Vegan review: Happy Friday Kitchen

It’s been a while since I reviewed Happy Friday Kitchen so I thought it was time to share an update!

As is always the case with a vegan restaurant, it took me quite a long time to browse the menu before landing on what to order, as there was so much choice. Happy Friday Kitchen is a comfort food restaurant, which of course is my favourite kind of food, and deciding between pizza or a burger is always a tough call. I rang them up once I’d come to a conclusion, and my order was ready within half an hour. Jamie picked up the takeaway from their Cowley Road location on his way home from work. He cycled back with it so I was impressed that it all managed to arrive relatively in one piece (Deliveroo, take note). It was a little cold by the time we got to eat, but it didn’t actually take away from my enjoyment of my meal at all, which should be testament to the tastiness of the food.

I ordered the burrito, which came with a side of tortilla chips. I really enjoyed the chunks of their signature homemade seitan found throughout the burrito, probably actually more-so than if I’d had it in a burger as one huge patty. The wrap was packed full of filling, and it wasn’t just bulked out with rice, there was a generous amount of smokey, spicy ‘meat’ mixture in there. The wrap had managed not to go soggy in transit, and the burrito was soft but still had a crunch from fresh tomato and raw onion. It had a decent heat to it too from jalapeños hidden throughout, though the spice was cooled down with creamy avocado. It was a delicious and filling meal: home-cooking style comfort food without the effort of having to make it yourself.

Jamie opted for the Shroom Burger, a Moving Mountains patty topped with creamy barbecue mushrooms. The patty was nicely cooked, as you’d expect from a vegan restaurant, and the addition of garlic mayo and American style cheese make for a really great burger. I stole a bite because anything with creamy mushrooms is a winner in my book, and it was indeed very tasty. The thinly cut fries on the side were smothered in the queso-style cheese, which you can upgrade to for £1.50. The bright yellow colour looks a bit unnatural (not sure if there is such a thing as natural cheese dip?) but the salty, cheesy sauce definitely goes down well.

Lastly, we enjoyed the buffalo cauliflower as a side dish. I do think the sides are where the Happy Friday Kitchen menu really sings, and there are so many awesome options on there, but for once we decided to order the right amount of food for two people, instead of going way overboard, so opted for just the one extra side. The cauliflower florets are breaded and deep fried, giving the most delicious crisp coating, then covered in buffalo sauce. I could probably eat a big bowl of these as a movie snack, I just love to eat cauliflower cooked this way. The blue cheese style sauce was absolutely not for me – might be because I always hated blue cheese though so definitely don’t let that put you off.

We all know it continues to be a challenging time for small businesses and with the hefty cut that Deliveroo and Just Eat take from the restaurant, it makes sense to call them directly and order Click and Collect if you can (plus, on the weekend of writing, they were offering a generous 20% off of orders placed this way). HFK have been running reduced hours during this lockdown, so why not save yourself a treat for the weekend and order from them between 5-9pm Friday to Sunday. I noticed they’ve been doing pop-up delivery services in towns nearby like Abingdon and Witney too, so keep an eye out for that if you live a bit further afield. And if you’re still missing your Happy Friday Kitchen fix, they sell bags of pic n mix which can be delivered UK wide for order on their online shop.

This meal was gifted, thoughts and opinions are my honest reflections of the experience.

Author: Heather Grace

Eating my way through all the vegan food, one restaurant at a time.

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