New? Bang on the healthy eating trend with a vast range of gluten free, dairy free and vegan options Ethos opened in September 2014.
Where? 48 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX www.ethosfoods.com
On the menu: All day dining and meat-free restaurant Ethos serves breakfast through to dinner every day via a pay-by-weight concept that specialises in dishes from around the world, freshly prepared from scratch in the kitchen. Expect to see vibrant salads, curries, vegetarian scotch eggs, stews, vegetable bakes, classics like lasagne and quiches alongside a selection of dips like hummus and tzatziki.
First Impressions: Ethos is very clean looking without feeling clinical, like an uber smart café that you feel comfortable taking your time to eat in. It’s about halfway full when we arrive but as a regular passer-by I know Ethos always gets busy, and it predictably did.
The Look: Glass walls allow bustling shoppers a clear view of the restaurant which has a buffet area on one side where the food is divided in islands by hot food, chilled food and desserts. The main section of the venue is the seating area with a selection of seats and a banquette running along the far wall. Trees act as partitions which have been decorated in autumnal leaves and the ad hoc Christmas decoration.
What We Ate: We piled our plates high and never looked back, with so many options available you find yourself wanting to try a bit of everything and then all of a sudden you’re heaving your plate back to the table dropping it down with a louder thud than you expected. The oozing, cheesy dauphinoise potatoes were a favourite, with such indulgence how could it not be? My salad of choice was the cauliflower and broccoli in a cashew cream, while the squash and stilton walnut rolls were bite size treats. Gnocchi isn’t something that would normally get us excited but the stilton variety here was worthy of a whole plate.
Dessert was a lemon and blackberry cupcake where the icing overshadowed the sponge which was filled with blackberry jam – how cupcakes should be done.
What We Drank: The drinks menu has a few options in each section, enough to give you some choice without being as overwhelming as the food options. The wines are highlighted to show you which ones are vegan, while the hot section has a selection of dairy-free milks. We stuck with a simple elderflower presse during our visit.
Go With: A vegetarian, someone with food intolerances or someone looking to try out vegetarian food who thinks it’s all tofu and mung beans to prove them wrong.
Final Word: While the food here isn’t Michelin starred, it is after all in buffet style, it packs in the flavour, vibrant colours and the dishes hit the spot. The big pull here is the vast (and exclusive) vegetarian selection of food, normally lacking from restaurants, so if you find something that doesn’t knock your socks off there are many other back up options just waiting to be sampled. Calling all vegetarians, this is definitely one to be ticked off from your London restaurant bucket list.