TGI Friday’s accused of ‘trolling vegans’ after it launches £13 watermelon steak

This month, dozens of new vegan options from chains around the UK have been launched.

And it's likely that this is because of the popular Veganuary campaign.

Pizza Hut has launched a new Pepperphoni Pizza, while Costa created Ham & CheeZe toasties that are completely plant-based.

While some establishments are choosing to recreate non-vegan favourites, such as the Moving Mountain’s meatless burgers, others are focusing on whole-food vegan options, like LEON’s Chipotle and Avocado burger.

And the latest restaurant to join the vegan train is TGIs.

Even though the American restaurant chain is participating in Veganuary with its new menu item, some believe its plant based dish is an attempt to "troll vegans".

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TGI Friday’s has released a vegan watermelon steak, which is available across all of their restaurants from £12.99 as of January 6.

The dish is made up of a slice of fresh watermelon chargrilled to create a “steak-like texture” which is then marinated in garlic and seasoned with Sriracha hot sauce.

It's served alongside a creamy avocado sauce to add “coolness and freshness to the plate” as well as the Fridays Legendary Glaze.

Accompaniments include crispy seasoned fries and roasted vegetables for a “dish perfect for those on a vegan, vegetarian or flexiatrian diet.”

However, despite the glowing sell, Twitter users have been questioning the dish and some feel that the item is misguided.

One user, AYTEN, said: “1. Is this an actual joke?

"2. £12.99 for watermelon? F*** off.

“3. Seriously, is this a joke?”

An average watermelon costs £2.50 from Sainsbury’s and as the dish only provides one slice the mark up could be considered high.

Equally, the calorific content of a slice of watermelon is low, just 86 calories according to website Fatsecret, in comparison with TGI Friday’s Center-Cut Sirloin Steak with Whiskey Glaze which has 740 calories.

Another, named Mills, said: “The whole idea of the watermelon “steak” at TGIs confuses me because it’s not like they don’t have vegan stuff already which is f**** peng, yet they feel the need to grill a slice of f***** watermelon?

“Do they cook it in JD sauce? pls answer.”

A third, Chloe Churton, asked: "@TGIFridays are you trolling vegans with this #watermelonsteak?"

When approached for comment, the 25-year-old said: "I'm not vegan, I just think it's funny."

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However, user MarkNew clearly disagrees as he excitedly wrote: “OMG! Chargrilled, garlic & chilli – marinated with fries, roasted vegetables and glazed dipping sauce!

“Who thought watermelon was only a dessert??”

Watermelon steak is already widely written about online as a vegan alternative. Cooking is said to give the fruit a meaty texture, somewhat like seared tuna, but opinions on the dish are divided.

One Twitter user, Nkele Sebasa wrote: “I do not like #watermelons and it does not matter what colour they come in (red, green, yellow) I just cannot take the smell.

“This #watermelonsteak is taking this culinary thing too far.”

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