London's Rootmaster Rolls On
The words vegetarian and vegan both emerged in England-in the 1840s and a century later, respectively. So it's fitting that plant-based dining has brought some of the most exciting innovations to the British culinary sphere. Rootmaster, founded in 2006 as London's first vegan Bustaurant, wins praise both for its delightful design concept and its attractive menu. The name "Rootmaster" is a pun on those famous (usually red) double-deck buses known as Routemasters.
The restaurant's creators set out to show us all how to enjoy and have fun with food, beers and wines, the Beatles and Edith Piaf while living in harmony with the planet. It works. (Yes, the bus has a kitchen; and yes, it still can be driven.)
And the culinary skills of the Rootmaster crew are every bit as creative as we'd expect.
You'll want to try the Soup of the Moment with freshly baked bread, and do have the gyoza-soft wonton wraps with a carrot and coriander filling-or summer rolls, with organic noodles, vegetables and coriander in soft rice paper and a sweet-hot dipping sauce.
A Mediterranean Mezze Platter (£10 for two diners) includes hummus, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled vegetables, tzaziki (a traditional Middle Eastern condiment) and roasted tomatoes, served with freshly baked bread.
A lovely main dish is the Cauliflower and Summer Greens Tart with Swiss chard in a creamy tomato sauce wrapped in a home-made pastry and accompanied by a cucumber dill potato salad.
For dessert, try the chocolate fondant with a rich caramel filling, served with ice cream and a seasonal berry coulis, or the organic cheesecake with seasonal fruit, also served with a berry coulis. Ice creams are also available, served with organic fruits, chocolate-coated nuts, and freshly baked biscotti. But then there is the spiced peach crumble with vanilla ice cream; or the vanilla custard tart topped with chopped pistachios, berries and lemon syrup. Not an easy choice, obviously-so we brought enough people to try a few. We left happy.
Open seven days and nights a week, Rootmaster is situated in Ely's Yard, part of The Old Truman Brewery, in Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane, an area with many Bangladeshi restaurants. It's a bit off the beaten path so take your map with you when you go.
More information: 07912 389314 or firstname.lastname@example.org