Plant-based food is one of the most popular food trends of the day.
RiverTribe’s Vegan Guru, Lulu Gibbons, went foraging in pastures new.
“But surely this isn’t all vegan!”. The mutterings of the table next to the Editor and I, voiced our own thoughts as we scrutinized the menu at the newly opened Tell Your Friends establishment in Parsons Green. The 100% vegan restaurant comes complete with a fully stocked bar and breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, open every day of the week.
Tell Your Friends has been the creation of the famous sisters of Made in Chelsea, Tiffany and Lucy Watson, both now proudly waving the vegan flag, with Lucy even in the process of bringing out her second vegan cookbook.
However, when we peep behind the kitchen door we see the true heart and soul of the restaurant in the Head Chef, Teresa Ensenat. She is a living testament to the vegan diet, having battled to overcome stage two ovarian cancer without further medical intervention following surgery. She warmly discussed the story of how she came to be where she is today, not only as the Head Chef of this thriving plant based restaurant, but the fact that she was there standing at all, which she firmly believes is due to her adoption of a holistic lifestyle.
Living in Mallorca, daily swims in the sea, yoga in the sun and eating a plethora of fresh produce became her norm. Thus, in this recovery period, taking time off as a classically trained chef, she embraced veganism in its entirety, to the point where she felt she could no longer return to cooking and preparing meat.
The lack of vegan cooking jobs in Mallorca saw her move to London to head up the kitchen of the renowned raw vegan restaurant, Nama, where she worked prior to Tell Your Friends. This wonderful and warm woman epitomizes everything that I and veganism stand for – healing through what you put in to your body three times a day. How you nourish yourself with what you eat and fuel yourself to reach your maximum potential.
This is the way she designed the menu that we feasted on. Starting with some cocktails using the non-alcoholic distilled spirit by Seedlip, as well-crafted as a regular gin based cocktail with just as much flavour. The menu comprises small sharing plates as well as main courses. Brought to the table first were “chicken” bites – made of jackfruit (not any processed fake meat), a big arancini ball filled with pesto, sundried tomato and a cashew cheese, mac and cheese also with a base of cashew cream and a ‘tuna’ tartare with an undoubtable taste of the sea. Then, struggling to fit on our petit table, came a raw lasagne which was sublime, one of the best that you’ll taste. The food in general was just sensational, nothing lacking flavour and each dish just as flavourful as the next; the crumb on the jackfruit bites was a joy to the taste buds, not to mention the texture being so close to actual chicken for meat lovers. A particular favourite of ours was also the Mac n’ Cheese. The Editor – a fan of Mac n’ Cheese – said it was the best she has eaten….and she’s eaten a lot.
Honestly, this restaurant is really worth the trip inland to Parsons Green. Don’t go expecting some tree hugging, long haired vegans. The space is trendy and modern, with a menu and a message to prove it.