Friday, 14 December 2012

Duke's at Komedia

The newly opened Duke's at Komedia cinema, bar, and cafe on Gardner Street has quickly jumped into the top three on my list of Best Places in Brighton. Not only does this brand spanking new cinema have two screens showing documentaries, indie films and their pick of the best of the blockbusters but they also have two bars, one spilling out onto the street which will be extra amazing in summer, one cosy lounge style bar upstairs, and, the icing on the cake, kick ass vegan food. Yep, that's right, Brighton is catching up with Austin, Texas in the awesome stakes with this double hitter - movies and hot dogs in the same place! Hell yeah!

Upon hearing that Duke's at Komedia were going to be slinging tofu dogs I dropped them an e-mail to get the lowdown on shared equipment, veganness of their dressings and possible future vegan options. I met with their lovely head chef who assured me that the dogs themselves are cooked separately to meat, they have a totally vegan fryer and the toppers, sauces and sides are now labelled as vegan on the menu just to make things that little bit easier.

I dove straight into the food with a Back To The Old School dog, no veganising necessary, just ask for the tofu dog option.

This bloody enormous tofu dog comes in a mini baguette with tonnes of fried onions, American mustard and Heinz ketchup. Delicious. That's not all though, for your £9 there are also sides of fries, nacho chips and barbecue sauce.


The dog itself was absolutely spot on, I love that it's served in a proper sized roll making this a real meal and the toppings were ample. The homemade Smokey Barbecue Sauce is sweet & infused with delicious figs, apricots and apples. The fries were crisp, cooked perfectly & I thought the portion size was spot on.

As you can see the vegan options are clearly labelled with a (v) and there are a tonne of them. The jalapeƱos labelled (v) in this picture are actually a chilli lime jalapeƱo pesto which shows just how hard these guys are working to come up with inventive & exciting options.



The other really cool thing about these is the way that they're served, the tins mean that they can now be taken into the screens! If you're not into eating something as substantial as a hot dog in the theatre itself both the sweet and salty popcorn's are vegan and there are cakes, really good cakes! When we visited we tried a slice of this delicious Lemon Polenta cake...


...which was perfectly moist and had a beautiful juniper and lemon glaze on top. Quite lovely. The other vegan desserts you can expect to see popping up here are a Spiced Carrot Cake with Orange Cardamom Frosting, Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate Orange Frosting and, wait for it, Churros with Dark Chocolate Dip. Seriously, this chef knows her shit and is serious about feeding vegans decent food.

Another awesome thing about Duke's at Komedia is that they've worked with Boho Gelato to offer five ice creams and sorbets that you can't get anywhere else. These flavours will rotate seasonally and the current vegan options are Mud In Your Eye Figgy Pudding Pie which is a delicious fig infused chocolate sorbet and Mulled Cider Apple Pie Sorbet which I cannot wait to try next time I visit. Just in case the bar staff aren't 100% sure which one's are vegan when the flavours change they're helpfully labelled vegan right on the bottom of the tub.


The bars also serve vegan drinks including two of my favourites, Brooklyn Lager and Rekorderling, they make a great decaf soya latte (sorry real coffee drinkers - I have no clue!), the hot chocolate is vegan and after chatting with them they're also looking into labelling the wine list.

I foresee myself hanging out here a lot (by tomorrow I'll be on my third movie this week), it's essentially what I've been dreaming of for years, a cafe with vegan options that's open 'till late - currently 9pm for hot food and 11pm for cakes and drinks. If the kitchen gets busy enough they'll stay open serving hot food until closing so get down there are make these guys as busy as you can, I want the tofu dogs to out-sell their meaty counterparts and I want this place to be busy and crammed full of vegans stuffing their faces with tofu dogs!

19 comments:

  1. This is amazing!! Oh gawd I need to get one of those dawgs as soon as possible!

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  2. That looks yummy. Are they home made? they look a bit like the Taifun ones.

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  3. This looks like it's going to become a default visit for meals in Brighton, whatever's on in the screens - but knowing there's such good stuff to snack on while watching films will be the icing on the cake. Can't wait to check it out in person! :)

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  4. Any place that labels the wine list makes my list of amazing places with amazing people. If only everywhere would realise the amount of custom I will give if they label these things for me.

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  5. Awesome! Yay for not-dogs! Anything in Brighton that is reminiscent of Austin makes me happy. I still miss the Alamo Drafthouse though!

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  6. Looks great! We'll have to try it out next time we're down that way :) - (also I thought that too, very similar looking to Taifun)

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  7. Thanks SO MUCH for the time and effort you put into sharing the vegany goodness happening in Brighton! Being a semi-recent transplant from Austin, i horribly miss the Alamo Drafthouse. I pretty much stopped seeing movies since i've moved to the UK. (Part of that was the price of a ticket in London, but a lot of it is just the difference in experience, once one has been able to have an Asian Tofu salad and a beer or two while watching a movie!...)
    And thanks also for mentioning the Gourmet Girls Pop Up Kitchen. The Missus and i had an incredibly delicious dinner there recently (that Kahlau cheesecake was out of this world), and i would not have known about them except for your blog.
    And also thanks very much for your cupcakes at wai kika moo kau. I'm working in Brighton now (hooray, no more commuting to London!), so that's a frequent lunchtime destination for me, and it's a real treat to be able to get one of your vegan cupcakes!

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    1. Hey johan! I know what you mean about the differing experinces (and cost!) between watching a movie in the US & UK. Duke's at Komedia's definitely getting it right though so I hope you visit soon! I'm glad you guys had a great meal at the Gourmet Girls pop-up & that you're enjoying my cupcakes at WaiKikaMooKau!

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  8. Hi. I also went to Duke's @ Komedia to eat on the weekend, I was also pretty happy with the Not Dog, but I had a couple of criticisms, which I passed onto them, one being that our chips were way too salty. I also suggested to them that they offer the Not Dog by itself, and they wrote back and said they will be offering a lighter option at some point. I congratulated them on having so many vegan options on the menu, I always appreciate this so much at places that aren't veggie/vegan eateries. I've been twice already to watch films... you're one up on me on that count!

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  9. hey jojo!! you won one of my holiday cookbooklettes!! Yay!!! can you send me your mailing address? xo
    ameyfm (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  10. i really want to go to brighton and go to all the cool vegan places!

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  11. That place looks like a must-visit! We have a cart here that sells vegan hot dogs but I haven't tried it yet. Happy 2013!

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  12. I tried the chocolate fudge brownie and lemon polenta yesterday. Both were £2 and in tray bake form (not slices of cake as the lemon polenta was when Jojo photographed it above) My lemon polenta cake also had poppy seeds all the way through it unlike Jojo's.

    I didn't like the polenta cake at all and didn't eat it (but I've never had polenta cake before - perhaps I just don't like it). I prefer the elusive chilli chocolate brownie from Infinity but the Duke's brownie was nice and I'd have it again.

    I have yet to try any savoury food - or see a film!

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    1. Yep, they've changed the shape/size of the cakes and lowered the price which is great. I can't wait to try the brownie & I hope you get to catch a film there soon, the seats are SO comfy!

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  13. They are no longer labelling the cakes as vegan because they think it puts people off. Apparently sales have improved since this change.

    Be careful to check you are charged correctly for cakes cos every time I've bought cake so far it comes up on the till at the old price of £2.80 instead of £2. Easy to spot when buying just cake but with drinks etc it might be missed.

    I tried the carrot cake this week, it's not ever my first choice of cake but I thought I ought to try it. It was quite good but the brownie is my favourite.

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  14. I went to see Django Unchained last night and ordered the Mushroom Dog before the film started - they are INCREDIBLE! Trout had the chilli dog which he preferred, but I loved mine - it's served in a great wholemeal bun with caramelised red onions and mushrooms, and we both had sweet potato wedges on the side which were so delicious. I would come and eat there even if I wasn't going to the cinema!!

    Pictures here: http://paperbagblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/what-have-you-been-missing/

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  15. Hey Jojo, are you sure rekorderlig is vegan? I just found out that kopperberg and many other ciders such as magnets, are not vegan, so I emailed rekorderlig, and they didn't know so passed on my email to head office, but I didn't get a reply and that was before xmas, so I was assuming its not ok!!! Really sad coz I also found out Sol and Stella are not vegan... would be amazing if rekorderlig was!!!

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    1. Hey Charlotte, as far as I'm aware Rekorderling is vegan. I use Barnivore or Veggie Wines to check whether something I want to drink is veg friendly and Rekorderling is listed on Barnivore as vegan http://www.barnivore.com/products/8282-rekorderlig-premium-pear-cider

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