• Saf: Organic vegan food, mixology and great service in London

    December 30th, 2009mr meanerlondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    When I dined at Saf a few weeks ago it was all I could do not to move back home to London on the spot.

    You see, Saf has not only some of the finest vegan cuisine available in Europe, but also one of the continent’s first organic cocktail bars, designed and occasionally hosted by internationally renowned mixologist, Pursip. We took advantage of a lazy, sunny Sunday morning in late-Autumn to hit up Saf and enjoy their popular “Pure Sundays” vegan roast, and one or two innovative organic cocktails.

    From the moment we walked in the door, we knew we were somewhere special. The expansive space, large tables and looooong cocktail bar were teetering on the outer edges of understated grandeur, while at the same time being intimate and homely. A cheerful server welcomed us, offering “any seat in the house” (one of the privileges of being a jet-lagged early-arriver) and recommended we start off with a special cocktail. We ordered the “VIOLET and TONIC – an ultimate refreshing take on the G&T”, which turned out to be organic gin, french tarragon, pear juice, violet liqueur, lime, fever tree tonic water, with an edible pansy flower plopped on top.

    I think this is one of the best cocktail photos I’ve ever taken, yet it really doesn’t do justice to this subtly stunning blend of spirits and mixers. Organic mixologists like Pursip will be the chefs and DJs of the next decade – with mysterious creative powers that make you feel awesome.

    Anyway, to the FOOD. As it was around noon (a little too late for breakfast, marginally too early for lunch), we opted to go straight down the middle with our dining options, lending a breakfast-stye vibe intersected with a Sunday roast to our table. Go figger.

    I opted for the “Country Breakfast”, a scintillating pile of tofu scramble all mixed up with sun dried tomato, basil and caramelized onion,with three hunks of fresh baguette drizzled with olive oil. The baby greens and potatoes (not shown in the picture) added some volume and delicate textures to the robustness of the scramble, leading to a most satisfying meal.

    The other meal at the table was the absolutely stunning “Sunday nut roast”, with roast potatoes, parsnips, kale and apple sauce and red wine gravy doing their best to cover a huge chunk of tasty nut roast – just oily enough, but firmly healthy-tasting.

    Both meals were gone in seconds – food this good doesn’t hang around on a plate for too long, and goes down so well that one can easily fill up rather quickly. As did we!

    If you’re ever in the Shoreditch area of London, or have a couple of hours to spend, take the tube to Old Street and walk to nearby Saf where you’re pretty much guaranteed a warm reception, cold cocktail and hot meal in a totally vegan restaurant you’ll never forget. Saf will be on my itinerary every time I visit London from here on out.

    If, like many readers of this blog, you live in Los Angles, I wanted to take moment to say that Saf is really what Real Food Daily should be – after all, there are many similarities: A three letter name, being out of the way but in a cool part of town, modern decor with nice ambience, seriously organic, entirely vegan etc.

    The crushing difference, though, is that Saf manages to pull off the most difficult of feats: to be a trendy, happenin’ and hip restaurant while at the same time giving truly personal service and astounding food in an un-rushed environment with KILLER cocktails.

    Ann should go and pay Chad a visit: she has much to learn.

    Saf Restaurant
    152-154 Curtain Road
    Shoreditch London EC2A 3AT

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11 responses to “Saf: Organic vegan food, mixology and great service in London” RSS icon

  • You know I’m not much of a drinker, but when I do drink it’s usually gin… and that looks like my wet dream version of a gin & tonic 🙂

  • No need to move back to London. Chad Sarno is Whole Foods new Executive Chef. We took a cooking class from him at the McDougall Advanced Study Weekend and its completely changed our life in the kitchen! I also tried to convince him to open a restaurant in LA, to which he replied he was tired of the restaurant world. Keep your eyes posted on the Prepared Foods sections at WF for his creations. Supposedly the Whole Foods in Austin already rocks it.

  • This is quite timely since I’ll be eating at RFD tonight.

    Even though I rarely drink, I would not have passed up that amazing-looking cocktail!

  • Damn, that’s a pretty cocktail! I’ll have to check out Saf in March, it sounds awesome!

  • I’m still bewildered that RFD is the “fanciest” vegan restaurant we have (it’s really not a fancy dress-nice place at all, no matter how much they’d like you to think it).

    Why can’t we have something like Millennium (San Francisco)? My favorite restaurant in the world. God, I’d kill for that.

  • Wow that all looks seriously amazing, I really need to get myself to Saf!

  • Saul - aka dadatamonkey for thats me

    Can totally recommend Saf, its now on my regular eats list. Relatively expensive though for London but worth it.

  • I have been here once and the cocktails are wonderful!
    The desserts YUM!
    The food was very good too. It’s a great place to try raw food which is why I went.

  • I liked Saf though I was not sure about the service. I agree the food was interesting but I still prefer Mildred’s in Soho though I know it is not Raw. Take a look at my post about it. http://bryndlewindle.blogspot.com/2009/12/saf-restaurant-shoreditch.html

  • Saf offering 15% off in Jan and are also doing another course in Feb: Raw Chefs Leah Rinaldi, and Silvia Clausin will offer you a full day workshop where you will learn how easy it is to have healthy and delicious winter meals –the Saf way! WHEN: Sunday, 7 February 1100-1900 WHERE: Saf Wellness Studio (behind the restaurant) FEE: £130 including 3x meals http://www.safrestaurant.co.uk Great value!

  • Da Data Monkey

    Saf are opening at Wholefoods Kensington as well. Check the newsletter!


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