It’s a great time to be a vegan. No longer are you stuck having to prep your own meals, or avoid stuff that’s really bad for you because it’s full of animal products, because you can walk into any supermarket or fast food chain and pick up something that’s entirely made of plants. Most of it tastes really good, and aside from the rare exception (read: McDonald’s) it’s actually tasty and not a stick of bland bullshit. Domino’s is the latest joint to appeal to the vegan market, with vegan trial in a handful of locations.
I am here to tell you that, while the offerings are limited, the final result is pretty damn tasty. And Domino’s almost managed to get rid of the unmistakably bad odour associated with vegan cheese.
Cheese is one of those things that the vegan food people haven’t really been able to replicate properly. Especially not the smell, because vegan cheese has a reputation for smelling like death – a reputation corroborated by my limited experience with the stuff. I have to say, though, Domino’s has almost solved the problem. The unmistakable smell of vegan cheese is there, even before you open the box, but it’s so close to not being awful. In fact, if you had someone around who had no idea it was vegan, you could probably convince them that it was just a particularly strong kind of animal cheese.
And the taste? Well it’s not mozzarella, because the texture is all off and it’s not nearly as stretchy as the real thing. But it does taste good. Much, much better than it smells at any rate, and unlike Pizza Hut’s vegan pizza cheese you can actually tell that it’s there. That said it doesn’t melt the same way as animal cheese, which seems to be common amongst a lot of vegan varieties.
The crust is also a new Domino’s-made vegan recipe, but honestly I didn’t notice any difference from the normal stuff. The end-result is a pizza I would be very happy eating, even if someone told me it would be the only pizza I was allowed for the rest of my life.
I have to say, though, the real winner are the herbs they put on this. It took me until eating the reheated leftovers to realise that’s what it was, but these are not herbs they generally add to the non-vegan pizzas. You can add them if you customise your order, and I wholly recommend that you do. Without them I feel like the vegan margherita would be lacking something.
However: non-vegans beware. The standard Domino’s garlic dip is about as far from vegan as you can get, so you end up getting a pot of BBQ dip instead.
The BBQ dip is vegan, and isn’t that different from regular BBQ sauce you’d buy in the supermarket. I can’t recall whether it was always that way but Domino’s only seems to be offering the vegan-friendly dip at the moment, so it doesn’t seem like there’s anything particularly special about this.
It did have a bit of a kick to it, compared to the BBQ sauce I usually buy, but it wasn’t so vastly different that it couldn’t be enjoyed.
The only major issue there is with Domino’s vegan pizza offerings is how limited things are. Unlike a lot of fast food chains that have sunk money into developing meat alternatives, Domino’s has only focused on the cheese and dough. Both are important parts of the pizza experience, granted, but it means your topping choices are restricted to vegetables. I opted for the margherita, since the Vegan Vegi Supreme came with two of my least-favourite veggies – onion and mushroom.
The lack of choices don’t end there, since you can only get the two in medium size, with regular gluten-infused crust. In other words, coeliac vegans are still left out, and there’s also no option for stuffed crust or one of the other crust types.
The pizza was good, there’s no doubt about it, but a bit more choice would be nice. So once this trial is done that should be top of the list of priorities before they start rolling out to other branches. Oh and some more vegan sides might be worth looking into, because so far the only one are potato wedges – and Domino’s wedges are, in my experience, almost universally terrible.
If you do live in the delivery area of one of the 46 participating branches, and you are vegan, then I can definitely recommend giving Domino’s offerings a try. Even if you’re just vegetarian or not a fan of meat, this should go down a treat. And even if it is just as bad for you as the stuff on the non-vegan menu.