Those of you who have read our blog before may have noticed that over-eating is a common occurrence for Dan and I. As mentioned in our last post, on the 3rd of June we attended the Vegan Summer Festival in Brighton. Although we knew we would be eating our body weight in junk food (it’s vegan, which means it’s healthy, right?) we had decided from the moment we knew we would be back in Brighton to visit Purezza. Purezza is an entirely plant-based Italian restaurant that offers a wide range of dishes from pizzas to burgers to pastas, and as a pizza enthusiast who had spent many a hungry moment scrolling through Purezza’s delicious looking Instagram feed, I was dying to finally try one of their incredible looking treats. I had heard many a good review about the restaurant and couldn’t wait to finally check it out for myself!
After a short walk from the pier, we located an extremely busy Purezza. It was PACKED. Luckily, the friendly staff there took our number to call us when a table became free, and after around 40 minutes (that felt like a lifetime due to pizza cravings) we were called back and promptly seated. Let the feast commence…
Garlic bread. Two of the most beautiful words in the English dictionary. I had not had garlic bread in what seemed like forever, so of course I had this starter chosen weeks before I even arrived at Purezza. When the garlic bread arrived, I was instantly amazed by the sheer size of it. Honestly, this thing was like a pizza on it’s own. I was in heaven. Beautiful, garlic filled heaven. Taste wise, it was AMAZING. I had opted for the cheesy version (obviously) and was impressed by how perfect they had got the garlic to cheese ratio – something I often find is a problem. Most places tend to overdo one or the other, but Purezza had got the mix spot on and created a gorgeous, slightly crispy garlic bread with a lovely creamy cheese on top that complimented the garlic taste perfectly.
After finishing half of the garlic bread (which a lovely waiter then boxed up for me so I could have a lovely breakfast the next day) I ordered my main. The ‘Cheesus’ pizza. On the menu, the Cheesus is described as “four cheeses including almond, rice, coconut and soya based cheeses, combined in one heavenly pizza”. And heavenly it was. Firstly, major props to Purezza for their gluten free base. 90% of gluten free bases I’ve had either fall apart, feel too soggy, are too hard or just don’t taste all that great. Purezza, however, have made an amazing gluten free base that felt and tasted just like a ‘normal’ pizza base. All four of the cheeses were lovely, and all complimented each other really well. Unfortunately I wasn’t sure which cheese was which, so I can’t give individual reviews of them, but all of them were beautifully creamy and full of flavour, and along with the incredible base and tomato sauce, I have to admit this was easily the BEST vegan pizza I have ever had.
Trust me to go to an Italian restaurant and not order pizza or pasta…
As Chloe has already explained – the entire menu is plant based, so there was a LOT of choice. So many delicious looking pizzas, pasta dishes, raw food options, salads and deserts…but also…burgers. It’s terribly selfish of an establishment to give us quite so much choice. We are awful at deciding what we want at the best of times!
Whilst we deliberated over our mains, we ordered starters. I went for the ‘Cheesy Bites’ which are essentially cheese-stuffed dough balls. I honestly don’t remember ever having a tastier equivalent prior to being vegan. They were absolutely delicious. The dough was light and fluffy and hot melty cheese oozed from the centre when biting into it. I had to hold myself back. I wanted to eat all of them but I knew I’d not have enough room for a main…
I’ve basically ruined the surprise. Yes, I went to an Italian restuaraunt and ordered a burger. I just couldn’t help myself, HOWEVER, It WAS wrapped in a pizza slice. That is my justification for an otherwise outlandish decision.
It was called ‘The Big Smoke’. A pea protein burger with smoked mozarella, aubergine, mayo and caramelised onion & beet sauce, all wrapped in a folded pizza. It was insanely tasty with wonderful textures and flavours marrying up perfectly. A beautiful burger with an Italian twist. I certainly didn’t regret my decision to abandon the more pure Italian options, but in an ideal world, I’d have had a spare stomach for every item on the menu.
Thankfully, the staff were very willing to provide boxes for our leftovers (there were a lot, we had eaten our weight in vegan treats throughout the day.) They would keep us going for the drive back to London.
To sum up. Purezza was the best vegan restaurant I have ever been to. The more vegan cuisine I try, the more I appreciate the care and attention that goes in to creating vegan ‘equivalents’. Not being able to use animal products mean that the flavours are more carefully and lovingly crafted. I highly recommend Purezza for EVERYONE, vegan or not! You will not be disappointed.
Until next time…