A Saturday afternoon embraced by golden sun, playing peekaboo with white candy floss clouds. Two friends reunited, heels pitter pattering on the pavement, a Clueless vibe emulating from the lady in blue. Dogs barking, tails yapping playfully, pubs in Greenwich filled with rowdy sport goers. There was a slight chill in the air, but seasonally warm for January, white boots and blue check mini skirt, skipping into The Lost Hour with hungered determination. It was at first glance like any other pub, football shirts lounging in pleather backed chairs, eyes glazed over in sport based rapture, pints poured into thirsty mouths. But that is where we were wrong. For The Lost Hour was no ordinary pub, like an onion it had layers. A secret series of booths at the back emblazoned in purple and blue graffiti, a mural where time stood still, gleaming yellow in a sea of blue unidentifiable buildings. Flashes of fuchsia pink and aubergine purple, an orbed light hanging overhead, almost seemingly painted on. It was a secret world away from the sports crowd that felt like a private haven, the bar a homage to the 80’s, orange neon lights, they spelled out ‘Lost Hour’, it was a canny touch. The retro placards attached to the bright letters were the tip of the Iceberg, a singular Sierra Nevada imploring you into its colourful world. It might have been depicting a Spanish mountain range, but warm blues and greens replaced the harsh whites of snowy mountain plains. It was seemingly fitting you thought, the layers peeled back, one by one.
But nothing was more colourful than the vegan menu we would procure, sweet chilli cauliflower wings drenched in sauce, tacos emblazoned in soy mince, melted cheese, jackfruit fries the pinnacle of plant based guilty pleasures.One by one our mouths would explore, our fingers would touch, our teeth would chomp. It was unadulterated bliss. We took our time to get to know Lost Hour, studiously surveying the menu with ardent admiration, kind welcoming staff a treasure trove of information, questions answered, allergies catered to, we were pleasantly surprised. P in particular went out of his way to ensure our needs were met, no answer too big or small, packaging checked for those pesky ingredients that would make blue checked skirt ill. Despite the allergies there was still a huge amount of dishes I could eat, no short change involved, a bounty of vegan food awaited our famished mouths. But what would be the ultimate champion, would it be the plant based tikka masala, fragrantly spiced soya chunks lolling on writhing tongues, or would it be the Moving Mountains hot dog, drizzled in ketchup, surprisingly meaty in texture? Our hearts sped up in anticipation, a vegetarian and meat eater side by side, would The Lost Hour satisfy us both?
The Lost Hour was exceptionally efficient; their service was effortless, their customer service exceptional, warm smiles ecstatic. Tasters of ciders savoured, which would be the one to take my fancy? Rhubarb, tart and sweet, pineapple pina colada vibes, Lily’s cider, strawberries bouncing bawdily, they rewarded our senses. We were fascinated to learn that The Lost Hour wasn’t just a vegan friendly pub serving budget tex-mex food, but one entrenched in drinking delights, two bars front and back, the back interchangeable, craft beer menus changing every week. We reveled in the surprise and delight of our impromptu session, but despite the plethora of ciders that whetted our lips, I couldn’t help but feel that there would be an outstanding trophy to steal my heart. And I was right; Cherry Milkshake IPA, smooth and fruity, it slipped down my throat with the ease of a ballet dancer. Graceful yet full bodied, a British ale verging on divinity. The flavour notes read well, sweet and tart cherries tangoing with mysterious berries,vanilla accents with a surprising slight pine undertone. And who could forget the adjuncts, sweet like velvet, cherry puree, one sweet, one tart, Madagascan Bourbon vanilla beans on the tip of our tongues. For the lady in red tartan, white wine was her dreamy kryptonite, Pino Grigio, always a crowd pleaser , fresh, vibrant and fruity, she revered it well.
The time had come to pick up our forks and dine, a banquet had begun at The Lost Hour, we were honored to be her guests. One by one the dishes swooped onto our table with undisguised finesse, we were salivating at the sight. And rightfully so, which dish would we try first, a sea of colour, texture, taste, smell woven into The Lost Hour’s visual narrative? Cameras at the ready, snap shot, click, photos, videos, boomarangs, 1,2,3. And who could blame us with the splendor that lay before us, The Moving Mountains Hot Dog begging to be eaten. And while this was our only non-vegan dish (I’m vegetarian) it nevertheless packed a punch, topped with crispy onion, spring onion, diced gherkin and red onion, swathed squiggly lines of ketchup and French’s mustard pure joy personified. But would it pass Faded Spring’s taste taste? The hot dog was thick and meaty, we savoured the relish of the plant based meat in our mouths, the mustard adding depth and flavour in bucket loads. It was a glorious revolution, a symphony of taste, small fries dipped in sauce, a nice added touch. But what would those seductive sweet chilli cauliflower wings be like, ten crispy wings glazed with sweet chilli sauce, garnished lovingly with pomegranate seeds, spring onion, sesame seeds and vegan mayo, a delight to behold. It astounded me how closely cauliflower resembled chicken in this crispy battered coating, the sweet chilli showering this bad boy in all its glory. Twas perfection in a bite.
The battle of the plant based Indian dishes were next, a soy based keema vs a plant based tikka masala, would it be top trumps? The soy keema was particularly exciting for me to get the chance to try, an Indian dish I had revered many moons ago, before I had become a vegetarian. Sadly the two dishes didn’t pack as much as an impact as the remaining dishes, surprising given my love of Indian cuisine. The ‘spicy’ soya keema was pleasant enough, but needed more depth of flavour on the wheel of taste, while the crispy hash brown bar stole the show, crispy and fried, just the way I liked it, hurrah I cried! Served in kobeh bread topped with basmati rice and finished with a cucumber and mint dressing,it sounded like a win win, but alas our fates were sealed, it was not meant to be. Still it fared better than the plant based tikka masala, the soy chunks a strange texture in our mouths.Certainly in the battle between these two dishes, the soy keema had come out on top, but there was far more exciting tasty treats in store, just you wait and see. BBQ Jackfruit fries topped with pulled jackfruit, with a dashing of Violife grated mature cheese, the spring onion complementing the sweet tartness of the BBQ sauce. The pulled jackfruit was heavenly it melted in our mouths, complimented well by the sweet potato fries vying for our attention, could you tell chips were our guilty pleasure?
Last but not least the nachos had come to slay, topped with Violife grated mature cheeze , vegan mayo, guacamole, tomato salsa and jalapenos, finished with smoky soya topping and red chilli’s. The soy, almost akin to mince was a welcome addition to the nachos, with enough meaty texture to offset the tomato salsa in the most glorious way possible, while the red chilli’s and jalapenos added spice for days, what a blend it was. It was a vegan feast sent by the God’s of veganism themselves, a pantheistic beauty, a riot of taste. Comfort at its finest we whittled away the hours , scarcely aware of time, chats running into the dark of night, implored into The Lost Hour’s bewitching hour. Then at last it was time to go, leftovers wrapped in foil in a branded tote, a midnight snack that would await my swollen belly. But for now, we surged into the outside world once more, remembering the vegan food at The Lost Hour that had awakened our senses, heaven on a plate.
Have You Ever Had Vegan Food At A Pub? What Are Your Thoughts on The Lost Hour?
Please note we were given this vegan feast in exchange for content, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and are not affected by complimentary services.