“I wanted to bring real Italian food to Britain” – Priscilla Conran
The first Carluccio’s café was opened in 1999 in London, by Antonio Carluccio (one half of the Two Greedy Italians) and his then wife Priscilla Conran (of The Conran Shop). Carluccio’s now has over 80 branches in the UK, 2 in Ireland and 6 in the Middle East. They have quite a large non-Vegan menu as well as small food shops in their stores – (my Nan bought one bottle of olive oil while we were there for about £25!!)
A few weekends ago we were looking for a Vegan & Omni-friendly place for a family celebration and Carluccio’s seemed like a good option for us all. Although from a quick glance at the menu you can see they only have one Vegan option but the Vegan’s in the group all agreed a bowl of tomato spaghetti would be pretty darn agreeable on a cold Sunday afternoon.
(that handsome chap on the right is my Grandad)
Excellent Menu Labelling
I was so impressed to see Carluccio’s has labelled everything that is Vegan as Vegan! This is utterly fucking fantastic! So many places still shy away from labelling Vegan things as Vegan and it makes me so cross. So thanks, Carluccio’s, that’s a massive plus.
So obviously Myself and the four other Vegans at the table went for the Spaghetti Al Pomodoro E Basilico and a couple of us added a side order of Misto Di Funghi (sautéed mushrooms with garlic and chilli – spicephobes will be pleased to learn this is not a spicy side dish) and there were also a few side orders of Broccolini knocking about the table (steamed with chilli, garlic and toasted almonds).
The Spaghetti & Sauce were delicious, the mushrooms were so tasty and so moreish & the toasted almonds in the broccolini that I stirred through added the most wonderful unexpected crunch to the dish.
Let’s wrap this up to go!
MENU CHOICE FOR VEGANS: Poor. We had one option on the main menu and it wasn’t that interesting (although if there is only one Vegan option it is probably better to keep it safe and appealing to the masses I guess)
PORTION SIZE: Small to Medium. Could have done with a little more spaghetti, left feeling a little under satisfied
BRANCH VISITED: Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
PRICE RANGE: Middle of the road
VALUE FOR MONEY: A small/medium bowl of plain spaghetti for £7.60 is pretty reasonable. However I added a side order of mushrooms and a side order of broccoli at £3.95 each so not so reasonable any more
WOULD I GO AGAIN? Yes
Find your local branch here – www.carluccios.com