Don’t get me wrong: I love a good pizza as much as anyone else. But there are also times when I go out for dinner and feel like eating something a bit more healthy – then add in the fact that it also has to be gluten free – and the only option left on the menu to do so is another drab Caesar salad (minus the croutons). So when I discovered Tibits, I was more than a little bit excited. Originating in Switzerland, this entirely vegetarian restaurant has two London branches; one just off Regent Street and their recently opened restaurant in Bankside by the Tate Modern. The deal is simple: head up to the buffet, choose what you want, and then head to the counter where your plate is put on a scale and you pay according its weight (£2.80 per 100g, plate not included).
There’s over 40 dishes to choose from on the buffet, hot and cold, and deciding what to eat is easy for us coeliacs as allergen ingredients are clearly marked on the tags for each dish. What’s put out is changed on a daily, as well as a seasonal, basis and when I visited there was a wide variety of salads, curries, pastas (not so great if you’re gf), potato-based dishes, falafel, gf pizza, all kinds of veggies, and lots of different dips. There’s also little bread rolls available and all three types to choose from were gluten free – added win!
Highlights from my plate included a zingy zoodle-style salad and the falafel, which was crispy on the outside but beautifully soft and flavorful on the inside. The corn-based pizza I had a small slice of may not have looked the prettiest, but the rich tomato topping tasted great and the base, although more grainy than normal, had an appealing texture. Tip: take a walk round the buffet and have a look at what’s available first – I made the rookie error of jumping straight in as soon as I picked up the plate and then ended up missing out on a few fantastic dishes by the end (including an amazing looking samphire salad) as I’d already filled up the space and didn’t want to end up paying a small fortune/being a total greedy chops.
For dessert there were less gluten free options, namely a couple of different bowls of fresh fruit, strawberry panna cotta, amaretti biscuits and chocolate and pear cake – my friend and I shared a (giant) slice of the cake and, while it looked ridiculously good and had an appealing flavour, was a bit dry for my liking. So if you’re going to spend an extra few quid, perhaps do it on the mains!
I’ll be honest, the idea of the pay-by-weight element made me panic somewhat as you really have no idea what it’s going to cost until you put the plate on the scale. However, I was very pleasantly surprised when the price flashed up as slightly over £9 – and dinner is the most expensive pay-by-weight time to visit (lunch is 30p cheaper per 100g, while take out at lunch/dinner is £1 cheaper per 100g). A whole, filling plate of varied and delicious gluten free ingredients for under a tenner? Tibits has just become one of my new favorite dining out destinations.