What happens when vegans come out at night?

I went to Vegan Nights. Yes, that’s right, Vegan Nights. I’m hoping you don’t get lost in those two words coming together because when I mentioned them to Deadman and Mud, all they did was repeat them back in the same way Peter Kay says cheesecake.

The whole concept seemed alien to them. “Well, what do you do at a Vegan Nights?”. Christ. You eat food, you get entertained by several DJ sets in different themed rooms … talk to loads of different people, who, believe it or not, are just like you and some of them aren’t even vegans … they’re just there because Vegan Nights was awesome.

Admittedly, I’d definitely underestimated the size of the event. It’s been a while since I moved out of East London … well, ok, Farringdon, but I could walk to Brick Lane in twenty minutes no problem … plus the post code began with an E so I was so East, man. Totes East. Just … not … you know … not TOO East … couldn’t put up with actually living on or around Brick Lane … I’m sure it’s nice, just, there’s a lot of opinions, you know? Like this one, I’m giving.

Look that Shoreditch lot is just too much for me, ok? I used to be one. I’m done with it. I’ve seen the light, ditched the John Lennon sunglasses, started drinking normal coffee again and got back to reality.

That being said … the crowd inside Vegan Nights wasn’t the same judgemental attention-seeking Shoreditch crowd I’d been exposed to throughout my East London life … people were happy … nobody seemed to be talking about what they do or what’s currently cool or who they know … every conversation seemed to be vegan-themed.

Whoa, hang on, does that mean … vegan IS the thing that hipsters are now jumping on? Have we become cool enough that the cool people wanna be as cool?

No. I don’t think so. Because I’ve not really met a vegan running a media empire or editing a magazine, to-date. Just normal people working normal jobs with the odd tendency to talk in recipe-tips to each other. No bother at Vegan Nights really because it was PACKED with traders … I mean, seriously PACKED with traders … the first thing I saw was Jake’s Vegan Steaks and fair play to the lad, Jake is one awesome guy. His food rocks. It’s a soft hotdog bun smothered in vegan steak chunks, covered in melted vegan cheese and then all the toppings you want. I went for jalapenos, pickles, mustard and onions.

Obviously I needed to wash that down with something so on the way to the bar I stopped off for a Green Thai Aubergine curry … that did the trick but the rice did cause a bit of an issue … so I went to find the bar inside one of the big warehouses … now, that was when I saw the sign … “vegan chicken wings” … people always ask me what do I miss the most and it’s always chicken wings … chicken wings and picked onion monster munch, which believe it or not, isn’t vegan … it’s got milk in it. I know!

Yet … here at Vegan Nights … there were vegan chicken wings … being served by wonderful kitchen called “Filthy Vegan Junk food” … you genius. I think I love you. The wings, which I got a side to the Father Jack Burger, (vegan cheeseburger with onion rings, vegan bacon, jalapenos and jack daniels bbq sauce), were made from jackfruit and, you know what, despite it being more of a croquette than a wing … it was arguably the best thing I ate at the event.

Well, that and the battered tiger prawns from Shakey Shakey. Shout-out to Shakey Shakey! Your menu is AMAZING. Best prawns ever … better than prawn prawns … no seriously, try them, better than the real thing.

I did listen to some of the music and drink a lot of the vegan-friendly beers on sale … and I did talk to a lot of the vendors in the different rooms and warehouses that were set-up … but when there are probably a thousand people in the event, easily over 50 traders and three DJ sets going at the same time … you’ve only really got enough time to mention the ones that stood out to you when you write about the event … last shout-out goes to Cupcakes & Shhht for the selection box … your peanut butter one is incredible. I will be back every time this event is happening … if I’m invited.