Celebrate National Vegetarian Week by taking it one step further and going vegan, with the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill’s new vegan menu
Beyoncé and Jay Z have embraced it, Gwyn has been raving about it for years, and you’re pretty much a nobody in LA if you’re not jumping on the latest trend for semi-veganism.
Now the trend for turning vegan has come to London, thanks to Los Angeles chef and health guru Ali Pavinjah who is taking a two week residency, to coincide with National Vegetarian Week, at the Hyatt Regency London –The Churchill where he has created an inventive healthy vegan menu, with recipes to turn even the hardiest of carnivores.
The imaginative dishes fill a gap in the London restaurant market, where vegans and vegetarians are so often an after-thought, being left with pasta dishes (a no-no for vegans) or a side of vegetables (without the butter).
Ali’s menus are far from an after-thought. Elegant, beautifully presented and full of health-boosting nutrients, he uses scientific methods such as making his own vegan cheese by mixing probiotics with nuts and air-drying vegetables to keep their nutrients while bringing out their natural flavours. Of which there are many.
As a non-vegan I was blown away by the taste and variety of the dishes we tried. Beautifully plump tomatoes with cashew cheese and wild rocket was the stand out among our many starters (the beauty of vegan is you don’t feel greedy when you have three starters, two mains and two desserts), although the heirloom beetroot tartar with hemp flax seed lavash came a close second. The flavours were beautifully balanced and complemented each other perfectly, Ali’s ingredients are original and surprising.
I wasn’t expecting the mains to be so robust, but the likes of the blackened tofu, with grilled sprouting broccoli, agave glazed rainbow carrots and mustard coconut emulsion and the mushroom, lemon risotto had me pledging allegiance to veganism. Who needs meat when the alternatives are so tasty?
Before we started I was particularly excited about the desserts, intrigued by what vegan ice-cream would taste like. And I can now confirm that it tasted good. Very good. Ali’s baklava ice cream, made with zero cream, was actually rather creamy. The texture was rougher than normal ice-cream but the flavours lighter and definitely less guilt-inducing. As was the whole menu. As Ali tells us; “Eating even a semi-vegan diet for 60-70% of the day can benefit overall health and weight loss, as well as allowing the body to absorb more goodness from non-vegan foods when eaten at other times.”
Ali Parvinjah will be cooking his vegan recipes until 25th May and from then a sample selection of his menu will feature at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill.
Price: £20 for 2-courses and £25 for 3-courses.
Bake your own vegan recipes at home with Ali’s recipes