Category Archives: Vegetarian

Cafe Route

Interior, is a typical industrial look with exposed kitchen. Tables are long with enough with room for your typical Dalston guy on the laptop and groups of friends. All cafes that do not rush you to finish your food and get out get a massive bonus in my books. And Cafe Route is exactly a place like this, tucked it away from busy Kingsland road, it a great spot to grab a healthy meal or very good coffee.

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Having spent last few days eating very heavy fried foods, I was pleased with a refreshing vegetable heavy menu at Cafe Route. Their Mediterranean inspired salads were complex, what seemed as minimum eight ingredient mash ups, that delivered very surprising taste combinations. Not to mention extremely generous portions. I had to take half of my main home for nibbles later.

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Chicken thigh with roasted pepper, haloumi in flat bread looked very pretty and was delicious! Served with a perfect side of potato wedges, it was a big meal.

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Sweet potato with tahini sauce and chickpeas was lovely and soft. Tahini added a touch of earthiness to this dish that i really enjoyed. Refreshing side salad of carrot, red pepper, broad beans was my favorite! Zingy and crispy it was a good contest to the main.

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We completed our very long dinner with a cup of strong coffee.

I like this place for it’s simple approach to food, it’s delicious food and easy atmosphere.

Cafe Route
Unit A Gaumont Tower, Dalston Square, London
http://www.caferoute.co.uk

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LockCha Tea House

So after our questionable Michelin experience at Tim Ho Wan yesterday we searched for another dim sum eatery and came across LockCha Tea House situated in Hong Kong park.

We hoped that our second experience of dim sum would settle the question of whether dim sum is really meant to be squidgy and wet or are the textures right from what we know of dim sum in London.

LockCha Tea House is in the stunning location of Hong Kong park with its iconic water feature and peaceful atmosphere. The tea house has a huge range of Chinese teas to offer for any palette. The waiters are always ready to assist you in making a selection which for novices like ourselves was a big help.

Once the tea is selected the waiters will perform a traditional tea ceremony ritual which we were in ore of.

    

Watching the gentle movements of the washing of the cup and the brewing of the tea brung a sense of calm which was a total disconnect to what Hong Kong is all about. Where ever you may go in Hong Kong to eat there is the feeling panic and a culture of service with no smile but service with a growl. The staff at LockCha are friendly and approachable and it was nice to have that western touch to service after being without it for three days.

The dim sum on offer is all vegetarian and there is only a small selection to chose from which makes life a lot easier when you think about the length of the menus you are usually subjected to in most restaurants in Hong Kong.

 


As you can see we pretty much had most of the menu and regretted NOTHING. We ate and ate and yet we felt so good eating it.

  

The dim sum was largely steamed and were all made up of fresh vegetables so it felt like we were eating uber healthy in comparison to the majority of the week.

    

This has been the best dim sum experience ever. Such a range of subtle flavours and textures added with the fact you can’t feel you arteries clogging up with oil just makes it a double thumbs up.

The dim sum wasn’t gooey or wet like at Tim Ho Wan and after having this dim sum meal we can now confirm that LockCha Tea House has the best dim sum in Hong Kong. Luck was on our side today as we didn’t even have to wait for a table, we had heard horror stories of wait times but we managed to get away with it. Luck of the British 🙂 Beware, LockCha Tea House do not take reservations so build in some time just incase you have to wait.

Whilst making a trip to LockCha make sure you spend some time looking around the Hong Kong park, it truly is lovely.

Calm, peaceful and the best dim sum we have tastes so far.

LockCha Tea House
Ground Floor, The K.S. Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong Park, Central, Hong Kong

Vegetarian special: The Gate

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We have been wanted to try The Gate in Islington for such a long time so when I called my gal pal Elena one Sunday afternoon for a luncheon well we had no excuse but to explore this gorgeous place. It is tucked away in the corner of Angel so is easy to miss but now we have been it is the first thing we will mention to our friends when they ask about best eats in the area.

The Gate is a vegetarian restaurant and we often find our friends shying away from the idea of vegetarian as they assume that it can’t be filling or might be plain and boring. However, The Gate defiantly remove all these stereotypes. We walked in as two starving beings and came out stuffed and gob smacked after only two mains and a side.

We asked the waitress what she would recommend and well her rationale behind each recommendation was admirable so we had to go with them. Normally when you ask a waitress or waiter what they think you should get they just name a dish without reason but this waitress spoke of tastes, textures and emotions so how could we argue. Naturally to avoid disappointment we got two dishes and shared them 🙂

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We ordered a Wild Mushroom Risotto Cake and an Aubergine Schnitzel. The Wild Mushroom Risotto Cake was topped with rocket leaves which had been dressed with lemon juice and further topped with generous shavings of Parmesan cheese. Now I always thought that Elena made the best mushroom risotto however once I tried this unusual take on mushroom risotto I was in heaven. I had to immediately tell Elena of course that she was now sitting at second place of the best risottos ever but once she tried the risotto she too agreed. The risotto was served like a little cake. It was crunchy on the outside and yet it fell apart when you broke into it. It was creamy and soft and so well seasoned that I just wanted more. The lemon juice drenched rocket was a contrast in taste and texture but really worked with the creaminess of the mushrooms and risotto. A truly stunning dish and but far the best risotto we have EVER tasted.

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The Aubergine Schnitzel was very similar to a vegetable lasagne, with the replacement of pasta for the aubergine and the filling was a mixture of cheese, tomatoes and peppers. There was a crispy coating of bread crumbs which locked it all together. It was served with abundance of sautéed kale and potato dauphanoise. The Aubergine Schnitzel was a party of strong flavours and textures, from sweet to tangy, from crispy to soft. The potato dauphanoise were different from your regular gooey messy, the layers of thin potatoes were packed tight and just crumbled in your mouth. The best dauphanoise I have tasted by far.

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We also ordered a side of polenta chips. They were huge, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They were seasoned and infused with herbs so they actually tasted of something (ok, polenta is often rather bland). It was served with the most amazing garlic aioli which I smothered all over them. Delightful!

I feel robbed of time really. I cannot believe that we hadn’t tried this place earlier and we would have been here a million times over. This is by far the best vegetarian restaurant we have ever eaten in and for carnivores like Elena and I that’s a big thing!!!

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This is going to be our new go to place when ever we want a guaranteed happy meal.

Please try this place out and tell us what you think.

The Gate
370 St John Street
London
EC1V 4NN
http://thegaterestaurants.com