Regarded as one of the ‘best vegetarian restaurants in London’, 222VeggieVegan is good enough to convince even the most hard-core of carnivores that vegetarianism can be both inspiring and satisfying. Some may even concede that it’ll make them want ‘meat-free Monday’ every day. So what’s all the fuss about? Let’s explore…
The restaurant’s overarching concept rests on the foundation of freshness in both their ingredients and their preparation. Headed by internationally-acclaimed chef Ben Asamani, everything is prepared fresh from the point of order, and as far as possible only organic ingredients are used. Whilst this can sometimes mean longer than usual waiting times, it’s certainly worth the wait.
Situated on West Kensington’s 222 North End Road, the exterior is basic and easily missed. The only tell-tale sign is the queue of hungry customers waiting for a coveted table. Space is tight and there isn’t much by way of a waiting area, so you’d be best placed to call and book in advance.
By day the restaurant serves up an unlimited buffet offering a plentiful selection of hot and cold veggie and vegan dishes. Arrive with a generous appettie – at just £9.50 a head it’s a real steal as far as all-you-can eat buffets in London go! Trays are continuously replenished with fresh food so you won’t see a microwave in sight.
By night you can choose from a carefully crafted à la carte menu. Venture to try something from each course – you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the incredible flavours and inventive dishes on show. For starter the bean and tofu pancake is hearty and delicious. If you’re looking for something lighter the Heart’s Desire offers sauteed artichoke hearts served with a tangy red pepper sauce – a real burst of garden fresh aromas.
For mains, the Seitan Stroganoff is simply divine. Seitan offers a protein dense alternative to tofu and has a meatier texture which gives this dish a satisfying finish. The 222 Burger is capable of putting any medium-rare patty to shame. Severd up in a wholemeal bap with a side of hand cut chunky chips.
The real showstoppers are in the sumptuous sweet treats. The Spice Island Pie is a gluten free concoction of raw nuts and spices, grounded together and sweetened with agave syrup. For the chocoholics, the Raw Chocolate Torte is a perfectly balanced bitter-sweet treat.
Whilst I’m not ready to take the plunge into a fulltime meat-free lifestyle, I’ve certainly developed a new found admiration for just how imaginative and varied a veggie menu can be. Gone are the days of limp mushroom risottos or uninspiring beanie burgers – 222VeggieVegan is rapidly changing the face of vegetarian dining.
For more information and a look at the full menu please visit: http://www.222veggievegan.com
If you’re looking for other big flavour, no-frills dining then check out my article on Shoreditch’s new pizza parlour HomeSlice – offering inventive recipes on 20-inch wood fire pizzas.