In the past decade, veganism has transformed from a niche diet for the uber health-conscious to lifestyle choice backed by many. Embracing this change, a host of London restaurants (Tibits, Mildreds and Farmacy to name but a few) concentrate on vegan and vegetarian menus while others are shifting their focus from fine cuts of meat in favour of healthier and cleaner plant-based ingredients. But without meat, eggs and dairy products to flavour and carry dishes, chefs are having to find clever and inventive ways to give body to vegan menus.
One such chef is Ravinder Bhogal (who is behind London-based restaurant Jikoni) who has created an entirely vegan menu for W Hotel’s The Perception, that will be served until the end of June.
Combining global culinary influences, Bhogal’s inventive menu is so full of flavour and texture that you hardly notice you aren’t eating meat. The caramel braised tofu, is flavoursome, robust and meaty in texture with a skin-like crust, while a starter of ‘cauliflower popcorn’ served with a black vinegar and chilli dip is so delicious that it would be worth visiting The Perception for that dish alone.
After sampling her menu we spoke to Bholgal to find out more about her menu at The Perception at W London, why she created it and how it challenged her cooking.