90 DEGREE MELT
When you think about an oozy, melted cheese heaven sandwiched inside two crispy warm pieces of lightly toasted white bread, vegan definitely does not spring to mind.
So when we discovered 90 Degree Melt, a vegetarian grilled cheese spot in East London, we had to see if such a thing existed, and if it was worth it. Having recently rebuilt their menu to include more American classics and make the majority vegan friendly and adaptable to gluten free, 90 Degree Melt is a little off the beaten track, but easy to get to – just a minute’s walk from Stepney Green station, on the main road.
Matt and I were greeted by their American theme, definitive and obvious. The draw here is comfort-food, in a casual yet trendy setting. We went to (chicago) town, opting for Cauliflower ‘Buffalo Wings’ (GF & Vegan), Bean ‘Meatballs’ (Vegan), Tex Mex Wedges (GF and can be made vegan), and Jalapeño Corn bread (GF!).
And since all of the grilled cheese sandwiches (and there are quite a few to choose from) can be made gluten free and vegan, we went for the GF and vegan version of the Mozzarella Melt, still cynical as to whether it could match up to the gooey gluttony of the original.
The service was attentive and kind throughout our wait, which luckily wasn’t long (good, because I was about to eat Matt, I was so hungry) and then the food came. Retaining some of the vibrancy and colour of vegetarian food but also the comforting allure of the classics, it was looking good, albeita little small – though the portion sizes are advertised as tapas. I decided to tackle what I thought would be the most disappointing dish first – the grilled ‘cheese’. It DID NOT disappoint. Astonishingly, the cheese and bread tasted just as good as their ‘real’ counterparts (I know…what??) and the addition of the olives, tomatoes and herbs made this sandwich an absolute hit. I was reluctant to give Matt his half. The buffalo ‘wings’, crispy cauliflower florets in a GF batter, covered in spicy, tangy buffalo sauce, were also a winner – the corn bread was sweet, cakey and addictive, and the ‘meatballs’ were quite astounding, being served with a white nutty sauce that we definitely needed more of. We were not only content, but wondering how they’d managed to create such comforting vegan wizardry.
Due to the tapas sized, sharing nature of the plates, what initially appears like a very cheap menu turns out to be a bit more mid-ranged in terms of price – to try a good range of the menu (and you should) with a drink would set you back about £20 each in a couple, a bit less in a group. Is itworth it? Absolutely. This vegan food is a 90 degree step up from previous I’ve tried. Get yourselves over to Stepney Green and give it a go – you won’t regret it.
Value for Money 4.5*
90 Degree Melt – 235 Mile End Road, London E1 4AA
About our reviews: We are not sponsored in any way for our restaurant reviews, our thoughts are entirely our own and based on our genuine visits 🙂