★★★★ | Kalifornia Kitchen, London
Do you want food that will make you look and feel beautiful? Well, according to Kalifornia Kitchen, their food will do just that!
Located both in Fulham and on Percy Street right off Tottenham Court Road, vegan chef and influencer Loui Blake has opened Kalifornia Kitchen, a restaurant dedicated to all things vegan and it’s already known as a vegan lovers paradise. Concentrating on nutritious and sustainable food and drinks, utilising the power of plants and abstaining from any animal products or harmful plastics, a visit to Kalifornia Kitchen will be good for your inner organs if you’re not used to this type of food. And if you are strictly a vegan then more than likely you already know about this place as it’s gotten rave reviews.
Extra nice but a bit confused staff made our visit on a Thursday night memorable. With no idea what to order, I threw caution to the wind and choose a few obscure dishes. The Banana Skin Tacos were amazing. Yes – banana skin was a bit of a substitute for meat, and we ate them up. With rainbow slaw & house mayonnaise and a delicious bbq sauce, this £7 dish is one I would order again. The Pickled Cucumber – spicy hummus with pickles and side crudite, and pita bread was also a delicious and yummy starter (£8).
The mains were also very interesting. I was torn between the Chickpea & Date Tagine or the Mexican Beans, so I had the beans (!!). At a whopping £14, the beans were basically black beans served in two courgettes (called on the menu ‘boats’) with very very delicious avocado and mango salad – different, very good, refreshing, however, a bit expensive.
My friend gobbled up the Classic (not Klassic?) Kalilfornia Burger. Served on a pretzel bun, it looked like a real burger! However, the flavour, though not for me, was a bit raw, probably only because it was vegan, and it was served with gouda, caramelised onion, red cabbage, romaine lettuce and a special burger sauce. Served with ‘normal’ fries that were extremely tasty, the dish is worth the £13.50 price. Spicy Kale Chips, though not very spicy, were strange tasting with its cashew cheese sprinkled on top of each chip before it’s baked – different. Perhaps an acquired taste.
Drinks are definitely something to rave about there. Very healthy smoothies, juices (with names such as Healing, Balanced, Immunity) are super tasty and you feel healthier the more you drink, with ingredients including quinoa, pineapple, tumeric, ginger, mint, etc…
I have to point out that other dishes on the menu sounded very tempting – including the Rainbow Bowl (cherry tomato, cauliflower couscous with pomegranate, activated seeds, roasted butternut squash, organic coconut yoghurt, fresh avocado and falafel), Butter Curry, and the Fish & Chips that would be good for a second visit.
We didn’t have a chance to try their dessert as the Percy Street location closed at ten on the night we visited, but we were too stuffed anyway to try the Matcha Cheesecake, Pecan Pie and the Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Dinner for two at Kalifornia Kitchen won’t set you back more than £60 (if you order starters and mains) – I’m not sure where you’ll find a cheaper vegan meal this central. The restaurant itself is beautifully designed with California style colours (lots of pink with whitewashed walls) with picnic style tables for a very calm, soothing and relaxed atmosphere. It does feel a bit like you are in California. There is an upstairs area that has the feel of great aunts sitting room. For a truly adventurous (for meat eaters) meal, Kalifornia Kitchen is a very unique and lovely dining experience.
19 Percy Street W1T 1DY
Fulham Market Hall, 472 Fulham Road, SW6 1BY
+44 (0) 207 504 4444
Tues-Sun / 11:00-22:00 (19:00 Sun)
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.