222 Vegan Cuisine – West Kensington

Ok, here we go again! Another round, another race! 

Today kids, I am gonna tell you about that time I had a tinder date with a vegan guy that was probably on drugs. I presume this guy was on crack because I had the impression throughout the date that we were on a race, the clock was ticking and he had to WIN! He was tall, dark and handsome and had good manners, but you know, I had the feeling he was taking the date a little bit too seriously. It felt like a fucking job interview or like the dreaded end-of-the-month OKR target you need to reach to get your commissions with your measly paycheck. He talked non-stop, like he was trying to push the whole Herbalife catalogue on me and make a sale, how good he was and how many achievements he got. 

He did also ask me questions though I felt he wasn’t listening because he was too focused on advertising himself. Imagine spending my day off with this overly eager person, a person that is so anxious that you start feeling tense too. I was pumped up to go out with a vegan finally, but he was trying so hard that he killed the mood. Oh God, and the compliments, you may think that I am a fucking bitch for saying this, but he was complimenting me too much! I am amazing, though I am pretty sure I didn’t warrant all this high praise before the first course had even arrived. Everyone likes attention (and my friend always reminds me that guys like compliments too; so ladies remember to compliment the men!), but can you imagine somebody calling you beautiful and sexy every ten minutes for like two or three hours? I didn’t see him anymore, obviously, but at least I got the chance to try one of the most famous vegan restaurants in London!

222 is a small vegan restaurant located in West Kensington. We went during the weekend and it gets easily overcrowded, we had to wait over an hour, even though Mr Sales&Compliments had booked a table for two. The dining room is a rectangular space that’s probably more suitable for a café rather than a restaurant. It was very busy and it seemed like they may have overbooked, and were also squeezing in walk-ins. The tables are so close to each other that you will probably end up with your fork in a stranger’s plate if you are not careful: we overheard ALL of the next tables conversations. I have to say, it was probably not the best place for an intimate date. The place has no decor, apart from some long mirrors hung on the walls. I guess, the purpose of the minimal decor was to give the impression of a bigger space, well, mission failed, darlin’!

Cruditees with dips

We were starving after waiting for so long so we decided to have a starter and some smoothies before our food arrived. We chose the raw vegetable appetizer with three different dips: red bell peppers hummus, guacamole, and cashew cream. The texture of the sauces was so intense and enveloping, the type you can easily binge on if you had tortillas instead of cucumber and zucchini sticks! I ordered detox smoothie because you know, I love my veg and detoxing! The glass was ginormous, I wasn’t able to finish it, thankfully it was nothing special… I mean you can make the same stuff at home with a blender (no, a fancy Vitamix is not required), spending way less money and adding a bit more flavour. My date had a protein cocoa smoothie instead. The taste was chocolatey, but not super sweet like industrial milkshakes, the consistency was smooth and silky, and so thick it was like it had its own thighs. It could have been a standalone post-workout meal, no doubt.

Mushroom and seitan stroganoff

As a main dish, I had the mushroom and seitan stroganoff. It’s kind of wintery dish, very hearty and super filling. The seitan had a strong meaty texture and was properly prepared, some vegan chefs can do seitan so wrong. The cream was delicate, it was simply divine and with rich meaty mushrooms. The dish came with a small cup of wild rice, even though the Italian in me would have preferred some freshly baked bread to do some scarpetta with the delicious cream. My date had the classic bean burger with sweet potato fries and a mixed salad on the side; it was good, you could feel the burger was prepared from scratch in the kitchen and not bought at the supermarket,  but girl, my choice was way better than his… I mean of course!

The prices are slightly on the high end, though considering the quality of the ingredients, it is worth it. This place is super recommended, except for dates, if you are patient enough to wait. 



Where The Pancakes Are – London Bridge SE1

Last weekend I had a date. I met this guy, on Tinder… And yes, please get over it! Nowadays, everyone is using dating apps even those who shouldn’t (Yeah, I am talking to you married guy with two kids and a dog, just looking for fun). No one talks about it unless you are really good friends with someone. It’s a bit like when some girls swear that they don’t masturbate. YEAH RIGHT! Becky, we all know you’re lying. 

Anyway, we decided to meet on Saturday in the afternoon to get something to eat. The guy was nice and handsome, not a catfish (Thank Goodness!), and he seemed to be the kind of person with a good job and his shit together, but for some reason, the situation became awkward (no sparks, I guess). I was feeling so nervous and uncomfortable, I just kept talking about superficial things to fill up those awkward silent moments! 

We were both glad when the food arrived because finally there was an excuse to be quiet. As soon as we finished the food he rushed away saying something about remembering he had something to do and he just evaporated. The abrupt end of this date was a welcome relief, though at the same time I was left thinking “What went wrong?”. I mean everything was normal, he was a really pleasant guy to be with. Have you ever had a date where you felt weird for no apparent reason at all? 

There is a silver lining though. The best part of this miserable date? Going to a really cute place for breakfast/brunch. I know, it was like 4 pm, so technically snack time. 

Where the pancakes are is a very Instagram-able cosy place, with pink backdrops, neat and easy-on-the-eyes designs with a touch of pastel peach highlights. It is only a 10 minutes walk from London Bridge. It’s situated inside a small outdoor street food market, the perfect place for a beer during summer, keep that in mind for the next one.

Since the place is really small, you will probably need to book in advance. The menu isn’t too complicated as you have two sections, sweet and savoury, and there are five to six options for each section and fear not, my vegan friends: they also have a vegan batter for their pancakes! For vegan folks, the choice dwindles down to two options in the whole menu, one of them is a fully loaded  English breakfast so if you are planning to go on a Sunday morning, the risk of starving afterwards is really low. The American classic that I ordered consisted in four savoury pancakes topped with maple syrup, fresh fruit and garnished with a generous sprinkling of icing sugar. The pancake batter is sweet and savoury at the same time, something that left me and my taste buds pleasantly surprised at the well-balanced combination. The pancakes were properly cooked, they were flawless I would say, though to be honest the menu should have had more plant based options!

They opened a few months ago, so they may start adding on a few more options as the time goes by. Though if you like to keep your finger on the pulse and be on top of Londinium’s latest trends, you must check this place out immediately! If not for the pancakes, for the bomb photo op!