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Archive for the ‘London’ Category

Tao in London

In London on Saturday, post science museum and and pre-cocktails then theatre, I went to Tao with my parents. This little vegan buffet restaurant is really close to Piccadily Circus tube station.

I’m really not an all-you-can-eat buffet kind of person. At all. But we were really close to it and it was 100% vegan, and the food looked pretty good. So we gave it a go.

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Buffet food was a good choice because not only did it mean we were sure we’d have plenty of time before the Theatre, but the price of the food meant we could afford to buy the cocktails we had in a bar round the corner afterwards 🙂

Tao doesn’t have an alcohol licence, so it is soft drinks all the way. No problem for me (since I’d had a big ol’ cider beforehand!) and the green tea had free refills so I was pretty happy.

There’s a big selection of hot and cold food, and fruit for dessert. You can also order fritters separately (apple, banana or pineapple) but these cost extra on top of the buffet price (the buffet is £6.90 per person).

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The food included quite a bit of “fake meat” type stuff (I think it was seitan), which was pretty interesting and varied in terms of how nice it was. Luckily my parents are nice and open-minded, but I think if you brought some omnivores here they’d be a bit upset by that stuff!

I had two plates of food, and had a selection of cold and hot on both.

Plate 1:

Loads of fresh veggies, lovely spring rolls, and about 4 different "fake meats" on this plate!

Loads of fresh veggies, lovely spring rolls, and about 4 different “fake meats” on this plate!

Plate 2:

The hot noodles were pretty good, and it was a nice treat to have prawn crackers (even if they could have done with being a little crunchier). Roast potatoes were a little random!

The hot noodles were pretty good, and it was a nice treat to have prawn crackers (even if they could have done with being a little crunchier). Roast potatoes were a little random!

Afterwards we shared some fritters – I just had one banana one. It was ok but I think I was pretty full from my main so couldn’t really enjoy it.

So, I think I would go here again, if I was in the area and didn’t have much time/money. It was a nice speedy cheap way to eat, but a very different experience to my usual London vegan eating.

Read Happy Cow reviews here

40 Great Windmill Street,

London,

W1D 7LY

Open Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

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Yet another lovely evening in London (previous one here); veggie food followed by We Were Evergreen. The gig was in Shoreditch so I looked on Happy Cow to find somewhere in the area to eat beforehand, and found Amico Bio (near Barbican tube station). I don’t think I’ve ever been to a vegetarian Italian restaurant before, so I was quite excited 🙂

While we wait for our mains, we had some olives. And I’m honestly not exaggerating when I say that those green olives below were absolutely the very best olives I have ever eaten in my life.

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For my main I had a dish with tempeh and roasted veggies. You don’t see tempeh on menus in restaurants often (or in many shops) so I wanted to give it a try…

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Unfortunately I wasn’t wowed by this. It was ok, it just generally didn’t have much exciting flavour – I felt a bit like I could have made it myself at home, pretty easily. It was nice but just not very special.

My friend Esther had the tempura for her main:

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I think when I saw tempurah on the menu I assumed it would have something with it…but this was just a giant pile of tempurah. Now I’m sure that’s great if you’re the world’s biggest tempura fan but for most people I think this would just be too much fried veg on a plate.

I asked Esther for her thoughts on the restaurant and she said: “Friendly and attentive staff, cosy atmosphere, great prices, nicely presented. If you want to eat your weight in tempura this is for you. Tempura done to perfection but left feeling I’ve had my life’s quota of it, and still feeling that way the next day. Other dishes looked nice but somehow felt lacking in variety”.

I wish that I’d got something off the menu with seitan in it – there were a couple of things and I wonder what they would have been like. I think I’d probably give this place another chance at some point, I just wasn’t overly impressed with the food. But the place itself was nice and cosy, and the staff were really friendly. And let’s not forget the olives. Best olives ever.

And here’s a pic of the best part of the night…love them 🙂

WWE

See Happycow reviews here

Website

44 Cloth Fair

London

EC1A 7JQ

Tel: 020 7600 7778

Opening Times

  • Monday to Friday 12:00 to 10:30pm
  • Saturday 5:00pm to 10:30pm
  • Sunday and Bank Holiday closed

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InSpiral in London

I was in London last week to go to a gig at the Jazz Cafe in Camden (wonderful group called We Were Evergreen – I’d highly recommend them), and there was a bit of time beforehand so we went for some food. I wasn’t massively hungry since I’d eaten out at lunchtime but I knew that InSpiral was close by and I knew it was vegan or vegetarian. On close inspection of their website it seems they are vegan apart from the cow’s milk they have as an option for drinks.

When we got there I really wished I hadn’t eaten out at lunchtime! The range of food looked awesome. I decided on cake and a small smoothie 🙂

terrible photo! but it was delicious!

This cake was beautiful. I asked the guy who served me what he’d recommend and he said this one. Wow. And the smoothie was awesome too.

I definitely plan to go back there sometime when I am hungry! The staff were lovely and there was a lovely atmosphere, and the range of food (including lots of raw food) was great.

Here’s the useful info:

Website

250 Camden High Street

London

NW1 8QS

  • Mon – Thu: 9:00 – 22:00
  • Fri – Sat: 9:00 – 2:00 (late)
  • Sun: 9:00 – 23:30

Happy Cow reviews

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222 in London

In July I went to London and had the joy of going to 222 Restaurant. I’ve been there before and it didn’t disappoint the second time.

It’s about a 5 minute walk from West Brompton tube station, and I think when I went there before (2 years ago) it was all vegan apart from offering cow’s milk as an option. Well it now looks like they are completely vegan, and the milk options are soya, rice or almond. Yay! 🙂

Here’s the menu.

For my starter I had the bean and tofu pancake:

A delicious blend of black-eyed beans and tofu wrapped in a tender wholemeal pancake topped with tomato and vegan cream sauce

My main was the chef’s salad:

Seasonal vegetables, avocado slices, asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes and marinated artichokes in an extra-virgin olive oil dressing.

This was an AMAZING salad. Really special.

And for dessert I had the apple crumble with vanilla ice cream:

The whole experience was lovely. The place is really nice, the staff are great, and the food is really amazing.

Hello random people who happen to be in my photo. You look like you’re having a lovely time.

Useful info:

Address: 222 North End Road, West Kensington, W14 9NU

(nearest tube stations are West Brompton or West Kensington)

Tel: 020 738 12322

Opening hours:

Lunch buffet 12:00-15:30
Dinner a la carte 17:30-22:30

Website: here

Happy Cow reviews

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Manna in London

I have been to lots of wonderful vegetarian and vegan eateries recently, and at most of them I have even taken photos of my meals – I have just neglected to write about them. So I intend to do so, starting with my most recent awesome meal out…

My friend Becky booked us a table at Manna in Primrose Hill on saturday night. She’s the best kind of omnivorous friend; loves trying vegetarian and vegan food, and sees cooking for a vegan as a fun challenge (she made welsh cakes for breakfast the next day – recipe coming soon). And she’s generally awesome in a non-food related capacity 🙂

At first glance at the menu I wasn’t sure if it was a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, but then I noticed it just had the word vegan at the bottom of every page 🙂 So I had the choice of the whole menu – what a luxury!

For starters we shared two different things, a tofu satay thing and basil and cashew cheese croquets:

indonesian satay (v)(n)(gf) £8 baked marinated bean curd skewer, served with chinese coleslaw topped with a nest of crsip noodles


basil & cashew cheese croquettes (v)(n)(gf option) £8 served on a bed of watercress & pea sprouts with our homemade chilli jam

For our mains, Becky had the bangers and mash (we’ve been to Mildred’s twice and she has had it there both times, so this was a bit of a comparison):


organic bangers and mash (v) £14 organic fennel and pumpkin seed sausages on a bed of parsnip & carrot mash served with cavalo nero on a red wine, leek & thyme jus

I had one of those onion rings. Really really good!

I had the chef salad. I know it seems like a slightly boring choice but I wanted space for dessert, and I have had some amazing salads at vegan/vegetarian restaurants (222 and 1847 particularly).

chef salad (v)(gf) £14 a changing seasonal delight served with crispy marinated tofu, now featuring roasted beetroot, edamame, baby potato salad, cucumber, raw carrot, avocado, balsamic roasted onions, heritage tomatoes, green beans, caper berries, sugar snap peas, mixed leaves, toasted seeds

It might not looks that exciting, but trust me, there’s lots of exciting stuff hidden under there. Potato salad, amazing tofu, tons of edamame and loads else. Lovely. And massive! I didn’t manage to finish it (but I did take it away and have it on the train home the next day :)).

Part of the reason I didn’t finish it was that I definitely wanted space for dessert. And I’m glad I had space for this beauty:


banana split (v)(n)(gf) £8 3 scoops of vice cream or sorbet, your choice of flavors, topped with mixed berrie compote, toffee & chocolate sauces, whipped cream & nuts

It is a crap photo, but that was probably the best dessert I’ve ever had. Raspberry, vanilla and blueberry ice-cream, fresh fruit, rice milk cream, nuts, sauces. I ate all of it (with a little help from Bex). Amazing.

I took a photo of the inside of the restaurant before we left (it was very late – that’s why it’s empty!!):

As you can see the prices aren’t cheap but it was a lovely restaurant and definitely nice for a special occasion. I would certainly go there again! The website says reservations are recommended and I’m glad we had done that because it was pretty busy when we were there.

Useful info:

Website

Evening menu

Address: 4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, London NW3 3AJ (nearest tube station is Chalk Farm)

Phone: 020 7722 8028

Opening hours:

Dinner:
tuesday to sunday 6.30 – 10.30pm
Lunch
saturday & sunday – noon – 3.00pm

Happy Cow review

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Mildreds in London

Today I went to a lovely vegetarian restaurant in Soho, London. I’ve been to Mildreds before, and it did not disappoint the second time. It gets crazy busy and we had to wait about 45 minutes for a table, but this also means that the food comes really quickly as they want to clear the tables. So even if you have to wait, you get to eat pretty soon after you sit down.

They have a good choice of vegan options (see menu here) and also do a lovely selection of smoothies and fresh juices (I had carrot, apple and lime) as well as alcoholic drinks.

For my starter, I had the tostada – with grilled courgette and aubergine, lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole:

I tried many times and failed to get a good photo, but this starter was completely awesome.

And for my main course, I had the “burger of the day”, (which was butterbean, piquillo and rosemary) with sweet potato fries. When I ordered this I had no idea what piquillo was; turns out it’s a pepper.

Unfortunately there was such a small amount of time between my quite sizable starter and main, that I had no space at all for dessert. Which was a shame because my usual policy is that if I’m somewhere where there’s a dessert on offer which I can have, then I’ll have it. Also a shame because I skipped lunch so I could have a big awesome evening meal! Oh well. Still great 🙂 I’d definitely recommend this place.

See their website for more info (they also have a blog with recipes on it)

45 Lexington Street,

London

W1F 9AN

(nearest tube stations are Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road)

Phone: 020 7494 1634

Email: info@mildreds.co.uk

Opening Times: 12noon – 11pm Monday to Saturday

Read reviews on happycow here

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On Saturday I had the pleasure of heading to London, where I ate at a brilliant little vegan japanese restaurant called Itadaki Zen. This place is about 5-10 mins walk from King’s Cross, so it was super easy to get to.

Inside the restaurant was really nice. Very small (I’d probably recommend booking, you can do it online) but really friendly and nicely done out. It isn’t open at lunchtime, so I had booked a table for 7pm.

The menu in the restaurant is quite different to the one on the website, and there was tons of choice (and of course it was all vegan! so many options!). I don’t have japanese food much (ever), so I decided to have one of the set menus. There was a noodle one or a tofu one – I went with tofu.

This was the first course:

Then this beautiful (almost art-like) sushi course:

Then this lovely plate:

And finally dessert. There was a choice of 3, and I went with the muffins:

If I remember rightly, the whole thing was about £21, and it was such a great experience. The food was delicious and I’ll definitely go there again.

More importantly, I can now use chopsticks!! I had never used them before, but once the first course arrived I realised there were chopsticks on the table and I was far too embarrassed to ask for a fork. It took a little bit of tutoring from my friend but I now consider myself competent in the world of chopstick-using (i.e. I ate all my food and didn’t get any on myself or the table). 🙂

Website

Address:

139 King’s cross Road,

London

WC1X 9BJ

Tel: 02072 783 573

Read reviews on happycow here

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