Ethos

Meal courtesy of ETHOS

Attended and written by Verna Gao

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While you all indulge on Christmas and wishing all the Christmas calories didn’t count, I’m here to attempt to lure you away from all the mince pies and pigs in blankets with my night of eating well at the stylish veggie/vegan heaven, located centrally and tucked away behind Oxford Street.

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Upon arrival, you are greeted by some very cosy interior design, which in this day and age, is a big selling point for just about anything. #totallyinstagrammable! And since ETHOS is dedicated to a plant-based diet, the place is full of trees and plants, reflecting fully on the nature scene.

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Let’s move onto the main focus – the food. I don’t even know where to begin. In truth, I was a little overwhelmed with all the variety of food on offer. Everything looked vibrant, fresh and nothing like the salads you usually see in supermarkets! The combinations were also nothing I usually have in mind when I think about vegan / veggie dining. There were flavour influences from Asia, the Middle East and also the Medittereanan.

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If you were wondering what I ended up going for, well, take a good look. I absolutely piled my plate with just about everything I could fit on it, and more (with it hanging from the edge!). Honestly, everything on this plate was so flavoursome and tasty, I did not for a second miss meat – I almost forgot that this was a meat-free restaurant, and that is a major thing for me, for I am a meat-lover.

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One of my favourite mains from ETHOS, which I keep telling all my friends about, is the scotch egg. That runny yolk. Say no more! The butternut squash salad, the cauliflower salad, the veggie chilli con carne, the sweet potato chips –  everything was perfect. It even had me picking up some inspiration for my future meal prepping and January detox.

Dessert wise, there was also a lot of choices on offer. Aside from the usual carrot cakes, flapjacks, brownies, cupcakes, there were also a few very interesting offerings, such as matcha protein bars, and also “unicorn” squares.

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Personally, I could not resist “the Unicorn” – I mean how could you? The layers of raw blueberry and coconut was perfectly balanced, not too sweet, with a smooth texture for the berry layers and a little bite with the coconut at the base. The matcha protein bar, as well as its berry flavoured sibling, were also interesting items that I enjoyed, though the texture is slightly dry.

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Aside from food, ETHOS was also very kind in offering the chance to try their juices and cocktails, which are also healthy and virtuous for you. Of the drinks that I tried, the cucumber G&T was definitely my favourite – super refreshing and highly recommended!

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Overall, my experience at ETHOS was way above my expectations. The staff were friendly, giving me lots of information on what the dishes were and advising me on what desserts would be good for my taste buds etc. Additionally, ETHOS operates on a self-service and pay-by-weight system, allowing diners full control of what goes on their plates and into the stomachs, at the same time minimising wastage. I must say, this is a dangerous thing for someone like me, who has eyes bigger than her stomach. Then again, everything here is healthy and wholesome and good for you, so who cares if I accidentally slipped a little too much roasted aubergine onto my plate?

NY Fold

Meal courtesy of NY Fold

Attended and written by Ed @onehungryasian

dsc_4417London is pretty spoilt for pizza these days. You’ve got to contend with the old school classics; the guilty pleasure takeaways; the street food stalwarts going London-wide with multiple stores; newcomers with black charcoal based pizza (gimmick or no?); and, lo and behold, an ever growing awareness that there is indeed more than one style of pizza. Say it can’t be true?!

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Enter NY Fold, bringing a taste of NYC to the streets of London, and only a few minutes walk from the central theatre district. We were invited down for a meal to test out their flavours, and to get our hands on the infamous NY slices they’ve been churning out here, slices that are, as of earlier this month, award winning from the 2016 European Classic Pizza Championships for the UK.

dsc_4436The pizza here at NY Fold is huge, for a start. As with classic NY slices, these are cut from huge 16/20 inch pizzas and one slice is about as big as your face. They’re cooked up crisply across the whole pizza, but gives way to dense chewy bread, before layers of cheese (generally mozzarella) and toppings.

The base here is probably a bit thicker than a traditional NY slice, so while you can fold it in half lengthwise, it’s not entirely necessary as the crispy bottom holds up well when you lift it up. I’m a big fan of this change but beware if you go expecting an exact NYC replica!

dsc_4446We opted for 2 toppings on one 16′, with one half their special Hangover Christmas special, and the other half the Juliet.

The Hangover consists of egg, spinach, garlic, mozzarella, pecorino and oregano (the meat version has sausage instead of spinach). It’s basically brunch pizza, and it is incredible. It will kick your hangover to next week and wake you up. It’s punchy with the garlic, and loaded with enough carbs and cheese to cure any hangover guaranteed.

Our other half of the pizza was Juliet, a parma ham, fig jam, gorgonzola and parmesan loaded beast that was equal parts heaven and part guilty pleasure.

In short, NY Fold is churning out pizza to the London scene that is not only great tasting and unique, but great value. One slice is £3.95, 2 for £7.50 and I was pretty much full after 2 slices, not wanting to risk a third in case I fall asleep in a food coma during the show we attended after!

dsc_4420I’d not heard of NYFold much before my visit, but it definitely should be on your list, even if it’s to pop in for a flying visit to get your hands on one quick slice!

Fetta Di Casa

Meal courtesy of Fetta Di Casa

Written and attended by Ed @onehungryasian

dsc_4307Family style dining, great food and everyone getting to know one another over a small and intimate dinner. This is proper nostalgia, memories of being back at home with the family, and remembering that often, the food comes 2nd to the people you’re sharing it with. Thankfully, Fetta di Casa compromises on neither at their monthly supper club events.

We were invited to their Christmas dinner, taking place at Kastner & Ovens in Covent Garden where they transform the deli by day, into a supper club on Saturdays.

dsc_4311Proceedings kick off with a non-alcholic aperitif, either a negroni like bitter drink or a sweeter fruity version, both excellent and a great way to get started with your meal. Focaccia are brought out next on platters, with 3 versions that all delighted guests before the first course, a selection of starters are brought out to tables.

dsc_4313Pancetta wrapped chestnuts, ham and fruits, blue cheese and walnut pastries, mushroom and smoked salmon all make an appearance that had guests fervently discussing which were their favourites and asking for recipes from the chef.

dsc_4332The menu does change month to month as it stays seasonal, and nothing shouts Winter more than a huge tray of lasagne, with slightly crispy edges and cheese oozing from the sides. Hands down, one of the best lasagne I’ve ever had. Rich, packed with a deep flavour from the beef and a surprisingly light béchamel all combined into 6 layers of lasagne heaven. Seriously good.

And if that wasn’t enough, up next was a hazelnut tiramisu that demanded me to eat it completely despite being stuffed, then followed by panettone with a marsala spiked zabaglione!

dsc_4341And finally, to cap it all off, homemade limoncello and grappa for the table to spread and pass along. Impossible I think, for anyone to say they weren’t properly fed and watered at this event!

There’s still one December supperclub left on the 17th of December, and would be a perfect way for you to spend your evening with friends, or arrive and make new ones!

See their website for tickets: http://www.fettadicasa.co.uk/