A new takeaway service in London is perking up plant-based lunch options
From chic Chelsea eaterie Wulf & Lamb and Marcus Wareing’s Planted tasting menu at Tredwells to the imminent arrival in Covent Garden of hip US vegan fast food restaurant By Chloe, plant-based cuisine is booming in London. Now a new vegan takeaway service is offering creative, super-healthy cuisine on the go. Essence Express launched last month at the Blok gyms in London’s Shoreditch and Clapton, and the concept should soon be rolled out at other gyms, hotels and train stations. The new venture has been launched on the back of the success of the Essence Cuisine restaurant, which entrepreneur Bart Roman originally created in 2014 as a pop-up in Belgium before opening permanently in Shoreditch last year. ‘Like many, I’m busy, and I was looking for healthy, energising food that I can just grab and go. A regular wrap contains so much gluten and carbs, whereas Essence’s food is free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.’ The Essence menu was created by US celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, who opened his first vegan restaurant in New York way back in 2004. Dishes available from Essence Express include a Caesar salad made with sunflower parmesan and shiitake anchovies, and a raw pad Thai made with kelp noodles and tamari almonds. The dishes are surprisingly delicious and redolent of the original classics. Also on the menu are starch bowls packed with healthy grains, innovative healthy snacks, a selection of cold-pressed juices and nut milks, and breakfast options such as coconut parfait with grawnola and raw coconut banana pancakes.
‘full’ bowl, £285, by sebastian bergne. ‘goa’ chopsticks, £18 for set, by cutipol, from amara. ‘broadway white’ dessert plate, €23, by Vista alegre. ‘finesse’ glass, £20 for four, by nude seaweed salad, £6; spicy carrot sushi rolls, £6; ‘intense cacao’ drink, £5.50; ‘intense green’ drink, £6; falafel, beetroot and tahini wrap, £4.50; ‘intense roots’ drink, £6, all from essence express