No matter where you live in London, do yourself a favour and head to The Meet – it’s vegan food heaven that will satisfy even the most sceptical carnivore.
It’s not just the excellent food that makes this new vegan restaurant in Clapham North so great but the lush cocktails and the interesting use of industrial space that makes me want to go there again…and again and again.
No matter whether you want to go light or all in, there’s something for everyone here (I recommend going all in). Burgers, noodles, curry, chilli, salad, jackfruit tempura, cassava chips, onion rings, cold pressed juices, shakes…the list goes on.
The menu is fully vegan but don’t be afraid to bring a non-vegan, meat-loving date or friend here since the food is absolutely banging regardless.
I started with Give Me Wings (bourbon, maple & sriracha glazed cauliflower florets topped with ‘blue cheese’) and Mac Daddy O (mac & ‘cheese’ topped with smashed avo). For those that aren’t sure about the cauliflower, this dish is the perfect proof that vegetables lend themselves to much more than boring salads and that vegan food can be indulgent, comforting and chock-full of flavour. Mac Daddy O was delicious in its creaminess but it still felt surprisingly light and the avo smash on top was a great addition.
If it wasn’t for the social norms, I would have licked the plate – it took a lot of self-control not to do so.
After the flying start from the wings, I continued with Ain’t It Cold Out – a Jamaican style coconut curry with roast yams, red pepper, spinach and chickpeas with roti bread. The dish had a subtle kick to it, was beautifully presented and most importantly the taste was on point. If this curry doesn’t leave you feel all warm and fuzzy on a cold winter evening, I don’t know what will.
You cannot leave without dessert. Whoever said vegans can’t do desserts, needs to stop by The Meet. I went for Run Forest – a chocolate and forest fruit ‘cheesecake’ with a hazelnut biscuit crumb. Silky, smooth and decadent, you’ll regret offering to share it.
It’s not just The Meet’s food that is impressive – the drinks are just as versatile and tempting (and fully vegan). No matter whether you’re a fan of wine, craft beer, cocktails or non-alcoholic juices, it’s all here.
If you’re on the cocktails, kick off with a Meetini (made with Bols Genever, cashew milk and matcha). Despite the matcha, it sure didn’t feel like drinking green tea. Or try a Vegroni (Bombay Sapphire, Aperol, Dolin Rouge) that was served beautifully smoky.
The Meet occupies an old railway arch of Clapham North and the cool, raw brick work combined with graffiti, plants and candles makes for a relaxed kind of evening. This place is perfect for those nerve-racking Bumble dates or get-togethers with friends. Chat to chef Dominic Taylor (who went vegan about 18 months ago) if you get the chance, he’s all about showing vegan food isn’t boring.
The sustainability bit
Since the carbon footprint of meat and dairy dishes is typically higher than plant-based dishes, The Meet reduces its environmental impact just by being vegan. Herbs are foraged locally and their vegan ice creams come from Hackney Gelato.
The Meet doesn’t serve any bottled water in an effort to minimise their carbon footprint. Instead, for £1 (per person) you can get unlimited filtered still or sparkling water.
When to visit
The Meet is said to be a pop-up but no specific end date has been announced yet. I for one am hoping that The Meet will be a permanent part of London’s restaurant scene. However, you better book your visit soon in case this isn’t the case.
The Meet is open Tuesday – Friday 5pm-10pm and Saturday & Sunday 11am-9.30pm. The most expensive main is £12, desserts cost less than £6 and the cocktails are under £10. Book a table here.