Dinner in London: Italian, Lebanese, American and Hawaiian!
Looking for a place to get dinner in London can be overwhelming – but Deni has found three ways to dine you’ll love.
Not sure if you’ve noticed the wave of poke places popping up across the capital but they are everywhere. We recommend Honi Poke if you’re looking to grab a quick dinner on the go in London.
Plus, did you know you can eat a vegan, gluten-free, filling and nutritious meal at Pizza Express? They’ve got a gorgeous wine menu, too.
Especially for Veganuary, Comptoir Libanais are offering a 3 course vegan meal for less than £13. This includes hummus, tabbouleh, aubergine tagine, couscous salad and a delectable coconut and fruit dessert.
Of course there are times when only junk food will do… Which is why we had to try new Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner in Camden, and it did not disappoint… All your favourite American favourites vegansied under one roof.
Comptoir Libanais, UK
Lebanese restaurant Comptoir Libanais has launched a special vegan feasting menu for January, celebrating Veganuary, priced at £12.95. This includes a mezze of two starters, a main and a dessert.
I went down to try it out with Vicky, and we shared a mixed juice each to start with (with extra ginger for an immunity boost), as well as delicious red peppers humous made with tahini, whole chickpeas, harissa and olive oil, served with pita bread and vegetable sticks. We also had tabbouleh made with chopped parsley, quinoa, tomatoes, mint and onions with a lemon and olive oil dressing.
For my main I chose the couscous salad with roasted and pickled veg including chunky and tender squash slices, peppers, as well as mixed nuts and seeds. It was a filling dish full of flavour and zest.
Vicky opted for the aubergine tagine – a flavoursome tomato and chickpea dish with baked baby aubergine, topped with pomegranate seeds and served on a bed of quinoa, a brilliant gluten-free substitute for couscous.
We both polished off the tasty vegan dessert, the coconut mouhalabia. This is a traditional Middle Eastern milk pudding (a creme caramel consistency) made using coconut milk and topped with sweet dried apricots, figs and raisins, syrup and toasted pistachios.
Rudy’s Vegan Diner, Camden
Joining a vegan pie and mash shop and festive vegan deli, Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner – London’s first 100% vegan diner – recently opened in Camden Market at North Yard. And there’s a reason business is booming.
Serving up US fast food favourites prepared fresh to order, the walk-in diner offers all the staple classics available under one roof but vegan – and the choice is too much! You need to go more than once.
You need to try everything… there’s the Dirty Burger, Dirty Dog (both served in vegan brioche), Mac’n’Cheeze and so much more, including a weekly changing menu of American comfort food specials with the likes of Vegan Meatloaf, Philly Cheese Steak, Country Fried Chick’n, Biscuits and Mash and Gravy.
Where possible, ingredients are locally sourced and the vegan bagels, buns and bread are supplied by a London-based bakery. All dishes are made to order and served in recyclable or biodegradable packing.
We went for the Rudy’s Reuben sandwich, just £10, which was stacked full of layers of vegan pastrami (cured salt-beef), grilled rye bread and all the trimmings – sauerkraut, cream cheeze, grilled onions and Russian dressing. I had to eat this in two sessions because it was HUGE.
For sides we chose a starter size Spicy Vegan Buffalo Wings, £5, which comprised 4 seitan chick’n wings, spicy buffalo sauce and blue cheese sauce. We also got Mozzarella Sticks, £5. For gluten-free Vicky, she went for a healthy and delicious (soy-based) loaded Mini Chilli Bowl, £4.50, Fries, £4, and Coleslaw, £3.
Zizzi is known for creating a very impressive vegan menu sure to keep Veganuary participants happy throughout the month and beyond. The nationwide Italian restaurant offers incredible pizzas with vegan cheese and so much more – but Vicky and I wanted to see if we could skip the refined carbs and extra fat by eating lighter, and we discovered this is not only possible but very enjoyable too.
We sampled a couple of red wines off the menu before settling on two delicious flavours. We hadn’t realised how impressive the wine menu would be – and only around £6 a (large) glass. We had some giant green olives to compliment this while we mulled over the menu, choosing out main.
In the end we chose two healthy salads, and added some delicious sweet potato wedges with sweet chilli sauce and green beans for some extra calories and protein. This was a meal out, after all, and a time to indulge a little.
Vicky opten for the Super Zucca salad while I chose the incredible Arcobaleno Rainbow salad, with quinoa, cannellini beans, soy beans, ‘beetballs’, pea shoots, roasted rainbow carrots with chilli threads and a white bean and basil pesto.
We were too full for dessert yet didn’t feel unhealthy or weighed down – a lovely choice for a sociable, leisurely supper with a good friend.
Honi Poké, London
Poké bowl bars are all the range across London at the moment and Honi Poké might just be out favourite – with THREE incredibly tasty vegan options as part of the extensive menu – or you can build your own.
Committed to bringing the freshest pacific flavours of Hawaiian poké to London, Honi Poké offers nutrient-packed, traditional bowls combining proteins with with rice, pickled veg and sauces, served to-go or tableside.
I chose the Korean BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ (made from jackfruit), with pineapple, spring onions, steamed broccoli, sesame seeds, red chilli, edamame, home pickled cucumber and bbq sauce – just £7.85.