Before I had the chance to try out EDIT, a plant-based restaurant which had recently opened up on Mare Street in Hackney, my Stoke Newington-based friend Steve - who may as well have grown up on a cattle station such is his staunch belief that vegans are the misguided amongst us - texted me a screenshot of EDIT’s insta profile and captioned it with ‘this looks cute’.

I replied, ‘I’m trying it out. You can come with but it’s vegan’, to which he replied, ‘That’s OK, I’ll get a kebab on the way home.’

Due to the powers that be, Steve couldn’t make the date but he’ll be pleased, albeit probably somewhat dubious, to know that a kabab on the way home from dinner at EDIT would have been redundant and a little bit gross, because myself and another pal rolled out of the joint wanting for nothing, feeling pleasingly stuffed like we guzzled down all the tricks.

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There’s this misguided belief that veg has to work hard as the centre point of a dish, to disguise the fact that it isn’t meat. However, often something wonderful happens when the absence of meat becomes irrelevant; when fruit, veg, legumes and whatever else harmonise to create a paean to its ingredients rather than apologetically filling in for a serve of pulled pork.

The Resident: Veg-forward, seasonal dishes are made with a zero-waste approach to cookingVeg-forward, seasonal dishes are made with a zero-waste approach to cooking (Image: EDIT)

EDIT’s dishes are something wonderful. They are delicate yet satiating veg-forward tributes to the deliciousness of nature and of the creativity that can go into plant-based cuisine.

The restaurant is the project of Elly Ward, a former architect who now finds herself working with food. The interiors give away Elly’s past; a dining room that is casual enough yet styled with precision, which comes with exposed raw brick walls and loos found in the adjoining architects studio (her husband’s studio in fact, who Elly collaborated with on the design).

It is a considered, well-executed concept that reflects the same ideals as the restaurant’s food – that systems should be circular to reduce waste and be sustainable, while still being a very polished act.

The Resident: Much of the pickling and preserving of ingredients is done in-houseMuch of the pickling and preserving of ingredients is done in-house (Image: EDIT)

As such, the dining room is styled out in reclaimed and rescued materials, although you wouldn’t think it, and the kitchen works with the seasons within seasons and a zero-waste principle, following a ‘root to fruit ethos’, which does sound like something Greta would slam as greenwashing, to be fair.

However, salt made from vegetable peelings was used in the well-oiled focaccia I troughed down, I was pleased to learn, and it was delicious. So EDIT isn’t just catch phrase and talk.

The menu is a daily changing selection of small plates which you can order as you wish or the tasting menu (at £55 for eight courses, it’s well priced) gets you a little bit of almost everything, which is what we went with.

The Resident: The wine list is made of low intervention wines, and are available by glass and carafe on tap tooThe wine list is made of low intervention wines, and are available by glass and carafe on tap too (Image: EDIT)

The dishes rolled out and not one passed us by without us commenting on it like we were simple-minded and desperately hungry. We couldn’t help it though, the train of dishes relayed out to us were an impressive procession of colour, textures and flavours.

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Blobs of house-made cheeses were plopped between chunks of winter tomato and pickled carrot, as well as hidden under pink splattered Castelfranco leaves. Zesty verdant aioli added tang to mouthfuls of chervil root and pink fir while lightly pickled veg brightened it, and a generous smear of bean puree too.  The pureed manitou potato – a dense and starchy cream – which sat underneath crispy roasted sprouts was addictive, so much so my pal, in earnest, considered licking his bowl. 

EDIT is a welcomed addition to Hackney and a great fit for the area. It is an easy, inventive and tasty affair where you can enjoy being a little bit mindless about mindful eating because someone has already done the consideration for you.

Address: 217 Mare Street, Hackney E8 3QE