Arancini Brothers Show Others What Committing To Veganuary Means

Arancini Brothers, Old Street ★★★☆☆

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 6 months ago
Arancini Brothers Show Others What Committing To Veganuary Means Arancini Brothers, Old Street 3
Oooh (fake) meat

Arancini Brothers isn't a Veganuary bandwagonner in the way some other brands are. The small chain dedicated to delicious risotto balls has always had a well-stocked range for the meat-declining clientele. The company toyed with testing out 100% veganism in one of its venues for a while, and decided that Veganuary was the right time to pull the trigger.

Except, unlike other brands that go vegan, Arancini Brothers is at a disadvantage. It's all in the name. Arancini. The deep fried risotto balls are usually filled with cheese, and clearly that's not an option here. Many vegan brands go down a non-dairy cheese route, but not here. We chat to the manager who says that the aim isn't to recreate a vegan version of the food's non-vegan counterpart, just something that tastes as good as it.

An arancini pot

It doesn't quite succeed. The arancini are tasty enough, but there's nothing particularly special about them. The mushroom zucchini ball outperforms the classic option, which doesn't have enough going on. But that's not all the restaurant has on offer.

There's a wide range of vegan burgers, including a special named after acclaimed London blogger Fat Gay Vegan, tied into the launch of his new book. The FGV burger isn't trying to be too fancy, and isn't stuffed with veggies, just all the greasy good stuff you'd find in a normal burger place. This strategy of simple patty, pickles, dairy-free cheese, crispy onions all doused in ketchup and mustard, proves a smart choice. We're not so mad about the fries that came with — they're sprinkled with paprika that provides more colour than flavour.

The small venue is packed for the entirety of our stay, so it's clear the switch to veganism isn't scaring people away. We hear a few people asking if certain items are vegan, and an increasingly exasperated waiter repeatedly tells them everything is. While hundreds of London's restaurants toy with one or two vegan options we applaud Arancini Brothers for going the whole, er, hog.

Last Updated 17 January 2018