Tibit's Food Boat
Vegan Cheesecake at Saf
3 Vegetarian Meals in London, England
I love meat. Obviously usually the wonderful, know where it comes from, love your local butcher and snuggle down with Hugh Fearnley–Whittingstall type of meat. But sometimes, when hungover, I can be lured by the Golden Arches. And that’s why I was intrigued by the idea of the Ethical Eats Restaurant Ramble. The deal was that they would show me and the other ramblers three of the best veggie restaurants in London and I would promise not to turn up with an emergency beef pasty in my pocket. Here’s the selection:
Tibits is a Swiss import serving seasonal vegetarian food from their Food Boat buffet which you pay for by weight. Anina from Tibits explained that their aim is to “be a vegetarian restaurant for everybody where you can bring meat eating friends and they’ll still love it”. I edged reluctantly towards the buffet before I had my breakthrough moment: it’s going to be alright, MACARONI AND CHEESE IS VEGETARIAN! Apart from the delicious macaroni, other big hitters included Aubergine Antipasti and rice noodles with oyster mushrooms and peaches. Their bestseller is a dried bean salad with walnuts and coriander.
I ignored the pig’s legs hanging in Fernandez and Wells’ window on the stroll to Mildreds - Soho’s bustling vegetarian institution. My mind was soon diverted from missed pig opportunities by the vast array of Victorian Porn on the walls of Mildred’s upstairs restaurant and I settled down with a glass of Sollatio Rosso Sicilia - Vegan Organic Red Wine (If like me, you’re thinking “but what’s non vegan wine?”, it’s to do with animal-derived ingredients being used in the filtration process) to await the arrival of my very tasty Ethiopian stew with plantain, yam, pepper and green beans in berbere tomato sauce.
Being honest, I would have whacked some lamb in there but it was creative and interesting and shows that, in London at least, being vegetarian doesn’t automatically mean a cheese sandwich.
To finish, we were whisked by eco cab to Hoxton’s creamy, minimalist and very sexy Saf for vegan and gluten free cheesecake (the cheese was made from cashew nuts) accompanied by Viscolaata, a cherry dessert wine sourced by restaurant regulars Rob and Jane from Italy. Saf specialises in raw food which is prepared by either marinating or dehydrating it.
I asked the true vegetarians on the ramble for their other restaurant recommendations in the capital:
- "Rasa is a delicious South Indian Restaurant in Stoke Newington"
- "You need to queue at Ottolenghi’s but the vegetarian food is fantastic"
- Other mentions went to The Gate in Hammersmith, Eat and Two Veg on Marylebone High Street and Vanilla Black on Chancery Lane.
One of my favourite things about the ramble was the conversations about other ethical initiatives and businesses which included Capital Bee (community bee keeping), tapwater.org (encouraging bottled water to be replaced with tap water) and Green Tomato Taxis (eco taxis).