.
Beyond Meat is made without soy and is gluten-free. It’s definitely a healthier replacement for meat in burgers, as meatballs and for any other meat-based meal you can think of.
Now, I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but like I said I think it’s great that people who are, get a wider range of options.
DENISE: Before heading out to Vanilla Moon, I looked them up on Instagram. If I was going to be eating vegan food against my will, again, I might as well have fun. I needed to see if it was one of those places I could sneak a picture or two for the gram. It was! When I say this restaurant is cute, I am not mincing words. My favourite thing about their decor is the wall art depicting phases of the moon. Amazing!
TOBI: Vanilla Moon is adorable, with a sort of rustic, unassuming look on the outside. Inside, it’s cosy, and the open space plan and mirrors give an illusion of more space. I felt comfortable immediately and decided to start with a glass of pineapple juice while I waited for Tardy Taiwo: Denise.
When she arrived, since we already knew what we were there for, we ordered quickly and the food arrived not long after(the service here is great, everyone is so nice. One of the security guards even became a photographer for Denise).
DENISE: Yeah, I particularly liked the service here. They were very attentive and mixed up only one thing — I asked for cold water and was given room temperature instead — but this was quickly rectified.
TOBI: Beyond Meat burger came with a side of fries, which I have to say were excellent. The perfect amount of crisp and salt, it complemented the burger well.
DENISE: I’m not a big fan of Irish potato chips. I generally prefer sweet potato. These, however, I liked a lot. Why? They were actually crisp like Tobi said. My biggest problem with Irish potato chips is how easily soggy they get. I don’t know if it’s simply me and I have bad luck with chips but 8/10 times I order chips out, they’re as soggy as can be. These were crisp and yummy so great!
[Ed. Note: This is not why we’re here]
DENISE: Upon receiving the burger, the first thing I noticed was the cute reed thing holding it in place alongside the words ‘vil moon’ seared into the burger bun. Talk about branding.
TOBI: The burger itself was good, the patty has the same taste as meat, with only a slight flavour giving it away as something Beyond Meat. See what I did there?
DENISE: Anyway, I know burgers can be a bit sloppy, so I tried to minimise damage by cutting my burger in half and eating both sides individually. That DID NOT go as planned. The side of the burger with the reed thingy stayed intact. The other side? To God be the Glory.
TOBI: Texture-wise, the “patty” was like extremely tender, pulverized beef or even white meat and if I didn’t know beforehand that it’s a plant-based patty, I would have assumed it was a kind of meat I’d never had.
DENISE: The first thing my brain registered when I saw the burger was the ‘meat’. While it didn’t distinctly taste like a vegetable/plant, you could tell it wasn’t meat. By meat here, I mean beef. The ‘meat’ in this burger could easily pass for shredded chicken or turkey given its light texture.
TOBI: The burger had onions, pickles and tomatoes which gave it a freshness and didn’t make me feel guilty about downing an entire burger. That part (eating the entire thing) was difficult because the burger was extremely filling.
DENISE: Yes! The burger is very filling as well. By the time I was done with my first half, I was already full. I just finished my second half because I really like the burger.
TOBI: The bun wasn’t a favourite for me, but as a whole bite, it worked; especially with the tartness of the fresh onions and tomatoes.
DENISE: I liked it. I enjoyed it. From the dressing to the crisp veggies it was accompanied with, I’d definitely love to try this again sometime.
TOBI: While the burger was good, it’s unlikely that I’d have it again, I enjoy the taste of real meat too much.