You can probably count on one hand the number of top quality vegetarian restaurants in town that would give you an addictive food craving to dine out. Ethos, must surely rank up there with the very best in London. At Townfish, we love supporting independent companies like Ethos who set about operating in the proper manner and not cutting corners in terms of offering high quality ingredients which have been ethically sourced.
Their whole philosophy is about convincing more of us to be flexitarians. They are people who eat primarily a vegetarian diet with occasional forays into fish and meat. It is about making vegetarian food approachable and accessible rather than a militant hard-sell.
The decor with polished white-tiled walls and tree trunks in the centre of the restaurant space gives a suitably clean-living image to the restaurant. They have a good mixture of large tables and stools facing the street suitable for single diners. They offer an easy to use pay by weight concept. Although I am still baffled by this system, as surely you wouldn’t expect to see any lightweight, high-priced items on their food stations. On the night of our visit, we didn’t see any exotic looking mushrooms or in fact any mushrooms in any of the dishes.
However, there is much to savour from their selections; every dish has been calibrated to offer an uplifting taste sensation. Massaged kale salad has a tangy citrusy note with the addition of kumquats, but the secret winner was the maple vinegar dressing. Japanese miso aubergine appears in vegetarian menus as frequently as you see sirloin steaks in meat restaurants, but this version has a very delicate taste yet it is filling at the same time. Other filling options include vegan’s Sheppard’s pie, quorn lasagna and squash and sage risotto.
We particularly enjoyed the runny spring green scotch eggs, which used sweet potato and butternut squash to construct the outer casing and liberal amounts of spring onions.
They are particularly careful with their allergen listing and if you turn over the signs for each dish you will see the comprehensive ingredients list.
Thankfully they have desserts of all sizes. Whilst my guest went for a tempting lemon drizzle cake, which was moist and tasty judging by the lack of opportunities for me to sample a bite, I tried a raw blueberry and coconut square. For a dessert that is raw, gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free, it tasted just as good if not better than traditional desserts elsewhere and for once, it doesn’t taste like a guilty pleasure. The chocolate brownies appeared to be the most popular option amongst other diners.
Tables get very booked up at Ethos, so whilst we have no reservations (pardon the pun) in recommending the wonderful Ethos, we are hoping the queuing time won’t become longer, as no doubt we will be visiting them regularly.