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Three London vegan favourites revisited

Thanks to the end of term break, I've had a bit of free time (free time that really should be spent hitting the books, but yeah, no) which I have been spending in the best possible way: eating. Oh yeah, and catching up with friends.

I feel like I've tried out loads of new places recently (London, you really are doing yourself proud with new vegan places at the moment), so this is a post dedicated to visiting places I've been to (and blogged about) before.

First up: the Sunday roast at the Ivy House in Nunhead. I love pubs. Pubs are some of my favourite places. And the Ivy House is a particularly good one.

They have great beer on tap. It's big and roomy, so you'll get a seat more often than not. It's community owned. It's kid and dog friendly. Yep, there's lot of reasons to get down there, but normally I like to visit on a Sunday because they have -- trumpet fanfare! -- a vegan Sunday roast.

The protein of the roast is a lentil, kale, and butternut squash arrangement. It's not the most exciting thing you'll ever eat, but the rest of the plate will more than make up for it: carrots, parsnips, roasties, red cabbage, and enough gravy to swim in.

Another reason I'd recommend the Ivy House is that it always has a vegan cake on the menu if you fancy some pudding after your roast. I can't say I've often got a lot of room for dessert -- the roast is delightfully sizeable! -- but it's always good to have the option!

There's usually some live music on a Sunday lunchtime, which means you'll get to stuff your face while a band belts out Dixieland jazz in the background. I'm not sure if there's scientific proof to this effect, but I believe that jazz is good for the digestion.

Secondly, I revisited the pizza restaurant 400 Rabbits, which has a couple of branches in South London. They first put a vegan pizza on the menu for Veganuary this year, and it obviously went down well, because they've kept one on ever since.

This time, when I went there was a second vegan choice: a collaboration with vegan Thai food purveys Greedy Khao. It's pizza, Jim, but not as we know it.

On top of this happy marriage of Thai and pizza were some really interesting toppings: coconut, jackfruit, chick peas, pomegranate, red onion, peanut and coriander. Instead of the usual marinara sauce, this pizza was liberally doused in Massaman sauce.

I tell you what, it may be the sort of thing that drives pizza purists into apoplexy, but I thought it was tremendous. I'm not yet convinced jackfruit serves much purpose other than getting stuck in your teeth but this was surprising flavoursome. Such an interesting pizza - I hope we get to see more collaborations soon.

And last of my revisits was a trip to Wagamama's Noodle Lab, the Soho branch where the noodle chain tests out its new dishes. For reasons I'm not sure of, but am glad to see, a lot of the dishes-in-wating are is vegan.

Visits to Wagas are a bit of a hit and miss thing: I've had some good feeds and some not so great ones. The tofu ramen I tried last time I went wasn't great. The noodles were half raw, and always seems a shame to cook tofu to a lovely crispy outside and then dump it in broth so all that crisp goes soggy and disappears into the liquid.

I also reckon Wagas has the carbs to veggies ratio off: I always leave craving more greens and fewer noodles (or maybe more veggies and the same amount of noodles - I'm good either way.)

One thing that never disappoints at Noodle Lab is the desserts: I hope they roll out the mango and matcha mille feuille across all the restaurants, because it's just amazing: soft sponge and mountains of creamy filling. Actually, forget all the noodles and veggies, just give me three of those and I'll be happy.

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  1. It's always so interesting to see what you've been eating. Anything swimming in gravy is a win in my book. But that Thai pizza looks amazing and truly inspiring. :-)

  2. a pub roast looks delicious to me - though you are right that a bit of atmosphere really improves the taste. Your pizza looks a little challenging but I can see why you were won over. And meh to drowning crispy fried tofu - I went out this week for my fave japanese curry bowls and love how they crumb and fry the tofu and have it poking out of the bowl so the crispiness is now lost.

  3. Glad you're having a chance to relax a little, even if the books still hover at the back of your mind. We're probably going to make a pizza tonight, and I'm looking at your with some interest. Should we? Shouldn't we? Should we? Whatever we decide will have to go with homemade mozzarella, since that's the reason for the pizza!

  4. I (still) haven't been to any of these places. We really are spoilt for choice these days. I'm glad you managed to revisit some favourites.


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