- Friday, 28 September 2018

Eatery Hopping: Wulf & Lamb, London

sneak peak: is London's latest all-vegan eatery, Wulf & Lamb worth the hype? read on for the review


Eatery Hopping: Wulf & Lamb, London, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk

Just about every review of the most hyped-up 100% plant-based restaurant in London mentions the apparent unveganness of its name. I will say simply that I have read the FAQs about it on their website, and it still doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I don't necessarily think it needs to. Plus, I think the quirky spelling of wolf as wulf is old-timey and endearing and cool.

The point, o nitpicky ones, is the food.

Luckily for me, my dining companion had swum the Channel (yes she had SWUM THE CHANNEL) just a couple of days prior, so we were suitably hungry and therefore much better placed to try many, many things.

We were ravenous anyway when we arrived, and were then warned of an hour-long wait for food (...... yay) so opted for some marmite almonds to fill the gap. These were extremely tasty - like twiglets, but harder and a different shape. Wow, this is a great review already. The gap they were bridging was due to our brilliant timing - we had decided to go to a vegan restaurant on what turned out to be the day of an animal rights march. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a large proportion of those in the animal rights march would be vegan, and a large proportion of those vegans would also be going to Wulf & Lamb that evening. If anything, it confirmed that we had evidently made a very wise decision indeed.

In the end, our one-hour wait turned out to be more of a 25-minute wait, and our food descended magnificently onto our photogenic marble tabletop.

Thinking that we would leave space for pudding (ha ha ha ha haaaa), we had gone straight in with mains, but couldn't resist a side to share. Our spread consisted of the Wulf burger (not mine), the creamy linguine (mine), and the mac 'n' cheese (a bit mine). LET ME TELL YOU. THIS. WAS. MINDBOGGLING.

I think what surprised me wasn't so much the deliciousness of the food (although it was delicious), but how not vegan it tasted. If I hadn't been in an entirely vegan restaurant, with not a smidge of dairy in sight, I would have been unbelievably sceptical of the whole thing.

The creamy linguine comes with a pleasingly generous load of greens (I LOVE PEAS) in a "white wine and parmesan sauce", which was so creamy and warming and just the best thing when you have an empty tummy and an appreciation of carbs. I was uncertain, as I am admittedly an Italian food snob (pasta should always, always, always be more al dente than you think), but it was so astonishingly creamy that I pretty much forgot to think about anything else.

My Channel-swimming chum was equally appreciative of the Wulf burger, which is a seitan patty (seitan is basically 100% gluten, so not one for the coeliacs among us, sorry to you all) with all sorts of extras. It had the usual bits and bobs for a burger (tomato, lettuce, pickles, red onion) as well as cashew aioli, optional vegan cheese, sauerkraut (get that cabbage away from me) and potato wedges. I nabbed a corner of a wedge and it was very tasty, and also had a smidge of the burger which was also excellent. As a rule, I don't like fake meats or anything that too closely resembles anything meaty, and seitan kind of treads exactly on the line, so while I don't think I could have had a whole burger of it, it was a delicious mouthful.

Now, let's talk about this mac 'n' cheese. I've been telling anyone who will listen about how realistic this was, but truth be told, I'm not the greatest judge - I've never actually had mac 'n' cheese. This was the first time I had ever tried it. HOWEVER, the reason I hadn't deigned to try it before is because I spent the vast majority of my life vehemently opposed to stringy cheese. Once I reached the age of about 13, I could handle it to the point where I could enjoy pizza, but I have since discovered the unparalleled joy that is a marinara pizza (tomato base, no cheese, and a classic Italian choice so no it is not weird).

Anyway, all that is to say - this mac 'n' cheese brought me all the way over from the 'no way I don't want mac 'n' cheese at all thank you' camp, to the 'this is actually very tasty' camp. Don't be fooled, though - it was not a side. That thing with its creamy, heavy cheesiness and its spicy, crunchy top is a main, and best of luck to you if you order it alongside your main as a little top-up because unless you have literally just right now hopped out of the sea after swimming the Channel, you will struggle.

Thoughts overall? The decor is lovely (very grammable), the service wasn't brilliant, it's definitely expensive but the portions are generous, and the food is great.

Needless to say, we did not have space for pudding. I shall just have to return.

- post #4 of 21 in the 21-day blog challenge -

*The photo in this post is my own. If you wish to use it, please ask my permission and credit me!*

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