Orthorexia: an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy. Most of us are unlikely to suffer from this, in fact the words detox and vegetarian food strikes fear into the hearts of most ordinary citizens. A visit to Maple & Fitz in Fitzrovia for a healthy dose of “Eat, Juice, Be Happy” might not be on top of most people’s list of must visit places for lunch. However, this is one of those places which should come with an addiction warning : once tried, you might need regular doses to perk yourself up.
It is marginally tricky to locate this healthy food and juice bar; the address says Berners Street, but the shop front is actually on Mortimer Street. There is limited seating on site, but I suspect most of their business is takeaway. You are presented with a gorgeous display of healthy food options as soon as you enter: there are long trays of complex looking salads, mostly based on different cuisine options like Samurai Slaw, Mexican Standoff, Ali Baba and Sweet Caroline.
The secret is in their dressing. The Samurai Slaw tastes refreshingly cool with miso sesame soy dressing and I’ve always been a fan of cooling soba noodles dipped in light soy sauce. Sweet Caroline has maple balsamic dressing and you get the feeling the mixture of roasted sweet potato and celeriac, shredded beets and apple, kale and pecans has been carefully thought out and tested in their kitchen rather than something cooked up on the hoof. For £6.95, you can choose up to 3 options and they also have protein options to add to your salads such as salmon or free-range chicken.
On another counter is a whole array of delicious ‘guilt free’ snacks, they have tasting samples where you can try their gluten free banana bread or you can order their best gluten-free brownie with dark chocolate and salted caramel swirl. Irresistible yes, guilt free I am not so sure.
Maybe to get the full energised, revitalised feeling, you need to complete your visit with their fine selection of cold pressed juices. Just their charming names would be enough for you to buy them: Little Miss Sunshine, Bunny Run and First Love. I opted for the cleansing option of First Love and once again you get the sense the ingredients of beet, carrot, apple, celery and lemon have been been very carefully thought out and tested to ensure it’s not just about how healthy it is but how energising it is to your taste buds.
I challenge you to be an adventurous devil in the coming weeks and skip your fast food lunch and try the food at Maple & Fitz, however I will not be held responsible for any resulting addiction to their irresistible food.