Veganism is more popular than ever. With plant-based alternatives popping up in our supermarkets and fast-food chains it's becoming easier to make the switch.
Deal is well served by cafes like The Pop-Up and Pomegranate for vegetarian and vegan offerings. There's clearly a demand for high-quality meat-free meals, but now there's a new choice in town.
Vegan pizza has arrived in Deal. Vizza is a new venture offering 100% plant-based pizza, and authentic Italian cuisine. They are currently collaborating with The Sicilian on Stanhope Road to put on a series of pizza nights. We went along to sample some of their offerings.
Neither of us are vegans, but we have tried a few vegan products, particularly meat and dairy substitutes which have failed to convert us. We're huge fans of stone-baked and wood-fired pizzas, and with plenty to choose from with places like The Taphouse and Deal Hoy, we were intrigued to see how these vegan alternatives would compare.
To kick things off, we ordered the Vepperoni. A regular cheese and pepperoni pizza with animal products swapped for jackfruit pepperoni and "modern" mozzarella. When it arrived we were impressed by how real it all looked. The cheese had little browned bubbles and the pepperoni texture was speckled just like the real thing. Time to taste and the good stuff kept coming. The cheese was intensely creamy with that great mozzarella pull you'd expect. The pepperoni had a genuine meat flavour, a smoky spicy profile that could satisfy the most devout carnivores and pepperoni purists.
The Veat Feast came fully loaded with glistening vegetables. Roasted peppers mushrooms and artichoke. The mushrooms were packed a substantial protein punch against the sweet peppers. This is definitely a full meal, and needed to be eaten with a knife and fork.
Vizza Special was a salty savoury hit, topped with Tomatoes capers and olives which worked well with the creaminess of the mozzarella. Alongside this dish, tried a Vegan beer, whilst we're not usually a fan of beer this was one of the better ones we've tried. It paired well with the saltiness of this dish in particular.
We'd definitely recommend ordering Vepperoni pizza to see how well it compares with real meat, however, you can't go too wrong with this menu. All the ingredients are really nice quality and you can tell thought has gone into pairing the flavours. However, a week later we're still blown away by how real the meat actually tasted, which is the first time we've been so impressed by a vegan dish.
The ingredients are sourced from Italy, something Vizza is proud to emphasise. The bases are exactly what you'd expect from authentic Italian food. Thin and crispy, with enough structure to hold up the toppings. The base is tasty enough that we munched through and finished the crusts too. The dough uses 00-grade flour and is blasted in an Ooni pizza oven, the brand is sponsoring Vizza. We've had our eye on their portable ovens for a while, with the fantasy of having a pizza party on the beach in the summer.
The sauce and dough is made in house at The Sicilian by the owner Pinot, who has 30 years of catering experience. The Sicilian is a family-run place where you can find a few Italian gems. We often go in there to stock up on their amazing salamis and deli meats. Their panini and antipasto plates are a great lunch option.
For any vegans in the area, make Vizza at The Sicilian your next meal out. We think you'll be blown away by the quality. You'll be well taken care of with the selection on offer from Pizza to beer everything has been thought of.
For those who aren't vegan, we'd still recommend trying it out. We didn't go away feeling heavy or bloated like you'd expect from pizza. Because there was no greasy cheese or oily meats, the vegan ingredients sat comfortably in our stomachs. Something to be said for the vegan way of doing things. The pizzas are a great price and would make delicious guilt-free treat.
Vizza will be taking their pizzas to festivals around the UK in a restored 1967 Innocenti Lambro. Look out for Vizza popping up in places across Deal. Follow them on social media to keep up with their journey.
Head to their vegan pizza nights on Wednesdays at The Sicilian.