I finally made it to the Wild Food Café in Covent Garden today. I’ve been meaning to go for months and months and it was well worth the wait.
It’s tucked away above Neal’s Yard. It’s cosy (seats about 40 people) but bright and airy. It’s a really lovely space with the kitchen in full view bang in the middle and you can either sit at the bar that runs all around the kitchen and watch them cooking or at one of the 4 big tables overlooking Neal’s Yard. Today it was absolutely freezing outside but the sun was pouring in through the large bay windows and it felt like a little haven of friendly, cosy, welcoming, warmth on an Arctic London day.
It describes itself as a ‘raw-centric food restaurant’ and uses ‘wild, fresh, colourful gourmet ingredients & plant-based (vegan and vegetarian) cuisine’. The vast majority of the menu is vegan and a lot of it raw. For anyone who is nervous of the phrase ‘raw vegan’ and presumes they will be faced with a plateful of rabbit food sprinkled with bird feed then fear not – it is astonishing what these guys create and you really don’t even notice that it’s raw.
I started with their ‘Iapple, celery, lemon, banana, kale, fresh coconut, fresh aloe vera, fresh irish moss. It’s £6 which is pretty expensive but it’s almost a meal in itself. A hearty comforting glass of goodness.
Then I ordered (V)(N)(R) £12. Completely delicious and filling, although not the biggest plate of food for £12.scrumtious shiitake, raw olive & dulse burger with in-house cultured Wild Sauce, tomatillo salsa verde, caramelised onions, baba ganoush & crispy gem lettuce in a wholemeal sprouted organic wheatbread
Ed had the raw, dairy-free young coconut cheeze, wild sea purslane & basil pesto, raw cultured tomato & goji berry marinara, Turkish olives, artichoke hearts, avocado(V)(N)(R) £12.5 This was the star of the show and honestly one of the most delicious meals I have ever had in my life. It made me want to rush out and buy a dehydrator immediately!
The desserts looked amazing but we ran out of time sadly – but now I have an excuse to go back as soon as I possibly can…
Oh and the waiting staff are really knowledgeable and helpful… and exceedingly attractive which is always always a bonus!
Wild Food Café has a real community feeling about it. They offer cooking courses, full moon feasts, meditation sessions, gourmet meals with guest chefs etc… Go check it out!
This article was recently published in the Telegraph… Lot sof people have complained that you can’t ‘go vegan’ for a weekend as it is a much more serious commitment than that. I have to say I don’t really care if people go vegan for an hour, a week, on Mondays or forever – anything is a step in the right direction and should be encouraged and not disparaged!
What To Eat Now: a vegan diet
While the world celebrates World Vegan Month, our expert resident nutritionist Ian Marber turns vegan for the weekend
BY Ian Marber | 03 November 2014
Perhaps I was swayed by the words of film director James Cameron (of Titantic, Aliens and Avatar fame) who says that one can’t be an environmentalist if you aren’t a vegan. Or perhaps it was simply that I have become lazy about what I eat, favouring the same lean meat and poultry with vegetables most of the time, but in recognition of World Vegan Month I tried my hand at a vegan diet for the weekend. Now I realise that one weekend isn’t going to save the planet or do a lot for my health but I wanted to see what it was like, and what I could eat.
Five reasons to become a vegan
1) Health – because veganism leads naturally to eating more fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. By cutting out things with animal fat in, it makes it more difficult to eat badly.
2) The EPIC study was a vast piece of work that can’t easily be summed up. However, it confirmed that vegans were at least as healthy as the healthiest omnivores.
3) Veganism celebrates its 70th birthday this year and its founder, Donald Watson pointed out the irony of feeding our crops to animals for us to eat rather than eating the crops themselves.
4) The cost in terms of energy to maintain livestock – from electricity to water – isn’t sustainable for the planet in addition to the additional methane gas that livestock produce adding to potential global warming.
5) Traditionally vegans feel that it is morally wrong to exploit and kill animals for food when eating meat isn’t necessary.
Bishop-Weston suggests that an easy way to transition to a vegan diet is to take a practical approach, replacing meals here and there with increasing frequency. Here is the menu that we put together for my weekend:
Porridge or museli with non-dairy milk such as soy, rice, hemp, almond, oat, flax, hazelnut and coconut milk
Handful of berries
Chia/ flax/ hemp seeds
Smoothie or green drink, including algae and seaweed
Apple and a banana, green tea
Falalafel salad wrap with hummus or,
Buck wheat noodles and vegetables with tofu and Miso soup
Toasted seeds or Brazil nuts in dark chocolate
Kale crisps (Pret have them now)
Stir-fry with beansprouts, broccoli, shitake mushrooms, peppers, cashews, black beans, kale, carrots, butternut squash, red cabbage and mangetout
Vegusto Swiss cheese with oatcake or
Booja Booja cashew nut chocolate ice cream