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.
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.
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.
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.
Itadaki Zen is located at 139 King’s cross Road, London
Hours: Mon-Thu 18:00－22:00/ Fri,Sat 18:00–22:30