Temple of Seitan, Hackney 🍗

I’ve been meaning to share Hackney’s Temple of Seitan with you for a while, and seeing as today is National Fried Chicken Day, I have the perfect excuse.


Previously only to be found at street-food markets on Brick Lane, Temple of Seitan have been serving up their unique vegan delights at their stand alone chick’n shop, since January this year (2017).

Now obviously chicken isn’t exactly vegan, but here they use seitan (a meat substitute made from wheat gluten) as their “chicken”, served up deep fried in sandwiches, as wings, and as my personal favourite, pop corn chick’n! They also have gluten-free options available and don’t forget to try their Mac ‘n’ Cheese, it’s the best I’ve ever tasted, with little “bacon” bits on top!


The brainchild of Rebecca McGuinness and her husband, Pat O’Shea, this chick’n shop could be one of a kind, potentially being the only vegan fried chick’n shop in the world. And there’s a reason us vegans have been flocking here (expect to find long & winding queues outside)… Rebecca McGuinness used to work for KFC. Is it possible she knows the “secret recipe”?

Vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore, I defy anyone not to fall in love with this place and they’re ridiculously delicious food.


And I don’t want to give away my too many of my secrets, but if you arrive just before closing, you’re likely to receive a huge bag of food, no matter what you order! We had leftovers…


This has become our favourite pig out joint in London and where we always head to for a treat on cheat day 🍗

Temple of Seitan is open 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday 12:00 – 21:00, 12:00 – 18:00 on Sundays.

Pizzaria Volare, North London

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love pizza. Pre-veggie/veganism, the boy and I were partial to the occasional (weekly) Domino’s 2 For Tuesday deal.
Switching over to our current veggie and vegan lifestyles, our new go to became Papa Johns, whose original crusts are vegan friendly (and so delicious, even the pups are fans)!
Now, after both experiencing real Italian thin crust pizzas in Italy, our tastes have refined somewhat. And as much as I do love a good Franco Manca or a Pizza Pilgrim, these aren’t local to us in North London, so we have been on the hunt for an authentic and local restaurant to frequent.
And then we found Pizzaria Volare, Bowes Road. We’ve often walked past on our way to other places, but this time we headed there specifically, and we weren’t disappointed.
Here’s what we ordered:
1
A deliciously fresh Tricolore Salad – rocket, avocado, tomato & mozzarella (on the side).
2
A side order of Patatas Bravas with a spicy tomato sauce (again, on the side – a theme may be occurring).
And then my absolute favourite (and often cheapest!) pizza of all time…
5
Pizza Marinara – tomato pizza sauce, garlic (and lots of it), oregano & fresh basil.
All washed down with a complimentary shot of limoncello and a rather good value bill.
6
Oh and did you know that Peroni is vegan friendly? Rude not to, really.
A great little vegetarian & vegan friendly meal in a lovely authentic Pizzaria; a must if you find yourself in our neck of the woods. Attentive staff, only too happy to make slight adjustments to their plentiful menu, delicious food and reasonably priced.
Pizzaria Volare
167 Bowes Road
N11 2JA
020 3105 2662

Tredwell’s, London – vegan friendly

Being a big fan of UK Masterchef (regular, professional and even celebrity), I have been pleased to see the odd vegetarian round popping up over the past couple of years.

Masterchef: The Professionals judge and one time Junior Masterchef contestant (1985), Marcus Wareing’s latest casual dining restaurant, Tredwell’s (opened September 2014), is even more reason for celebration, as he has gone one step further and added vegan friendly options to his menu.

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Described by The Evening Standard Magazine’s Grace Dent, as “comfort food heaven”, located in the heart of London, Tredwell’s aims to bring modern London cooking to the West End’s Seven Dials, and though I’m yet to dine there, the menu is certainly appealing.

Starters (Vegan)

  • Nocellara del Belice olives (Ve) £2
  • Harissa glazed aubergine, peanuts, coriander and chilli (Ve) £6.50

Starters (Vegetarian)

  • Pumpkin soup, cep toast, toasted seeds (V) £7
  • Buffalo ricotta, beetroot, pine nut better (V) £7
  • Burrate, olive, caramalised shallot, balsamic, rocket (V) £10

Mains (Vegan)

  • Butternut Squash and sage dumplings, kale, hazelnut sauce (Ve) £14

Sides (Vegan)

  • Skinny Fries (Ve) £3
  • Wilted greens, roasted garlic (Ve) £3.50
  • Green salad (Ve) £4
  • Sweet potato chunks (Ve) £4
  • Green beans, olive oil and tarrgon (Ve) £4
  • Kale, sugarsnap and rocket salad (Ve) £4

Sides (Vegetarian)

  • Parsnip & horseraddish slaw (V) £4
  • Blue cheese croquettes (V) £ 4.50
  • Grilled broccoli, almond butter and capers (V) £5

Puddings (Vegan)

  • Coconut mousse, pineapple, mint, lime (Ve) £5
  • The virtuous chocolate brownie, coconut yogurt (Ve) £5

new-image

Though there is but one vegan/vegetarian main on the menu, it is definitely one I would pick. With such a vast range of vegan friendly side dishes on offer, I could happily order a bunch of these, along with a couple of starters to create my own tapas style meal, rounded off with a vegan chocolate brownie, obviously!

Tredwells54-e1416253990774

There is also a prix-fixe menu available at specific dining times: 2 courses for £21 or 3 for £25. Available Monday to Wednesday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9pm – 10pm and Thursday & Friday 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 6:30pm, 9:45pm – 11pm, Saturday 4pm – 6:30pm, 9:45 – 11pm, the sample menu on the website doesn’t specify any vegan or vegetarian options. However, after some investigation, Tredwell’s confirmed they be only too happy to swap some of the options for something more suitable for our vegan dietary requirements, which I thought was great news! However please note, you can pick 2 or 3 vegan and vegetarian courses from the regular menu for around the same price, if not less, so make sure your options on the prix-fixe menu are something a little bit special.

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As previously mentioned, I am yet to dine at Tredwell’s, but hope to soon, so will let you know if it’s worth giving it a go. Have any of you been already? I’d love to know what you think of a “celebrity” chef venturing in to vegan friendly cuisine.

Tredwells_Logo_2014_Final_Seven_Dials-760x285

Something that also appeals to me and is a further reason to visit, Tredwell’s host live Jazz nights every Friday & Saturday evening from 8pm.

Tredwell’s

4A Upper St Martin’s Lane
London, WC2H 9NY
0203 764 0840

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 12pm – 2pm and 5pm – 10pm
Friday: 12pm – 3pm and 5pm – 11pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

For enquiries email hello@tredwells7dials.com

For more info follow @tredwells on twitter.

 

Homeslice is Coming to Shoreditch

Pizza and red wine are my 2 greatest food loves. Those of you that know me, know that not many a week goes by that I don’t partake in the consumption of at least one of these delicious indulgences.

So I was excited to find out this morning that one of my Covent Garden favourites, Homeslice, is opening up a new branch in Shoreditch. Not only that but if you visit today or tomorrow (03 / 04 December ’16) between 12 – 11pm during their soft launch, you’ll receive 50% off pizzas + 100 slices to go for free!

homeslice restaurant 3

Homeslice began life in 2011 with a mobile wood-fired oven hand built by Ry Jessup.  We launched Homeslice with an event at London Fields Brewery and sold out within hours. We gained real momentum serving up slices at markets and festivals with Kerb, Street Feast and Frieze, which culminated in our residency at Kings Cross Filling Station in 2012.

It was through Ry’s connection with Mark Wogan that the idea of moving to bricks and mortar came about. Through his background in the restaurant industry and his passion for simple food done well, Mark dovetailed with what Homeslice were trying to achieve.

So, with Mark’s brother Alan looking after the business side of things, Mark and Ry began work establishing their first restaurant at 13 Neal’s Yard in the early part of 2013.  With a shared vision of retaining Homeslice’s original simplicity, the aim was to balance tradition with innovation, offering people our take on the classics alongside more unique flavour combinations. The result was a simple menu of pizza, beer and wine with quality, seasonal produce at its heart, served in a relaxed, friendly space.

One of the great things about Homeslice is they aim to use only the best fresh, seasonal and local produce available. Everything they serve is made in house, including their dough which is aged for at least 24 hours before being cooked at 500 degrees celcius for only 60-90 seconds in their custom built wood fired oven, that gives their pizzas that delicious and authentic smokey, slight char flavour.

A whole 20″ pizzas costs £20, or you can grab just a slice for £4; a whole pizza will generously feed 2-3 people and they’re happy to split toppings 50/50. Although there isn’t a vegan option on the menu, I have been lucky enough to enjoy a freshly made Marinara pizza at the Covent Garden branch, but I think you’d struggle to get something cheese-free by the slice.

You can also choose to wash it down with locally sourced beers, wine by the magnum, frizzante prosecco on tap, plus a seasonal cocktail menu.

There’s something for everyone here, be it vegan or carnivore. Pop along and let me know what you think…

​​Homeslice, Old Street:
​374-378 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC1V 9LT
oldstreet@homeslicepizza.co.uk / 0203 151 1121
​Mon – Sat: 12pm – 11pm, Sun: 12pm-10pm.

homeslice shoreditch

Wild Food Cafe | Covent Garden, London

Tucked away in a beautiful London corner is Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, and it’s here that you’ll find the self proclaimed “raw-centric vegan / vegetarian eatery”, Wild Food Cafe.

Run by raw foodies Joel and Aiste, this hidden gem uses only locally sourced and organic produce where possible, to prepare nutrient packed plant-based food, “served with love”.

I recently dined here with my non-vegan, but open-minded friend, Kate. This being our first visit, we both chose a dish from each course and then shared, wanting to sample as many of the delicacies on offer as possible.

Seating is set up canteen style, so we found a spot with our backs to the wall so we could people watch, then set about to ordering…

Although there is wine and organic beer + cider on offer, the smoothies had been recommended to me so that’s what we started with…

  

I chose the Incredible Green Smoothie (above), whilst Kate went for the Vibrant Green Juice.

  • Incredible Green Smoothie (V, R): Apple, celery, cucumber, kale, nettle, dates, avocado, banana, lime, green powder
  • Vibrant Green Juice (V, R): Apple, celery, cucumber, parsley, lemon, ginger

Both were delicious, but while Kate’s juice was light and refreshing, my smoothie was quite dense and thick, almost a meal in itself, and I couldn’t quite finish it.

Next up we shared a starter of Hummus & Raw Crackers.

  

  • Hummus & Raw Crackers (V, N, R): In-house hummus with raw crackers, veggie sticks + extra virgin olive oil

If I’m honest, I’m yet to be convinced by raw (rehydrated) crackers. I’ve had them in a couple of places now (to be featured in an upcoming review of Tanya’s), and they just don’t do it for me, though I can see the appeal. The hummus however was delicious and we couldn’t get enough of it with the vegetable crudités.

We then shared a couple of main dishes between us and I’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite.

  

  • Wild Pizza Special (V, N, R): Dehydrated almond + butternut squash base, topped with marinara, wild sea purslane pesto and a daily selection of toppings

  

  • The Wild Burger (V, N, R, G): Olive + shiitake burger, with cultured Wild Sauce, salsa verde, smokey baba-ganoush, a side of sweet potato wedges (not raw) served in our in-house grain-free seed bread

You’ll probably have noticed that the mains are quite small in size, however when dishes are this nutrient dense, you get filled up quite quickly; plus we’d ordered a lot of food, so the smaller the portions, the better.

And finally, though we were stuffed, we ordered 2 desserts, knowing we could take the leftovers home – which we did, to be devoured with a cup of Earl Grey tea later that evening.

  

  • White Chocolate Tart with Caramel Brittle (V, N, R): Cacao butter, maple syrup and cashew cheesecake topped with cacao nibs and salted caramel pecans on a walnut + date base

  

  • Sweet Potato + Cacao Brownie (V, N): Special of the day served with caramel brittle sauce + a berry coulis

Both desserts were absolutely delicious, and while I have made many a sweet potato brownie myself (much to the boyfriend’s distaste), the vegan “cheesecake” is something I particularly enjoyed, and is something I am yet to attempt in my own kitchen. I do however have a peanut butter recipe in mind, but I’ll share with you at a later date.

  

The whole bill came to £66.83, for 2 drinks, 1 starter, 2 mains and 2 desserts, including service charge. This could be considered quite pricey when you consider no alcohol was consumed, however all ingredients are organic and mostly sourced locally, and you have to appreciate the ingenuity that goes in to designing healthy and raw dishes such as these. 

I would thoroughly recommend the Wild Food Cafe to anyone looking to experience raw cuisine at its very best. Having visited a couple of similar establishments more recently, this place is by far my favourite and at the top of my list for a revisit.

Much has been said recently of the benefits to following a raw diet. Raw fruits and vegetables tend to have a higher water content than when they are cooked, and so fill us up more quickly, stopping us from over eating and aiding in weight loss. However it is believed that heating food also destroys it’s nutrients and natural enzymes, and it is these enzymes that boost our digestion and help to fight chronic diseases. Recently I have read conflicting reports that there are some vegetables that can actually be damaging to us when eaten raw, tomatoes for example, which should only ever be consumer cooked…

I believe in balance, and that eating a wide and varied diet, containing as many colourful ingredients (raw and cooked) as possible is what’s best. We’re all different though, and what works for one, may not work for another. I will continue to enjoy visiting raw and experimental restaurants, and I will always continue my vegan, plant-based lifestyle, however a fully raw lifestyle isn’t for me; not yet anyway.

Follow me on Instagram @my_vegan_kitchen for more vegan reviews and recipes, and make sure to come back soon for reviews on both Mildred’s and Tanya’s vegan / vegetarian cafes in London.
Key:

(V) – vegan, dairy-free

(N) – contains nuts /seeds

(R) – some or all of the dish is prepared below 42C to preserve enzymes, nutrients and flavour


Ya Hala – Paddington, London

The gorgeous sun, and the fact that it’s Friday, persuaded us to venture away from our desks for lunch at work this afternoon; and I’m glad we did, as we stumbled upon a bustling Lebanese restaurant that we might never have known existed otherwise.

Ya Hala can be found at 26 London Street, opposite the Praed Street enterance to Paddington station, and serves a multitude of the usual a you’d expect to find in a modern Lebanese restaurant, with lots of veggies and falafel options for the vegans out there.

   
   
I ordered my regular Lebanese meal of choice, a falafel wrap with hummus, salad + roast aubergine, but you could easily fill up a plate with their delicious looking salads alone.

   
   
I’d recommend if you’re in the area and looking for a quick bite. The place was heaving but we were served promptly and you can argue with the price : £3.99 take away / £4.27 to eat in. Make sure you have cash though as minimum card transaction is £5.

   
   
Enjoy!

Check my Instagram for more vegan restaurants, products and home cooked meals @My_Vegan_Kitchen

Zizzi Ristorante

Those of you that follow me on Instagram, will know that I love a pizza. Always have. I loved a pizza pre-veganism, mostly from Dominos – the boyfriend and I used to celebrate a Tuesday with a “Two for…” deal and watch American sports on TV. Now I’m vegan & he’s veggie, it’s Pizza Hut (a new love!) or Pizza Express.

Pizza Express
Pizza Express


I’ve spent a lot of time eating pizza, so I like to think I know a thing or two, and while I’m still perfecting the art of making at home, when it comes to pizza restaurant chains, I thought I knew where it was at.

The Three Johns
The Three Johns


Pizza Express has always been my “go to” when I’m out and in the mood for something hot and Italian – they have a vegan pizza on their menu for God’s sake! But last night I might have found a new favourite…

  

At the suggestion of one of my closest friends, Amy, we dined at Zizzi. To be honest, if she wasn’t such a good friend, I might not have trusted her judgement in the first place, but she is, so we went, and I loved it!

Unlike my beloved Pizza Express, they don’t have a vegan pizza on their menu, but they do have a vegan menu! In actual fact it’s an allergens menu, but I have never seen one, or even heard of such a thing before last night, so I got pretty excited about it. On this hallowed menu they list items from each section of their menu that either already are or can be adapted to be vegan friendly, listing what it is you need to request be removed.

They also have specific vegetarian, gluten-free, milk-free, sesame and lupin-free, nut and peanut-free, crustacean-free, mollusc-free, fish-free, egg-free, celery-free, mustard-free, soybean, sulphide dioxide and sulphite-free pages!


With the help of my new best friend (the menu) we ordered :

Fava Pepe

Basil broad bean chips + roquito pepper pearls.


and

Bruschetta


Confit baby plum tomatoes on garlic brushed ciabatta, smoked garlic oil + basil – minus the topped riserva cheese.


NEW Skinny pizza primavera


Roasted aubergine, artichokes, peppers, slow roasted tomatoes, olives & fresh oregano – minus the goats cheese but with added mushrooms, onions and green chilies.

Our Fava Pepe starter was vegan without any alterations and completely new to me. I haven’t seen anything like this on a restaurant menu before and what a treat to find a new vegan dish in the most unlikeliest of places.

My “skinny” Primavera pizza was made with Zizzi’s new wholemeal, white + spelt base, served with an Italian naked slaw, under 550kcals and I can thoroughly recommend. Also good to note is that all Zizzi pizza bases and tomato sauces are vegan friendly, so you should be able to order any veggie pizza, minus the cheese, and know that your meal with be vegan friendly.

Amy also had a pizza, but it was meat based, so I won’t bore you with it here!

We didn’t indulge in dessert, although I could have ordered safely using the allergens menu, from a selection of fruity sorbets – not quite “nice cream” but a step in the right direction at least.

I will definitely think twice before I walk in to a Pizza Express again, if there’s a Zizzi nearby. Sorry Pizza Express, but until you update your menu to rival the selection on offer at Zizzi, you might just have lost a once loyal customer – I still love your stripy T-shirts though!

Retreat Cafe – TriYoga, Kingly Court, Soho

If I ever have a Tuesday or Friday off work, I try to get to one of the wonderful Claire Missingham‘s vinyasa flow classes at TriYoga, Soho.

 

Green Inversion Smoothie
 
I was lucky enough to find myself in such a position a couple of weeks ago and after attending her 90 minute morning class, I went in search of something refreshing and vegan friendly.

TriYoga has recently expanded their Soho studio and partnered with Retreat Cafe to bring us wholesome nourishment. Located on the 2nd floor of Kingly Court in Soho, they specialise in gluten, dairy, sugar-free, vegetarian food with some vegan options, plus fresh juices and smoothies.  

Banana Bread Cake , Orange + Ginger Loaf
 
I went for a Green Inversion smoothie (cucumber, celery, spinach, Apple, lemon + ginger), which you may have seen on Instagram recently, but they also serve :

  • a variety of granolas and things on spelt toast for breakfast
  • some amazing, freshly prepared salads that change daily
  • gluten-free wraps
  • dairy-free soups
  • and a variety of sweet, but healthy, treats such as brownies, banana bread, protein bars, flapjacks and chocolate + tahini energy balls – the perfect post-practice protein boost!

 

Sweet Virtues
 
all clearly labeled with ingredients and which are suitable for your vegan diet.

 

They also run a loyalty scheme, giving a free coffee, smoothie or juice for every 9 bought!

 

Fritatta, Daily Prepared Salads
 
Complete mind and body nourishment sounds good to me, and if I can wangle another Tuesday or Friday off work, I might see you there! 

Tibits – Vegan Tuesdays

Just a quick post to share Tibits’ new Vegan Tuesdays with you!

I love Tibits. Located just off Regent Street, me and the BF have been here on many occasions; usually after a few drinks in Central London, when we’re craving something tasty, filling & obviously vegan!

So I was pleased to receive their email today and see on their blog that they’ve announced “Vegan Tuedays“.



image taken from @tibits_restaurants’ Instagram


An international chain of vegetarian & vegan restaurants based across London & Switzerland, Tibits offer a pay by the weight buffet of salads, hot dishes, soups, freshly pressed juices and desserts + a fully licensed bar, making it the perfect destination for breakfast, after work drinks, a leisurely meal or a take away, they are now also promising :

“…sensational salads and seasonal hot dishes including Leek & Sage Spelt Risotto, Peruvian Quinoa Tabbouleh and Cauliflower Eliachi. And be sure to save room for dessert: the Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple & Rhubard Crumble are definitely worth ditching the diet for.”

I suspect I might see you there…

Address: 12-14 Heddon Street, London W1B 4DA
Phone: 020 7758 4110

Dinner at Ottolenghi, Islington

The boyf and I went for a “quick” bite to eat at Ottolenghi, Islington tonight. I use the inverted commas as we only had the table for 90 minutes & he was 40 minutes late.



Ottolenghi, Upper Street, Islington – London

It’s ok though; we’re quick eaters & it meant I got to order myself a glass of red while I chose what we were going to eat.

Here’s what I went for :

To start, from the cold counter :



🌱 Sprouting broccoli, courgette, samphire & green olive tapenade, sorrel + poppy seeds £9.50

🌱 Poached quince, bitter mixed leaves, spicy pecan nuts, Roquefort (on the side) + orange blossom dressing £9.50

Followed by, from the hot kitchen :



🌱 Tempura vegetables, burnt aubergine + truffle honey (on the side) £11.00

🌱 Char-grilled calçot onions, romesco sauce + paprika breadcrumbs £10.00

We were so hungry that when the vegetable tempura were brought out, we dived straight in! I forgot to take a photo but here’s one from another diner:



The service was exceptional and the staff were just attentive enough, especially while I was waiting for my better half; on hand nearby if I needed them, but not fussing or hovering.

The food was good & I would recommend Ottolenghi for a special occasion. However for what it is, I find it quite pricey and the dishes aren’t particularly big, tapas / meze sized.

We / I ordered 4 plates for the 2 of us to share and while it was enough to fill us up, I could have eaten more – but maybe this says more about me than the restaurant! You can see how hungry we were from our (figuratively) licked clean plates.



Our organic wine was quite nice but (probably for the best) only served in 125ml glasses for £5.25+, or by the bottle.

If the dishes were priced between £5-7 each, I’d say it was good value & I’d definitely become a regular. Priced as they are, it seems a little expensive to me.

You can order the cold dishes to go from the deli and these might be a little more reasonably priced.



They also do some amazing looking cakes & pastries. In fact I’ve walked past this place so many times  in the past and always thought it was a coffee / cake shop. 



There are 3 other branches in London if you’re interested in seeking one out :

  • Nopi, Warwick Street
  • Ottolenghi Notting Hill, Ledbury Road
  • Ottolenghi Belgravia, Motcomb Street

You can also order hampers, vouchers and items from their online pantry. Many of these items can also be bought in store; pickles, chutneys, breads, oils & vinegars etc.



Their website also has an amazing selection of recipes (some of which can be adapted for a vegan diet) and also their own cookbook! 



I did enjoy our meal, the restaurant is beautiful & I’m glad I’ve been, but I’m not sure I’d go back.