• vegan in london: saf at whole foods kensington

    May 5th, 2011quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    when in london, one place i always make sure to visit is the massive whole foods on kensington high street. the store really is something to behold—it’s 3 stories high with a bakery, a prepared foods room, and a vegan section the size of my house. as if that wasn’t enough, they’ve opened a branch of saf (an amazing and entirely vegan restaurant) in the food court upstairs. london, i am in love.

    vietnamese pho: mange tout, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, baby sweetcorn and rice noodles served with fresh mint. ₤8.50

    we hit up saf in whole foods on our most recent uk trip for a light lunch and were quite impressed. we’d already been fans of the shoreditch location, and the new outlet was just as good. in fact, i totally forgot i was eating in a glorified grocery store.

    the menu at saf changes regularly, and when we were there it was completely different from what was posted on their website. although that’s a pet peeve of mine, they had tons of great stuff on offer, so i got over it pretty quickly. as i said earlier, the whole menu is vegan…plus they have lots of raw and gluten-free options, as well as wine, beer, and several exotic cocktails to choose from!

    although i was tempted to order the sunday nut roast again, i decided to try something new and opted for a bowl of vietnamese pho (pictured above). the warm comforting dish came full of “mange tout” (that’s fancy british talk for “snap peas”), bean sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, rice noodles, and fresh mint. on top there were some meaty chunks of aubergine (that means eggplant) which were very nicely cooked and seasoned. i’d order this again in a heartbeat.

    sea vegetable salad: hijiki and wakame, beetroot, carrot, daikon, radish, avocado, ginger-sesame vinaigrette. ₤6.65

    my husband opted for the refreshing sea vegetable salad—a mound of hijiki, wakame, beetroot, carrot, daikon, and radish mixed with a light ginger-sesame dressing and garnished with cucumber and avocado. excellent!

    not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere at saf is wonderful: spacious with loads of seating and a long bar. honestly, the ambiance is better than ANY los angeles vegan restaurant i can think of, and it’s located in a bloody whole foods. step it, LA! you’re getting lapped!

    be sure to drop by whole foods kensington next time you’re in london, and have a meal at saf upstairs. it’s unlike anything we have here at home.

    saf kensington
    63 Kensington High Street
    City of London, Greater London W8 5SE, United Kingdom
    020 7368 4555
    020 73684 55556
    Mon-Sat 11:00 – 21:30
    Sun 11:00 – 20:00

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