producing deliciously healthy food in a sustainable and ethical way
This pop up on London’s sweeping Upper Street in Islington packs a mighty punch for a small independent vegan joint. You won’t find any mock meats here nor will you be served a dollop of coleslaw on the side of your plate. The name Slaw potentially has 18th century Dutch origins with the word ‘sla’ commonly used for ‘lettuce’. But don’t let this put you off, as the five dishes they serve are legions more satisfying than a plate of cold salad.
We’re pleased we booked as the place is buzzing on a Saturday evening. Low lighting from milk glass pendants and table tea lights provide that Brooklyn / West Village small restaurant atmosphere along with white painted brick walls, mahogany tables and the ubiquitous parquet. Babies Breath in kombucha jars takes it to Vegan Level 200.
The menu is refreshingly small with options ascending in price and size. The five vegetable heroes are carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, beetroot and squash with each dish providing considered and nuanced flavours and genuinely make you feel excited about eating greens (and all the other colours). Our favourites of the night were the meaty tamari mushrooms on a bed of cauliflower puree and red quinoa alongside a salsa verde and the spiced cauliflower with its red onion and coriander mint dressing. Curry notes on the big florets mixed with tiny bright pink pickled ones gave us a flavour combination of dreams. And it just looked so darn pretty!
We had pre-planned to sneak off (after paying of course) in search of vegan dessert elsewhere but the restaurant owners were so charming and affable we couldn’t resist ordering both the poached rhubarb with cardamom ice cream and sprinkled pistachios and poppy seeds, and the chocolate sea salt ganache with almond biscuits, maple hazelnuts and caramel sauce to finish what had been a bloody lovely experience. Now usually a chocolate dessert is ALWAYS a clear winner, even before we’ve applied it to our faces, however the rhubarb floored us. In the words of our favourite bridesmaid Kristen Wiig ‘that is FRESH’. Our only mistake was to share it between three. Dear loved ones, get your own poached rhubarbs.
They may not be in this premise forever but we’re certain Slaw is here for the long haul as the boys running it are a talented crew, and too nice not to succeed big time in the restaurant industry.