Getting down & dirty at Rudy's
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Last night Dan & I headed to Camden to see Inua Ellam's 'The Barbershop Chronicles' at the Roundhouse Theatre. Before the show we had some dinner at Rudy's Dirty Vegan Diner in Camden Market.
To make sure we had time to eat and get settled for the show we had to make sure we found somewhere local that tickled our fancies. What could be better than walking into a restaurant and knowing you can eat everything on the menu? Rudy's had an updated vintage appeal with pinewood colour scheme, playing music in the background, I couldn't help but feel like it was an ideal hipster location.
After looking at the menu, I opted for the Dirty Burger with fries and Dan opted for a Saboteur burger with fries. We also got a huge chocolate shake to share. I know I'm a tough customer - I do have high standards, but I paid a pretty penny for my food and expected great things. The fries were so-so, it's really hard to get fries wrong. They had a slight nutty taste, which I expect was a part of the seasoning. My burger was interesting, the soy-patty was a little lacklustre, I wanted a hint more of flavour... It's really obvious the patty is not the star when the cheese is the strongest taste. I'm not sure if it's the soy element or just an unfortunate lack of salt, pepper, spice, something... The slightest hint of paprika would have really elevated it and given an extra hint of colour.
I had a bite of Dan's burger too, he wasn't too keen on it, because we have tried Seitan, and it's not our favourite. I know I'm biased on the taste, but I was very impressed by the look of the texture. It had a chicken-like pattern when spread apart and the crispy coating was decent. The great thing about both burgers was that they were filling, but didn't feel heavy.
After polishing off the burgers, we took on the shake. I hadn't had a milkshake since going vegan and wasn't sure what to expect in terms of texture, taste and over appearance. I was pleasantly surprised, it looked tasty and the whipped cream was airy and light. Vegan chocolate is hit and miss for me though, when it replaces the creamy element with extra sugar it's really obvious. I think a good vegan chocolate includes cocoa butter, as this re-introduces the traditional chocolate melt-in-your-mouth goodness. My shake probably had the extra sugar kind making it a little sickly to finish... That didn't stop me from eating all the chocolate drops on the top and fishing for more in the bottom though, (because chocolate is chocolate).
Satisfied that I had fished out all of the chocolate drops with my spoon, we wandered back out the market and stopped at a falafel stand we had passed and tasted earlier. The owner was keen for us to try his vegan version and lead us to his other stall, telling this stall had seating and was all-vegan. On a whim we followed him to Magic Falafel and bought a 6 piece portion. It was warm, crunchy, well seasoned and using the accompanying creamy sesame sauce. This magic snack redeemed my dinner a little, and restored the flavour equilibrium to my taste-buds.
I'd give Rudy's a 5, and I doubt I'd be back. I expect a lot more from a £9 burger. The staff were really nice though, so that's something.