This bar/restaurant caused a bit of a stir in the food and drink scene when it opened a couple of years ago in Notting Hill, boasting that it was London’s only entirely alcohol-free cocktail bar; but what should also have been lauded was the fact their entire menu is gluten and refined sugar free and vegan, too. I’m sure many of you are thinking this place sounds incredibly dull, but Londoners clearly don’t agree as, thanks to its popularity, Redemption has since opened a second outlet in Shoreditch – which I paid a visit to last week.
Anywhere that offers an entirely gluten free menu is an automatic winner in my eyes, though with only a small sample menu on their website, I still wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Fortunately, I was far from disappointed. Everything from mushroom risotto to maki, fiery cauliflower and aubergine with tahini features, priced between £7-15 each; plus several appealing side dishes and desserts that include raw cheesecake. Redemption’s lunchtime menu also features Buddha Bowls, which change each day and feature a variety of punchy flavours, colours and textures that combine beautifully together. I dined in the evening but after enquiring was told they had one available – and I’m incredibly glad they did. A huge mound of spicy chickpeas, wild red and brown rice, pomegranate seeds, beetroot, orange, and kale, cucumber and carrot salad was mine for the devouring, and I did just that.
In addition, I ordered the cauliflower which had a great kick, although in comparison to the Buddha Bowl was noticeably smaller in size – so you’d definitely need to order at least a side to accompany it. I also had a side of roasted sweet potato topped with coconut yoghurt and pomegranate seeds, and I cannot begin to describe how melt-in-the-mouth incredible this potato was. I’d never have thought to top it with coconut yoghurt, but it’s only been a week and I’ve already recreated the dish myself at home – it was that good.
Plates cleared, my stomach was on carb overload and I couldn’t have fitted in even a spoonful of dessert, however sorely tempted I was. But, on the plus side, it means I have another excuse to add to the list of reasons I should (and shall) be popping east and eating there again very soon. Despite the fact their dishes are entirely vegan, at no point did I feel unsatisfied or that what I was eating was lacking in flavour; if anything, it was very much the opposite. Even if you’re not gluten free or vegan, do yourself a favour and head to Redemption to give an entirely plant-based dinner a go, at least just once – I promise you won’t be disappointed.