Having claimed the title of queen vegan in the office, I’m willing to fight for the chance to sample a new plant-based menu whenever one lands in London. Daisy Green's colab with Plates was no exception.
Founded by Kirk Haworth, formerly of The French Laundry, Plates is a cool new concept based in Hoxton which attempts to take its diners on a 'natural food journey' through vegan small plates... which is right up my alley. Naturally, the moment I saw Kirk and co had taken over Scarlett Green for a few special dishes, I got myself to Soho faster than you can say... mini tacos.
The party was in full swing, as you would hope on a Friday night, with a DJ blending pop hits, a cool crowd of 20-somethings drinking cocktails, and bold photography plastered across the walls (we were sat opposite LAUP's image of a giant pink bear working out on Muscle Beach); an effortlessly cool vibe reminding me of quirky Aussie drinking dens that I had seen during my travels across the country as a younger lass.
We kicked off with the mini tacos (£8.50) (yes Plates have made an already bite-size dish even more manageable). The moorish tiny tasters were topped with smokey aubergine, creamy avo, pickled cucumber and house kimchi, then rounded off with slow-baked carrot and fried potato shavings to create a crunchy finale. These were also paired with the pretty-as-a-picture tomato and strawberry tartare (£8.20). While it sounds a little out-there, the creation makes so much sense when served with chilled elderflower, cucumber, mint and basil for one fresh hit.
To get the full experience? The Bondi vegan board (£16.40 per person) simply had to be paired with a bottle of Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc (£29) from the capital’s largest Australian wine list. The bright and beautiful, cross-continental explosion of colour given to us looked almost too pretty to eat as the smoked BBQ tofu steak was perfectly perched on a bed of crispy wild rice salad that gave it a lovely crunch. Meanwhile, a fire-roasted aubergine melted in the mouth, complemented by a miso and tahini medley with cavolo nero, with a bolognese stuffed pepper sat proudly in the centre. The pièce de résistance? A bright red Korean hot potato gratin with spicy pepper sauce, pickled kohlrabi and crispy onions, served on its own plate like the gorgeous muse it was.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Daisy Green’s decision to collaborate with Plates is a vegan’s fantasy (it was certainly mine) thanks to fresh flavours, vibrant presentation and exciting flavours coming together in harmony. Considering the restaurant's pop-art interiors and buzzing vibe? It’s a bold match that just really makes sense.