Oy Vegan takes London! Restaurant Review: Itadaki Zen

Japan­ese food and the term ‘vegan’ aren’t com­monly uttered in the same sen­tence. When I was in Japan last year, it was quite dif­fi­cult to find food that didn’t have fish in it in some form or another. So it might sur­prise you to know that in the heart of Lon­don, near King’s Cross tube sta­tion there exists a Japan­ese restau­rant that is com­pletely organic and vegan!

Itadaki Zen  even sources its veg­eta­bles from its own organic farm just out­side of Lon­don. We went there on a Fri­day evening when the city was really buzzing. After being seated, I was delighted to read their mis­sion state­ment as a vegan organic restau­rant on the first page of their menu. You can read more about their vision here.

There were many options rang­ing from tra­di­tional Japan­ese food to a few Korean options such as home­made Chap che (sweet potato glass noo­dles with veg­eta­bles and shi­take mush­rooms). I regret not order­ing it as it looked really deli­cious when I saw it come to our neigh­bour­ing table.

We ended up order­ing a num­ber of items à la carte instead of choos­ing one of their set menus (which looked tasty as well). I started off with Miso soup and we shared a salad.

Above: Tofu steaks with spe­cial sauce and salad with seaweed.

Then we ordered Tofu Steak in Yangyeom (a spe­cial home­made sauce) and assorted veg­etable and sea­weed tem­pura. We also ordered an assorted sushi plate and an udon bowl. Both were delicious.

Above: Assorted veg­etable and sea­weed tempura.

Each dish was expertly sea­soned. You could tell that they use fresh organic qual­ity ingre­di­ents. There was a beau­ti­ful sim­plic­ity to the dishes that let the ingre­di­ents speak for themselves.

Above: cucum­ber and mush­room assorted sushi

Above: Kabocha (Japan­ese pump­kin), jujube and chest­nut cake with vanilla tofu cream.

Lastly, we indulged in a dessert. Usu­ally, I don’t get dessert at Japan­ese restau­rants, but the Itadaki Zen muf­fin descrip­tion looked too good. I’m so glad we got it. It was del­i­cate and divine. The pump­kin cake was won­der­ful, not overly sweet which I appre­ci­ate, and the tofu vanilla cream was the per­fect accompaniment.

All in all, Itadaki Zen is a must for any veg­head in Lon­don. Read more of their menu here. The ambi­ence was lovely, the ser­vice was great and the food was top notch.

Oy Vegan!

Itadaki Zen is located at 139 King’s cross Road, London

Hours: Mon-Thu 18:00-22:00/ Fri,Sat 18:00–22:30

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