Exploring any new place also means exploring food options. London isn’t exactly new to us, but we’ve only explored a small fraction of the vegan food scene here. It’s a huge city with a plethora of vegan options. And since our last visit in October 2013, new vegan joints have opened up and we still have plenty to explore with existing restaurants. We love our food adventures wherever we go and seeing that we’ll be trying new places here, I’ll be doing weekly highlights on only places we find worth sharing.
Week one’s highlight includes London’s oldest vegan restaurant, and the city’s newest vegan fro-yo and ice cream shop.
Manna is located in Primrose Hill near Camden. Tucked away on a side street, Manna neighbors a clothing boutique. Dressed in white paint on the outside, the decor inside Manna is modern and fresh.
We were the first ones to arrive and sat somewhat near the entrance. For starters, Nick and I both had a salad with lemon mustard dressing. It was fresh and delicious.
For our main dish, Nick had the organic Pasta of the Day, which was penne with mushrooms, veggies (snap peas, cherry tomatoes, sprouts, red peppers, and rockets) and a garlicky and spicy cream sauce. According to Nick, he thought it tasty and he isn’t even a white sauce type of guy. The dish appeared small, but it was hardy and the perfect amount.
My main dish was the Enchilada Lasagne, a popular dish we discovered as a good percentage of people ordered it throughout the evening. The dish is a hybrid of baked enchilada and lasagne, filled with black bean and sweet potato and served with a tiny pile of lime and cilantro rice, carrot salsa and greens and a side of guacamole. I really enjoyed this dish. I loved everything. It was tasty, full of flavor and quite filling as well. Also, the flavor of the carrot salsa hit home, reminding me of som tum, or papaya salad.
We were plenty full, but we couldn’t leave without trying Manna’s dessert. After scanning the menu, we both had eyes on the Chocolate Chip Cookie and Raspberry Semi-freddo. Nick refused to share so I had to order my own. I was glad he was adamant about having his own, because sharing would have been a big mistake. We both loved it! It was the best dessert we’ve ever eaten. It was that scrumptious and I would love to have it again. Manna’s semi-freddo concoction is made up of layers of chocolate chip cookie and chocolate, raspberry and vanilla ice cream, topped with fresh berries. Oh my, so yummy! We enjoyed our dinner, but the dessert was the icing on the cake.
Overall, we scored with Manna. Not a single bad experience, and I highly recommend it as well!
Yorica! is a fairly new groovy, vegan fro-yo and ice cream shop in Soho. They use all natural and unrefined ingredients, so everything there is superior to the standard junk food. Yorica opened up at the tail end of our sojourn in Montreal. We’ve been anxiously waiting to try the place because there aren’t too many vegan fro-yo options around. And the best part is that Yorica’s fro-yo is made with rice milk. They’re all about being ‘free-from’ dairy, eggs, gluten, and nuts. We visited during lunch time, trying their fresh, house-made waffle cone with vanilla fro-yo. Besides vanilla, their other flavors include chocolate, matcha and a blend of chocolate and vanilla. You can also garnish your creation with any topping, which I did with sandwich cookies and later on with animal cookies. (Nick had his plain.) Yes, we went back for seconds and really had fro-yo for lunch! Nick is an ice cream binger and that is the main reason why we had seconds — and because it was that yummy. I couldn’t finish my second cone, so Nick gladly took care of it. We will definitely be going back to try the ice creams and milkshakes.
Overall, this place is a real treat. I highly recommend this to both non-vegans and vegans alike if you’re visiting the city and would like a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream. You won’t be disappointed.