Where does a vegan go for a good breakfast in London is not the easiest question to answer. In fact, it's way harder than it should be: London is the capital of a country whose name defines a cooked breakfast, but can you get a decent plant-based English without effort? Can you heck.
If you're after a good granola-and-yoghurt type arrangement, there's plenty of healthy eating type places that will serve you one. If you want a hot brekkie, I wouldn't have known where to send you. Wouldn't have known until recently, that is.
Browsing through Twitter not so long ago, I found that The Table Cafe in Southwark had added a vegan option to its breakfast menu.
Named 'the vegan Borough' after the nearby food market, it's a clever plant-based take on the first meal of the day.
Rather than making a full English with vegan equivalents - swapping scrambled eggs for scrambled tofu - The Table has gone for something that's half-way between tradition and a reimagining of breakfast. There are some elements you'd expect in your full English, like baked beans, tomatoes, and mushroom, as well as some less traditional elements like sweet potatoes and spinach. There's also a nod to that ubiquitous breakfast food, avocado. There's a touch of modern, and a touch of breakfast tradition, all on one plate. Neat breakfast trick, The Table.
So the set up is good, what's the taste like? Yeah, that's good too. I love that the sweet potatoes with the skin on, with deep smokey char all over them. I love the home made baked beans, sharper and more flavourful, but just as gently comforting, as they you'd hope they would be.
I love a bit of spinach at breakfast, sure it could have done with a bit of seasoning or lemon juice or something, but greens for the first meal of the day is about everything I hope for in my short life.
They must be clever folk at The Table because they managed to make a mushroom that was moist and juicy, but at the same time with a texture that didn't make me want to boke (you can have that one for the testimonials section of your website, guys). It might seem a small thing to you, but getting mushrooms that are still tender without either being slimy and weird or dried and wrinkly is largely beyond me. And then they went and put some extra basil oil on the top for extra brownie points.
And I haven't even mentioned the avocado on sourdough. It might be a breakfast cliche where you are, but it's still novel to me - that's how underserved London's vegans are at breakfast time! The sourdough had gone a little chewy from being buried under the rest of the goodies steaming away, but the avo was so beautifully creamy, it made everything right.
If that's not good enough for you, there's also lots of good looking smoothies, coffee that you want to drink and even breakfast cocktails (sadly, not all are vegan, but still, from little acorns and all that.) So next time someone asks you where does a vegan go for breakfast in London, now you know what to tell them.
The Table Cafe
83 Southwark Street
0207 401 2760