Whether you’re a vegan, a fully fledged carnivore, an active promoter of veganism or someone who can’t stand the concept, there’s no denying that a plant-based way of eating is on the rise. Many people might just have jumped on the bandwagon, or might be doing it because they think it’s the latest trend but I don’t think it’s just a fad – I feel like there’s a genuine shift in societies’ way of thinking and eating.
Personally I can’t understand the concept of becoming vegan for health reasons. In my eyes we were made to eat meat – we have canines! – and I think personally I would struggle to get a fully balanced diet by cutting out meat, fish, cheese, eggs and many other things that I eat almost daily. It’s not that I don’t love vegan and veggie meals – subconsciously I often find myself cooking veggie dishes, but I could never see myself cutting out such a large proportion of foods and manage to maintain my own personal balance. That said I can definitely appreciate that people do it for ethical reasons, and that for some people following that diet may find that it works for them.
Either way, it seems that every week new vegan cafes, restaurants and even stalls at food markets are popping up, keen to show that being vegan is so much more than “eating leaves”. I’ll be the first to admit that some are incredibly innovative and some places have such an amazing and diverse menu that you almost wouldn’t miss animal products. Take Wulf & Lamb – a classic example. As a relatively new entrant to the London restaurant scene, their tag line is “fiercely kind food” – with an aim to share good food and good times no matter what your eating preferences are. They’ve created a menu to satisfy comfort food cravings using the highest quality ingredients.
Having had a brief scan of their menu online I loved the look of some of their lunch/dinner dishes – I’d tried seitan once before at Kerb’s vegan food festival and I loved it – Wulf & Lamb do their take on a burger using seitan, alongside alternative takes on other classics such as ‘chilli non carne’ and an open burrito. They only serve those dishes from noon though, and having gone for breakfast I didn’t realise that they wouldn’t be on offer. Clearly I wasn’t disappointed though – as a breakfast lover, their morning menu would have been my first choice anyway!
Their menu is small, but there’s something for everyone, with a classic avocado on toast (which also comes with beetroot hummus!), their version of a full English, toasties, granola, pastries and muffins. I chose the Full Wulf Breakfast (potato layer cake with borlotti bean ragout, scrambled ackee, lemon spinach and sautéed peppers with toasted sourdough) while Marcus opted for the Morning Scramble (scrambed ackee with herb-roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and peppers). We also got a chocolate Bundt cake (because it’s never too early for cake!), house granola with fruit compote and out of curiosity more than anything, we had to try some of their vegan pastries.
Texture wise, Marcus commented that the eggs aren’t that dissimilar to normal eggs, which is probably true. They were a bit runny for me, but I’m one of those weird people who cooks my scrambled eggs til they’re so well done they may as well be a mashed up omelette!
The tomato salsa was incredible! It had such a lovely flavour to it, a little sweet and a little tangy and the beans were good too, although they did taste like they’d been sitting in salted water.
The granola pot was ridiculously good. I know it’s simple and I was considering whether or not to order it since I make and eat granola so much at home. It was amazing though – crammed full of nuts, seeds and coconut chips and it was perfectly sweetened, paired with beautifully creamy coconut yogurt and tart berry compote. The creaminess and slight sweetness of coconut yogurt complimented the granola and berries far better than normal yogurt would have in my opinion.
The pastry was probably the only let down. They had two types on the day we went – an apple puff style pastry and a chocolate filled croissant. I was intrigued more than anything – after all it’s endless folds of butter that gives pastries their lamination and I love the rich flavour and the soft texture that butter provides. True enough, when I cut into the pastry it was hollow inside – there weren’t any light pastry folds or soft buttery layers, it was just crusty on the outside and empty on the inside. It was filled with vegan chocolate (which was good!) but I found the whole thing disappointing – it had a slightly strange aftertaste to it as well – not one to be repeated. The chocolate bundt cake was the complete opposite though – an absolute joy. So good in fact that I had to get another to take away. It was incredibly moist (yes, sorry!), rich and indulgent with a rich chocolate flavour. The ganache was what really made it level good though. It was thick, smooth and decadent.. up there with the best I’ve ever had and so creamy that I find it almost impossible to believe that it was vegan.
Although there are a fair few vegan cafes and market stalls, I don’t know of many plant-based restaurants (though that might just be my ignorance!) and Wulf & Lamb is a great new addition to the London food scene – it’s beautiful inside, with a café-area downstairs and more of a restaurant-feel upstairs. They have a great ethos, an innovative menu (you can even get vegan mac & cheese!) and a beautiful location – what’s not to love!? For all you vegans out there it’s an absolute winner.. and if you still have friends who think vegans eat only plants, leaves and food that’s boring as f*ck, take them here and challenge them to leave with the same opinion!!
Link to their website: http://wulfandlamb.com