A curious nenu item...not ms

Went for a meal with parents in law earlier in the week and saw on the menu,vegetarian fish and chips, which turned out to be battered haloumi and chips…in two minds about alerting trading standards!..gave me a chuckle anyway, waiting staff are totally baffled as well, I really feel for them, not their fault but they have to deal with trying to explain how battered cheese becomes fish!

I’d be more concerned if “vegetarian” fish turned out actually to contain…FISH!

I don’t think there’s anything misleading about it, as it obviously couldn’t be real fish, and vegetarian too, so it would have to be something else, but I agree it would be more helpful if they explained that the “something else” was cheese.

I’m feeling quite hungry discussing it, as I believe I would like this dish. I don’t like fish (will just about tolerate tuna and mackerel, but that’s it), so fish and chips have always been a no-no for me. I always end up having to go for battered sausages, which lately seem to trigger terrible cramps for me, so if there was a cheese option, I’d gladly try it, to see if it was any better.


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I think the best thing would just be to include it in the veggie options as battered haloumi, there is no need at all to describe a veggie dish as something similar to something a vegitarian or vegan would not want anyway! that’s what I don,t understand, I dont really understand vegitarian bacon substitutes either I would have thought a vegitarian would not want anything that even resembled flesh. I did used to make veggie ‘options’ in the pub, well one which was vegan as well, which never failed to irritate me as most of what they drank wasn’t vegan,…had one vegan customer who ‘educated’ me for about 3 hours on that particular subject, Our waiter did say he’d never had anyone order it, only point out that fish and chips aren’t veggie and the menus must have been misprinted, it was a very badly designed layout and extremely misleading menu altogether, way too much on it, to even imagine that any of it was freshly prepared, maybe haloumi fritter, would be a better descrption I’m just having a hard time understanding why you would describe a veggie dish in such an off putting way…but hey ho, not my problem…They’ll probably take it off when they see there is no demand!


I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong, just being a bit tongue in cheek. It’s not like they’re trying to deceive or mislead anyone. And I don’t reckon that they’re describing it as something a veggie would not want to eat or would be put off by, as Maude suggests. Just look at the names of what Quorn make - sausages, bacon, chicken pieces, steak strips, meatballs… They’re all named after normal meat, so describing it as veggie fish & chips seems normal to me. Personally, it’d tempt to try it. I love fish, but seeing that description would arouse my curiosity and I’d happily give it a try.



My son, and his wife, are vegetarian. But lately, they have started to eat fish - which makes it easier for me when they come to stay. l seem to have run out of vege ideas. Have even used ‘panneer’ the lndian cheese - with spinach to make a ‘green curry’ for them. They are away this weekend - trip to Cornwall. And they have rung to say that they had the best ‘fish-n-chips’ ever. Battered Gurnard - which is a lovely fish. And the best ever chips. Always tastes better at the sea-side - anyway. l cooked them - salt/chilli and sechauan peppered squid - as a starter - followed by fish pie. Cod/smoked haddock/salmon and prawns - with hard boiled eggs. And a cheesy mash topping -when they were here last week. l have done halloumi in filo pastry - with spinach -mushrooms and chilli.

l am hungry now!!!

hi maude,

just one question- was it nice? i am vegetarian (never eaten meat- only because i don’t like it, no moral reason) and have often seen similar things on menus but never been tempted as i’ve often found halloumi to be too rubbery and salty.

cheers fluffyollie

It just sounds wrong to me. I really like halloumi, but sticking it in batter, deep frying and serving with chips?? No, no, no. I get that a place wants to do a veggie alternative to fish, but what’s wrong with vegetarian sausages? Or making something a bit more interesting with something vegetabley and a different kind of cheese? Or like tempura, pakoras or samosas?

Sue (food police!)

Hi Dan

Halloumi is not veggie, it is made from sheep and goat milk and is set with rennet, which is an enzyme from calfs somachs, Quorn market their products as ‘meat free’ it is a minefield and perhaps knowing what is in halloumi, made me question it even being described as veggie. The Cypriot producers had quite a battle when they joined the EU and wanted to register halloumi, in the same way that champagne,Cheddar cheese,Melton Mowbray pork pies etc. are protected, because some producers use the milk based rennet and others wanted to use non traditional methods, have to say I never saw a cow in three years living in Cyprus! but did have a herd of mufflon trotting past the end of the garden twice a day! the butchers used to leave the tails on the carcasses in the fridge, bit of a surprise but at least you knew what you were getting.


Hi, I don’t like halloumi either, or lountza which seems to be the Cypriot equvalent to ham and cheese,when it comes to sandwiches,I’m not veggie, just sometimes want something a bit lighter


This reminded me of an incident in a hotel, when a young woman didn’t fancy the vegetarian option on the Sunday lunch menu, so the head waiter gave her the a la carte menu and told her if the chef had the ingredients for any if the veggie options on there, he would cook it for her. She still couldn’t find anything she fancied, so she ordered the roast beef without the beef. So the meal arrived, a single Yorkshire pudding on her plate, and a side dish of vegetables and new potatoes. She looked crestfallen and said, “but where’s my gravy?” The waiter simply says, “but madam the gravy is made with meat stock” to which the young lady replied, “yes, I know, but I can have that!”

Hi Sue quite agree, if the veggies do dairy it’s easier to come up with ideas, but it is hard, when it is your business to keep the menu ‘fresh’ and interesting for everyone, at least there is more available now than the nut roast


My veggie family like the Sunday Roasties - roast spuds parsnips - yorkshires - cauliflower cheese - roasted carrots - any green veg - with vegetable stock gravy.

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I completely agree spacejacket- at the age of 42 and never having eaten meat (for previously given reasons), i am very used to just having everything except the meat. I believe that if one makes the conscious decision to not eat meat, then one has to accept the consequences of what reduced choice is on offer. however I must admit, when dining out in the late 1980s, any alternative to vegetable lasagna would have been welcome!

flowerpot- that really makes me laugh. having waited tables in my formative years i have heard similar things coming from the mouths of transient, fareweather vegetarians. priceless!

maude- for something lighter, i have enjoyed toasted pitta, humus and salad which has hit the mark, especially with extra tomato and vegetarian hotdog sausages… mmm

overall, some vegetarians are plonkers who are vegetarian to be reactionary and to cause a fuss- as a student i shared a house with a girl who went postal over my mate (fellow housemate) who used her pot for meat. the pots were communal but she was really making a point- i didn’t care as long as they were washed out afterwards.

right- climbing down from the soapbox and off to do the wife’s tea in time for downton.

fluffyollie xx

Hi fluffieollie, totally agree, re the flat sharer I thought seperate pots and pans were kosher, not vegitarian!..which reminds me chopped egg and onion is very tasty, might try that with pitta, it was one thing I used to do for the office next door where the staff were majority jewish and although not kosher (no inspector in the area), they appreciated the effort and did eat it, to be honest they used to eat most things during working horus and kosher at home, which is probably the same as fairweather veggitarians!