Embracing both customer demand and the growing interest in a vegan diet, a Banbury fish and chip shop has launched an entire vegan menu.
Qfish Chatsworth in Cherwell Heights launched its first of a kind menu on Monday, July 29 after shop manager, Mark Beynon, had meticulously researched and sourced the ingredients to please his growing vegan clientele.
Mark said: "We have had a few vegan customers in the past who have said to us 'how is your food cooked?' Generally it is all cooked in the same pans but here, because we have a four pan range, we only utilised three pans, we always had this fourth pan available to use as needed.
"As veganism is a growing trend we decided to put it into action and have it completely separate for vegans."
So what, may you ask, does vegan fish and chips look and taste like? The chips are the easy part, cooked as normal in pure vegetable oil, the fish alternative, however, is a lot more ingenious and exotic.
Mark, said: "It's a banana blossom, the flower off the banana tree. We marinate them ourselves overnight in lemon, seaweed and salt and it gives it that ocean taste. It flakes like fish too."
The Banbury Guardian were lucky enough to try a vegan fish a chip plate and the end product is surprisingly good. The flower blossom does indeed flake like fish flesh, has a definite seafood taste and, if I had been told it was a new species of fish they were experimenting with, could be mistaken for fish of some kind.
Owner Andrew Christoforou, added: "If you go on BBC recipes and other food guides there's lots of different recipes. We have to run with the recipes and our feelers are out to see how vegans gauge it."
The pair are in no doubt of both their novice status when it comes to preparing vegan food and the limitations placed on the range by virtue of the equipment they have at their disposal but every effort has been made to make the 13 item vegan menu as appealing as it can.
Mark said: "We've been talking to vegans and we've had a couple of vegan tasting sessions, bouncing off ideas and been looking at what other fish and chip restaurants are doing around the UK and come up with our vegan menu."
Andrew said: "It's something we are going to have to put our time and effort into and tweak our menu. We may add things, we may change the batter, its all about feedback, we need to get people in. We need input from vegans because they're the specialists."
The shop has also invested in a range of vegan condiments, including mayonnaise, and will look to add more if there is demand.
Mark added: "Its about seeing how our first launch of the vegan menu goes. Hopefully everyone enjoys it, gives constructive criticism and any improvements we need to make and then we will start adding things on."
To find out more visit the shop's Facebook page.