Chloe vs Mildred; drawing the vegan battlefield lines in London…

Throw a nutritional yeast dusted cauliflower in any direction at the moment in London and odds are you’ll find yourself hitting a vegan restaurant. Whether it’s full on plant based or a more gentle flexitarian approach, chances are you either know somebody or are somebody who’s adopted a meat free diet in a time when the whole world seems to be in the throes of animal free dining. Living in the capital means you’re spoilt for choice with vegan options that cover everything from the casual Cook Daily at Boxpark Shoreditch to the more formal Manna in Primrose Hill, as well as making sure you don’t go hungry at breakfast – try Farmacy in Westbourne Grove – or lunch – head to Ethos for PAYG plates – or dinner – Dalston’s Club Mexican will see you right.

However just because something appears to tick all the boxes of branding, product & vibe, doesn’t mean they actually deliver and recent meals at both Mildred’s in Soho and By Chloe in Covent Garden proved just this. In Mildred’s, you have a stalwart of London’s edible landscape and a small chain that’s been around since the late 80’s with cult-like fandom stretching across boroughs & generations. In Chloe, who rocked up earlier this year, we now have a darling of the New York food scene on this side of the pond and only in one location so far but with up to seven more being promised across the city by the end of 2018. That’s an impressive level of confidence and one that – along with the fervent adoration lavished on it in the Big Apple – made this somewhere that inched past other more long-standing inhabitants of my ‘must eat’ list. Let the lesson here be that this isn’t always a good thing… Read More

Bowled over by the fresh flavours of Sri Lanka at new must-eat hotspot Hoppers…

No reservations. Like Marmite, mushrooms & Madonna, this is a guaranteed bone of contention among those who love going out to eat. You either don’t mind because you feel the end results are going to be worth the wait or you feel aggrieved that you aren’t being trusted to honor your booking. Either way, there’s no doubt that with some of the most covetable tables in  London now un-reservedly reservation free, your options are limited to waiting it out, going somewhere whose dishes don’t currently grace the Instagram feed of every foodie in town or beans-on-toasting it up at home.

So ask yourself this – how would you feel about waiting 2 hours for a table at one of the hottest new culinary tickets in town?

Honestly, for me it depends on context. Dining alone on a random Tuesday night, you might find that a bit too much to ask when frankly all you want from your dinner is speed and ease – is it just me or are Tuesdays the new Mondays in terms of ‘ugh’ factor?! – whereas dining with a friend on a Friday night with lots to catch up on and drinks available at a nearby wine bar might make it a bit more doable.

Opening last autumn to a quiet fanfare, Hoppers on Frith Street is exactly the kind of place where context becomes important because unless you rock up promptly at opening time, you ain’t gonna get in without a certain amount of determined hanging on for that all elusive table.

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Try a bunny with a difference this Easter…

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Hollowed out bread filled with gorgeous stuff.

That, in a deliciously carb-laden nutshell, is the essence of Bunnychow, an awesome place that fully delivers when your dietary requirements are food that’s fast but great, cheap but quality and served with the sort of laid back vibe that provides a welcomely chilled respite from the frantic Soho streets outside.  Read More