THE MOST VIBRANT LONDON RESTAURANTS TO HEAD TO THIS VEGANUARY // TATLER
Link to article: https://bit.ly/3IuK8ST
4 January 2023
With Marc Summers and Head Chef Helen Graham (formerly of Berber & Q and The Palomar, respectively) at its helm, this buzzy Spitalfields Middle Eastern spot was always destined for success. Despite having only opened in 2019, Bubala is already a beloved part of London’s restaurant scene (and launched a second site in Soho to great acclaim in 2022). The two spots don’t shout about their vegetarian status, as the fact is nothing more than incidental – this is show-stopping stuff, for omnivores and the plant-based brigade alike. A good proportion of the menu is vegan, with offerings like charred oyster mushroom skewers, the dreamiest baba ganoush and a glorious wedge of braised hispi cabbage. For those willing to stray into dairy territory, however, the halloumi with chamomile honey is a must-order.
Housed in Soho House’s glamorous and sprawling establishment, The Ned, Malibu Kitchen brings vibrant Californian food to London. While the menu isn’t exclusively vegan or vegetarian, there’s plenty to appease the plant-based crowd; think sunny dishes like young coconut and heart of palm salad, chia seed flatbread with hummus, a forbidden rice bowl and the ‘beyond meat’ burger. Don’t miss the gluten-free raw chocolate cake for dessert, which is sumptuously dark and decadent.
Masterminded by the expert team behind Mildreds (one of the first London restaurants to make vegetarian dining cool), Mallow quickly accumulated a flock of devotees following its 2021 debut. Set in the gastronomic haven of Borough Market (its first and only fully plant-based restaurant), the seasonal, sustainable and low-waste menu showcases eclectic dishes like porcini chestnut croquettes, beetroot sweet potato tortelloni and a vibrant market thali. Don’t sleep on the weekend brunch: the crème brûlée brioche French toast and Black Forest chocolate pancakes are well worth getting out of bed for. mallowlondon.com
Nestled at the heart of London’s sleek Nine Elms redevelopment is Linnaean: a glamorous new arrival on the beauty scene complete with a hair salon, nail bar, medi spa and apothecary that’s also home to its own restaurant. Snap an Instagram or two among the covetable interiors by Martin Brudnizki (of Annabel’s fame), who’s created a chic oasis of pastel shades and fanciful floral installations. Linnaean’s ethos is just as impressive, with a menu championing a sustainable, seasonal, zero-waste and plant-led approach. Executed with elegance and flair and drawing on globally-inspired flavours, highlights include the pillowy French toast, adorned with mango coulis and lashings of coconut yoghurt; or Linnaean’s innovative take on the classic English breakfast, with truffle tofu scramble and polenta hash browns. Don’t miss the delightful daily cake display (there’s even a vegan afternoon tea on offer), and the extensive drinks menu, spanning nourishing herbal teas through to celebratory cocktails.
Yotam Ottolenghi is at least partly responsible for dispelling the myth that vegetables are boring, with his inventive, globally-inspired takes on plant-forward fare. And never more so than at ROVI – case in point: the superlative celeriac shawarma. Meaty and rich with its thick, melt-in-the-mouth layers, it would win over even the most diehard of carnivores (and it’s reportedly Nigella Lawson’s favourite). With a focus on fermentation and cooking over open fire, it’s no wonder ROVI’s food is so exciting. Other vegan options include the coal roasted spaghetti squash and purple sprouting broccoli with miso ssamjang, both of which are a riot of colour and flavour.
All sleek, blonde wood interiors and rustic plant pots, Camilla Fayed’s buzzy Notting Hill spot has become a stalwart of the London vegetarian scene since its opening in 2016. With an entirely vegan menu that’s free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals, visitors might be steeling themselves for something rather uninspiring – but the reality couldn’t be more different. Tuck into tempting pizzas, vibrant Earth Bowls (the truffle ramen is as decadent as it is nourishing) or hearty curries and burgers. Chase with the decadent – yet confoundingly virtuous – chocolate brownie sundae, which is the stuff of sweet-toothed dreams come true.
The original Mildreds, set in a converted former Soho sex club, broke the mould with its international vegetarian menu way back in 1988. It’s now a London institution, with hungry customers flocking from far and wide to seek out superlative veggie burgers, nourishing salad bowls and decadent desserts – but thankfully it’s now opened a host of branches across the capital, including in Camden, Dalston, King’s Cross and Covent Garden. Better yet, this Veganuary Mildreds is going all-out with some dazzling Vietnamese specials, showcasing dishes like char siu mushroom bánh mì and lemongrass chick’n goi ga.
Pollen Street Social
Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred flagship has a dedicated vegan set menu, applying its seasonal, ingredient-led ethos for a plant-based spin on fine dining. WITH inventive dishes including aged Acquerello rice with roasted Jerusalem artichoke and braised broccoli stem with toasted nori, plus Japanese citrus parfait to finish, vegans will not come away hungry.
Plants by de
Ella Mills has been the poster girl for plant-based eating for the best part of a decade. First came a website where she shared her recipes, before racking up millions of followers on social media, launching an app, a product line, and penning numerous cookery books. Now she even has her very own a restaurant, a smart, chic eatery dubbed Plants by de. Featuring recipes developed and perfected by Ella herself, but executed by a head chef, standout dishes include the spicy vegetable fritters with smokey piquillo pepper sauce, chestnut mushroom ragu pasta (rich and creamy with a punchy umami hit), and roast aubergine with rainbow chard and parsley salsa. With Ella herself so intertwined with her brand, this is the definition of a passion project – and it shows, with a lot of love clearly poured into the menu, decor and team, who are enthusiastic and friendly.
With sites in Hammersmith, Islington and Marylebone, The Gate is known for its less obvious dishes, packed with flavours influenced by its founders’ Indo-Iraqi and Jewish origins. A vegetarian and predominantly vegan restaurant, menu highlights include the miso glazed aubergine, steamed Hirata bun and smoked artichoke gnocchi. It’s no wonder visitors include the health-conscious Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Woody Harrelson.
Founded by husband and wife duo Eleanor Warder and Phil Honer, the couple saw a gap in the market for exciting but healthy lunch options, and set to work whipping up health-focused bowls, launching Atis in 2019. The tempting options include the Shroomi 2.0, showcasing spinach, brown rice, grilled mushrooms and crispy shallots; or the seasonal Plant Therapy bowl, with tahini chickpeas, turmeric cauliflower and smoked almonds, atop greens and red cabbage. Everything is customisable and there’s a choice of proteins to go alongside too, including the moreish miso tofu. What’s more, all the packaging is eco-friendly and 100 per cent recyclable or compostable.
Who says vegans only eat salads? Masterminded by Lewis Hamilton, a man who knows a thing or two about speed, Neat Burger is proving that fast food isn’t only the reserve of carnivores. With a host of locations across the capital, its fully vegan menu includes a cheez burger, chick’n burger and the neat dog, along with plant-based takes on American classics like tater tots and milkshakes. And in case that’s not enough of an incentive, for every product sold, a tree is planted.
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