According to the Vegan Society, there are now over 542,000 vegans in the UK. What’s more, this vanguard has buying power, with sales of vegan food increasing by 1,500 per cent in the last year.
It’s not just the supermarkets that are expanding their free-from selections either; it’s also become a whole lot easier to eat out for those of us following a plant-based diet. One of the latest restaurants in Lewes to introduce a vegan menu is Castle Chinese, whose offering boasts 10 appetisers, two different soups and 11 mains, as well as a selection of rice and noodles.
My vegan-for-the-night friend chose the Castle Lettuce Parcel with Minced Vegetables (£7.90) as her starter, which (amusingly) proved to be self-assembly, with a pile of lettuce leaves accompanying her veggies. I opted for the Salt & Chilli Chips (£4.95), which were delicious and perfectly seasoned.
For the main course, my friend went for Sizzling Monk Vegetables (£9.80), while I had Mixed Vegetables with Fried Udon Rice Noodles (£6.60), which proved pleasingly chunky with a subtle flavour.
My only misgiving was that one dish on the menu contained honey (most vegans avoid all animal-derived products) and egg noodles were listed – but the proprietor, who was very helpful and friendly, was already aware of the issue and assured us the menu was being revised.
162 High Street. castlechinese.co.uk