Established in 2008, Love Fit Cafe in Brighton is a health food focused cafe that describes itself as ” the UK’s Original High Protein Restaurant”. A stone’s throw away from Brighton train station it’s both easily accessible and easy to find.
I’d heard good things from various people and even a few of my clients so decided to go in with @charlotte_tulloch on a gloomy Saturday to see what all the fuss was about.
Thai Chicken & Butternut Squash Curry – 5/10
Having thoroughly enjoyed authentic local cuisine on a recent trip to Thailand, I was intrigued to see how a “healthy” option from the seaside in the UK would fare. My expectations weren’t particularly high but even so this probably isn’t something I’ll be rushing back for.
Presentation was so-so. They had clearly made and effort which I appreciated but it did look a little haphazard with big clumps of cayenne pepper on the edges of the plate. The colour variation of the rice gave it a bit of visual interest too.
As I ate this I joked that it was “woefully under seasoned” but on reflection, I wasn’t far wrong. I’m not sure if they were erring on the side of caution due to the nature of the restaurant and sodium scaremongering in the media but a dash of salt and pepper wouldn’t have gone amiss.
Other than that, the rest of the flavours were inoffensive. It was mild which I expected but there seemed very little to distinguish it’s “Thai” origin. The butternut squash was cooked fine as was the chicken, if not a little over.
The rice was, well…. rice. Simply an accompaniment to the curry, some of which I left on the plate. I think it would be interesting to pair this with the increasingly popular “cauliflower rice” as a fat loss version of the dish.
Lean Pork & Sage Burger – 8/10
Next up we had a Lean Pork & Sage Burger with plum and bramley apple relish, light mayo and our low fat, full flavour, mature cheddar cheese. A bit of a mouthful and a decent one at that.
What appealed most to me about this dish was that I’m not sure, without a disproportionate amount of effort, I could have made better. There are so many ingredients in this that I would end up buying and throwing away unless I ate burgers for a week and I hate throwing food away.
Anyone that knows me, knows I love a cheeky Nando’s. It was refreshing to have the option of a healthy burger that didn’t have chicken in it. At just over 500 calories, it matches theirs calorie for calorie too.
The flavour combinations worked really well, almost like a Sunday Roast in a bun. Sounds odd but it worked. The burger was cooked well with just the right amount of sauce. It may be a bit sweet for some but for me it was on the money.
If I were to criticise anything it would be the burger/bun ratio (very important). Where Nando’s have too much chicken to bun, this was the opposite. I found my last few mouthfuls were bun and apple sauce, not so great. Maybe I’ll have to open my own place to satisfy my OCD.
Broccoli with Flaked Parmesan & Chilli – 7/10
It wouldn’t be a “healthy-eating” cafe without the inclusion of broccoli, an old school bodybuilder staple. The Love Fit Cafe have spruced up what would ordinarily be considered a pretty bland dish with the small but welcome addition of and chilli flakes and parmesan.
A small but welcome addition to what can only typically be described as a pretty bland dish. The broccoli had a good bite whilst the chilli gave it nice kick. The parmesan didn’t overpower the broccoli so all in all, a good side.
Iced Coffee with Almond Milk and Low Fat whipped cream – 7.5/10
I enjoy good coffee. I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur but I do have 2 Nespresso machines for no apparent reason. Americano (2 sweeteners or sugar free syrup) is my usual tipple of choice but I was interested in Love Fits Iced Coffee. Probably because you could have it blended with almond milk and topped with low fat whipped cream.
It was cool to be in a place where, asking for almond milk and low fat whipped cream, didn’t result in strange looks from the staff.
The coffee was decent if not mind-blowing. I enjoyed the change up from my usual black coffee without the guilt.
Vanilla Protein Pancakes – 7.5/10
Love Fit have a few dessert options on the menu including brownies, carrot cake and lemon drizzle cake. As much as I would have loved to indulge, it wouldn’t have really suited the rest of the content on the site. So we opted to share the Vanilla Protein Pancakes instead.
They were actually very similar to my Ultimate Protein Pancakes
albeit slightly thinner. I was expecting them to be dry like protein powder recipes often are,but was pleasantly surprised. They were light and fluffy although lacked any real flavour so the topping was a welcome addition – you can choose between golden syrup, lemon and sugar or chocolate, but we opted for maple.
They looked the part, though, and the texture was good.
Food – 7/10
Good but forgettable. If you’re trying your best to stick to specific calories and don’t fancy cooking yourself, there are a few interesting options.
Service – 8/10
Staff were friendly and attentive. Speed of service was good too although it was quite quiet.
Atmosphere – 8/10
Very relaxed. As mentioned, it was quite quiet but even so it doesn’t have the conveyor belt feeling that a lot of chain restaurants have.
Value – 8/10
Mains ranged between £5 and £7 which I think is excellent value. The food appeared to be good quality so can’t argue for the price.
Overall – 7.5/10
A good option for those tracking their calories and fancy a change from chain restaurants. A much better atmosphere and attentive staff. If I was passing by and needed a quick bite I wouldn’t hesitate to drop in (they also do take away), it’s great value and service was fast and friendly. I’d be interested to try out a few more of their dishes as the burger was very good but for now, I’ll stick with Nando’s.
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