A Tale of Two Chickens: Subway’s Tastes.Like.Chicken and Papa John’s Not Chicken Vegan Bites

Usually we’d spend Veganuary eating and then writing about all the new Veganuary food. This year however we can’t go anywhere. As much as I want to try the new Starbucks breakfast sandwich, it’s probably a better plan to stay inside. There are a couple of things we’ve been able to order in though. Literally a couple. Just two. On nights we just could not be bothered to feed ourselves we’ve ordered in: Subway and Papa John’s.

Sub with ‘chicken’ chunks, garlic aioli and spinach.

Subway has the new Tastes.Like.Chicken. This makes 3 vegan sandwich options at Subway: the Plant Patty, the Meatless Meatball Marinara and the Tastes.Like.Chicken. Also there’s rumours that some people just have salad on their sub, but they remain unsubstantiated. Now I ate Subway back when I did eat chicken and I never really thought their chicken tasted all that much like chicken. And I don’t think Tastes.Like.Chicken tastes all that much like chicken either. But it can be a good base for all the sauces and toppings. Just don’t expect a huge amount of flavour. We still prefer the Meatless Meatballs.

Two double chocolate chip cookies

We will be sneaking more of these double chocolate chip cookies in with our order though. When I make my own cookies I like them too be big and fat and crisp but there’s something about the almost molten nature of these that’s irresistible.

On to chickenish substance number 2: the not-chicken vegan bites from Papa John’s. Let’s start with the positives. The chicken nuggets have a really good texture. The coating tastes okay. The chicken tastes a bit meh. Thank god for dip.

A stuffed crust pizza topped with olives, green peppers and vegan meats.

Papa John’s have really upped their vegan cheese game. I don’t know what they’ve done but it tastes so much better. And they’ve even managed to stuff that crust full. I was actually really impressed with the pizza. In the past we’ve often ordered it just because it’s the only vegan pizza we can get to our front door in a reasonable time. Great for days when I’ve screwed up whatever I’m cooking. However now… I could happily eat another right now.

There you have it, two vegan chickens that we weren’t impressed with and the new vegan options we were. Hopefully next Veganuary we’ll be able to get out more.

Review: Vegan Stuffed Crust at Pizza Hut (Baker Street Branch)


That’s a Pepperphoni Pizza from Pizza Hut with a stuffed crust. Yes, vegan stuffed crust has happened. Kate’s been stuck on soft food recently but as soon as she could chew a little we ordered ourselves some pizza. We ordered from Pizza Hut Restaurants which is a different company with a different (significantly less vegan) menu than Pizza Hut Takeaway. Which is disappointing because we only have a takeaway near us at home.


Pizza Hut was always my favourite chain pizza. You get a good chewy crust and a rich tomato sauce that isn’t too sweet. They use violife as their vegan cheese which is one of my favourites for a takeaway-style pizza. Fancy Italian style gets mozzarisella. The pepperphoni is pretty good although clearly mine was a little dry and burnt. The stuffed crust itself is everything you want it to be. Cheesy, messy, over-the-top.


The real surprise hit of the order though were these southern fried nuggets. I really just added them to the order because they had a vegan symbol next to them and, you know, might as well. It turns out though that these are the best vegan chicken nuggets I’ve ever had. Why aren’t McDonalds or KFC on this?

I set out to get a stuffed crust pizza mostly for the novelty value. I ended up with one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve had from a chain fast food place. Well done Pizza Hut.

Review: Vegan options at YO! Sushi

I’m sightly obsessed with YO! Sushi. I keep finding myself eating lunch there. Still I haven’t written about it here because I’m sure posting about this British take on sushi would get be a lecture on authenticity. However I really like it so…

Okay, YO! Sushi. It’s bright, it has a conveyor belt, the flavours are a little OTT, you press a little button when you want the waiters attention (very awkward) and people yell ‘Yo!’ a lot. But quietly and apologetically because it’s a British chain. And we’re awkward. A few months back they rejigged the menu, adding more vegan options and here are some of my favourites.


Glazed Aubergine (£2.50) The soy glaze on the aubergine is stunningly rich. It’s great to top off the nigiri and is one of my favourite ways to eat aubergines.


Yasia Rolls (£3.20). All of the veggies and some tofu skins all in a delicious roll. I would usually say something about how the mayo seems unnecessary but actually I’m just impressed with how quickly vegan mayo has become ubiquitous so I’m not saying anything. This is my favourite roll. There’s also an inari taco (£3.20) which is equally delicious and over the top with condiments.


My favourite dish is one of the salads. And I don’t say that often. Kaiso seaweed (£3.20) is a salad of seaweed, carrot, and edamame in a punchy dressing. I could eat this all day long.


A vegan chocolate pot! It’s a bit more special than your average choc pot with a hint of miso for a decadent umami hit. If you’re not sure if you like the sound of that then I’d encourage you to give it ago because it’s delicious.

Like I said in the opening, YO! Sushi is one of my favourite places eat lunch right now. When I need something light and full of flavour.

Review: KFC Original Recipe Vegan Burger

I actually tried this on the day it came out but it’s taken me a while to write it up. Why? Well my thoughts about it are complicated. KFC is obviously responsible for the death of a lot of chickens. If I spend money there am I supporting that slaughter? If I buy the vegan burger will I be encouraging them towards a plant-based business model? Or are they just going to use my money to increase their reach and sell meat to more people?


Honestly I can’t answer any of those questions. Spending money with KFC is probably not the most ethical choice to make but there are upsides. A big one for me is that I can just go out and eat like a normal person. Or, rather, that I can be seen to eat like a normal person. When I’m out with my little cousins and they want KFC I can eat with them. That’s a huge positive for both me as a person and the reputation of veganism. I’m not sneaking off to the far corner of the food court any more to get that one vegan option. I can eat something that looks like what they are eating. When they grow up and are choosing their own diet things like the KFC vegan burger will make veganism seem not just possible, but easy. Something you can do while hanging around with your mates.


Ethical questions aside, how is the taste? It is shockingly good. I was expecting something like a supermarket chicken burger but this is far beyond that. It’s honestly the closest thing to a chicken I’ve eaten since… well, chicken. The texture is something else. It’s got a moist, tenderness to it that is spot on. Not soggy or wet like bad mock meats can get. Perfect. The coating is its famous fabulous self and I can’t fault it. My only minor quibble is that it comes with vegan mayo and sad iceberg. In my KFC eating days I was a big fan of the zinger tower and I’d love to see a vegan version of that. I’d also like to see vegan fries; at the moment they’re cooked in the same oil as the popcorn chicken. My solution to this would be to make the popcorn chicken vegan. A girl can dream.