The phrase “Vegan Food” conjures images of cold, limp food: unattractively smelly cabbage, stale vegetables, cardboard carbs and rabbit food. Even foods which I personally consider tasty (arguably due to years spent without the purely delicious taste of fried bacon and cream cake) are rarely met with praise.
If that wasn’t enough to turn people off the idea of a vegan meal, the image of a vegan restaurant or cafe has been plagued by the numerous dingy, snobby, “hipster” establishments dotted around off-the-map areas of London.
Being a vegan is extremely rewarding for a number of reasons. But something often disregarded by non-vegans is the difficulty in eating out, and actually enjoying it.
For years I have groaned at lunch invitations, knowing full well that I will finish my meal unsatisfied, with a rumbling belly and an empty purse.
That was until I discovered Juicebaby.
Located in the heart of Chelsea, on the King’s Road, Juicebaby is not your average vegan eatery.
The site itself is easy to find and a pleasant walk away from the wonderful Sloane Square. There is an instant atmosphere as soon as you step in the door – a chilled out, natural and peaceful vibe, with cosy corners and comfy seats, and clean, bright counters and fridges illustrating just how fresh and clean the food itself is. I will definitely be bringing my laptop along and turning a corner into my lunch time office in the future.
Although specialising in fresh cold pressed juices, Juicebaby’s plant based menu features milks, smoothies, and culinary delights suitable for breakfast, lunch, dessert and snacking – all vegan friendly, wheat, gluten, dairy, GMO, sugar and GUILT free.
“Our philosophy is simple. Little by little.When it comes to eating right, we believe it’s the little choices that make a big difference.Don’t deprive yourself of foods you love. Make small changes. […] Ditch the processed foods for unprocessed, wholesome ones. Swap out conventional desserts for desserts that are free of unrefined flours and sweeteners. […]Our aim is to make sustainable, healthy food accessible, on the go. Our food and drinks are handmade. We source the absolute best produce, cold-press our juices on a daily basis and maintain the highest standards possible. We never pasteurise, water down or add sugar to our juices. We avoid the use of dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, chemical additives or preservatives of any kind. We avoid cartons and cans. We produce drinks and food that maximize real nutritional value.“
The location, site and values are all great, sure. But the absolute best thing about Juicebaby? The unbelievably amazing taste of the food and drink on offer.
I dragged my soul sister and fellow vegan Jordan along with me so that we could each pick a few dishes and drinks and share in order to experience more tastes, more economically. It’s my favourite way to eat out, as I always end up picking from my friends plates and forcing forkfuls down their throats. What can I say – I like to share my taste experience!
For our savoury main, Jordan chose the Rainbow Buddha Bowl:
Steamed quinoa, sesame kale, beetroot carrot slaw, arame, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, miso-sesame dressing (*Miso is rice & soy derived)
While I chose the Taco Bowl:
Having scoffed half of the Buddha Bowl, I can hardly deny the amazing taste. It was light, clean but also filling and satisfying. But I was so excited by the Taco Bowl, as being vegan does deprive you of such exciting spicy, creamy, Mexican style foods. The taste is so astoundingly good and satisfying that it’s hard to believe it doesn’t contain any nasties.
For dessert, Jordan chose the Coconut Yogurt Pot: