After hanging out at LoveGift Vegan Cafe in Honor Oak Park recently and really enjoying the food, I thought I needed to get myself down to another vegan restaurant in a similar corner of South London that I haven't visited yet.
In the back of a shop in Sydenham called The Calabash of Culture, there's a small vegan cafe (small as in two tables!) that's open for lunch and, once a month, open for dinner too. It's called Honey Hive, oddly.*
The other day when I found myself in the vicinity, I thought I'd go get some takeaway. There are a selection of hot dishes, grains, and salads, and you can choose between three sizes of meal, depending on your appetite, made up with various bits of what you fancy.
The hot food options included gumbo, sweet potato bake, chickpeas and callaloo, and curry, and grains covered cous cous, brown rice, and quinoa. There were all sorts of sides too - like my favourite, plantain. Oh plantain, I could write sonnets in your name.
There was a lot that sounded good, so I asked for a box made up of whatever they recommended. I got some gumbo, brown rice, lentils, plantain, and three different salads - beetroot and salad, some greens, and cauliflower rice.
Everything was fresh and wholesome - I love it when I can enjoy a great, big tasty meal and still think it's still a healthy treat. Well-cooked plantains and brown rice are always winning for me, and when they keep company with perky salad and flavoursome hot food, I'm a happy bunny.
After all that good food, I thought I needed to amp up the less healthy side.
Honey Hive has a lot of cake too - there was a whole Victoria sponge, carrot cake, and red velvet cake for sale by the slice, and a few cupcakes as well. I helped myself to this beauty:
I should add the cake got kind of bashed up when I was carrying it home, so it looked much better than that before I got my hands on it. I finished it off with a big cup of tea and was stuffed and happy. I'm thinking the cake-wares are from Ms Cupcake, so I now can save myself a trip to Brixton when I need to fuel up on sugary joy.
*Everything is vegan, with the exception of one smoothie which contains honey. No, I don't think honey's vegan either. Apparently, it's a hangover from when it was just veggie, not vegan. Still, why keep it on? For an otherwise vegan place, it wouldn't be a huge stretch to get the honey off the menu.
21 Sydenham Road at The Calabash of Culture
London SE26 5EX
0208 778 6326