Vegan News in London: The September LowdownBy Alicia Grimshaw
London is seriously upping its game when it comes to plant-based treats. We’re loving the wave of new vegan fare hitting the capital; from new openings to veg-leg tasting menus, here’s where to get your vegan fix in London this month:
What: SpiceBox have been working all summer on some very exciting recipe development (check out their Insta), ahead of opening their first permanent site later this year. But before the team fling open the doors to their bricks and mortar site, the plant-powered gang are trialling a few new dishes at their SpiceBox Test Kitchen, from Friday 21st September – Sunday 21st October, at Hornbeam Cafe in Walthamstow.
Eat: The weekly changing menu will feature curry house classics (all vegan, obvs) such as chickn korma, dhansak and chickn tikka masala. And if it’s on the menu, be sure to try the brinjal bhaji, a traditional smoky aubergine curry, boasting earthy spices, a hint of smoke, and a tangy tomato sauce. Oh, and the onion bajhi. You know what, just try it all.
Where: 458 Hoe St, Walthamstow, London E17 9AH
What: Inigo is all about sushi handrolls, offering a new standard in sushi and lunchtime eating. And we know what you’re thinking: Sushi? Vegan? Really? They’ve just opened a site in the City, and there’s plenty of plant-based options on the menu.
Eat: Vegans, you’re not going to be disappointed. There’s the spicy red hot pepper roll and the miso broccoli roll, crammed full of tender stem broccoli, cucumber, pickled daikon and punchy black sesame miso. Fresh and zesty salads complete the offering – choose from either spicy mangetout and grapefruit, smashed cucumbers, or the special watermelon salad. For pud, Inigo offers vegan chocolate bites, yuzu possets and chocolate mousse, made with cacao, avocado and chilli.
Where: 29 Throgmorton St, London EC2N 2AT
What: A new vegan restaurant has opened in Shoreditch, offering a menu of plant-based, GMO-free and organic dishes, with street food influences from around the world. Genesis is the brainchild of Alex and Oliver Santoro, whose family have, rather ironically, been involved in the meat industry for over one hundred years.
Eat: The menu comprises a selection of sharing plates, salads, soups, tacos, burgers and hot dogs, all made using organic fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Sharing dishes include the Indian street food snack of Aloo Tikki Chaat; Tel Aviv cauliflower with tahini, almonds and cranberries; shawarma with Israeli salad, chilli, pickles, garlic sauce, tahini dressing and sumac; and Char Kway Teow, a popular Malaysian dish of brown rice noodles, stir-fried vegetables and black bean sauce. These are accompanied by salads including the kale caesar and Thai papaya and mango, as well as a spicy, rich laksa soup, and indulgent mac and cheese.
Where: 144 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, London E1 6NU
What: Vivek Singh and his modern Indian restaurants in London – The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon Kitchen and Cinnamon Bazaar – are plating up for the planet with the launch of their new vegan tasting menus across the collection.
Eat: The Cinnamon Club offers a four course menu, with dishes such as spiced aubergine and cauliflower fritters, okra filled with peanut and jaggery, and banana chilli with fenugreek, raisin and bitter gourd. Cinnamon Bazaar blends old world flavours with Vivek’s renowned modern Indian-style to create dishes like watermelon chaat, mushroom and green pea curry, and Jaipur-style okra with spinach poppadum curry. Finally, Cinnamon Kitchen City’s four course plant-based menu features plates including grilled aubergine with sesame tamarind, crisp zucchini flower with marrow and lentil sauce, and saffron poached pear.
Where: Locations here
Photo Credit: Johnny Stephens Photography
What: Jidori in Covent Garden have created a new vegan menu giving veggies all the limelight. The new a la carte vegan menu, available in the evening only, features some favourite specials from the past which have been brought back by popular demand, alongside new dishes which showcase Japanese techniques of cooking with vegetables.
Eat: Following the layout of their standard menu there’s a variety of small plates, yakitori, snacks and desserts. Dishes include Spinach Ohitashi – a cold spinach salad, homemade Japanese Tsukemono pickles, tenderstem broccoli tempura, a mizuna and tofu salad and an avocado, radish and yuzu ceviche. Items from the grill include shiitake and shimeji ‘kinoko’ mushroom, and smokey ‘nasu’ aubergine skewers. Ochazuke completes the savoury a la carte offering: a bowl of seasoned rice topped with Japanese tea traditionally eaten as a digestive at the end of a meal.
Where: 15 Catherine St, London WC2B 5JZ
What: Pret’s new autumn menu is launching in shops on Tuesday (25th September), and there’s plenty of plant-based options on the menu. Sweet bites take the lead, the pumpkin spiced latte makes a return, and a new range of meat-free soups are hitting the shelves.
Eat: Pret is welcoming three new chocolatey vegan sweet treat to shops; almond butter bites – little squares of dark chocolate, filled with smooth almond butter and a touch of sea salt; dark chocolate salted almonds – roasted almonds with a delicate layer of dark chocolate, a sprinkle of sea salt and a dusting of cocoa; and the coconut and mango bowl, featuring freshly sliced banana topped with coconut yoghurt and crunchy granola, and finished with chunks of mango and pomegranate seeds.
Where: Locations here
What: Street food trailblazers, KERB, have just taken on new traders to incubate on their ‘InKERBator programme’, and included in the new batch is Stateside inspired vegan bagel deli, Vegals. Influenced by her favourite delis in NYC and London, founder Chloe spent hours in her kitchen creating vegan recipes based on the classic bagel fillings.
Eat: Try the signature bite: the salt ‘beef’ (seitan) with Pepperjack vegan cheese, pickle and mustard. Other menu items include the Scandilous with smoked carrot lox, cashew cream cheese and pickles, and the Vegal Royale with scrambled ackee and smoked carrot lox.
Where: Check where Vegals is popping up next here
Photo Credit: Jake Davis
Two for the diary…
What: Abokado have expanded their vegan range for the autumn months and, having listened to customer feedback, launched a vegan dish based on their most popular lunchtime bite.
Eat: Available in late October, the vegan katsu curry is Abokado’s latest plant-based dish, and features crumbed spinach pieces on seasoned rice with Asian vegetables, and a new vegan miso soup is hitting the menu too. And, good news coffee lovers, Abokado now stock Vita coconut milk across all sites for their hot drinks. Coconut matcha latte? Yes please.
Where: Locations here
What: Launching in October right by Farringdon Station, Flipside is a modern American, fully plant-based grab and go concept offering snappy, grab and go bites during breakfast and lunch, before taking it up a notch in the evening with burgers, fries, sides, thick malt shakes and ice-cold beers.
Eat: Breakfast options will include organic chickpea scramble boxes, mocha morning oats, sourdough donut with almond feta and honey enjoyed with organic Bullet coffee, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies and teas. For lunch, choose from more than 30 sandwiches and salads, from the classic BLTA to cheese melts, and burritos. Visit the ‘Mac Bar’ and customise your mac n’ cheese with the likes of chopped sticky rashers, baked shiitake, chargrilled broccoli, caramelised onions and roasted cherry tomatoes.
Where: 88 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6BP