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Ever on the lookout for exciting, healthy supperclubs and restaurants in London, Plates Vegan Supperclub caught my eye and has been on my radar for a while so my sister and I made the visit last month.
Plates is a pop-up restaurant run by siblings Kirk and Keeley Haworth. The venues change regularly, each menu moving to a new space. We were at Autumn Yard in Hackney Wick, which is a beautiful natural, wood-clad dining room with an open kitchen and a lovely warm atmosphere. There was also a gorgeous selection of mostly organic and biodynamic wines to pair with the meal.
Kirk’s background was, until recently, modern, Michelin Star fine dining, until a change in his health ignited the need for substantial adjustments to his own diet and lifestyle. Spurred on by and embracing the benefits he saw in himself after making some changes, Kirk decided to combine his skills in fine dining with nutrition and healthy eating, and with the help of his sister Keeley, created Plates.
Kirk is really open about his condition and how it has influenced the change in his cooking and relationship to food. He made an effort to chat to all of the guests about this which was refreshing and welcomed.
We had a delicious seasonal 4-course meal with the Haworth siblings. Each course was delicate in flavour, had depth from an array of interesting combinations of ingredients and was beautifully presented. The meal was bursting with antioxidants gleaned from lots of fresh high-quality fruit and vegetables and predominantly organic ingredients.
We started the meal with a berry and beetroot kombucha (fermented tea) shot, which we followed with a crunchy wedge of semi-salted pineapple - a healthy take on a traditional tequila shot and chaser. A brilliantly clever way to start a meal: kombucha is bursting with probiotics and pineapple contains digestive enzymes that stimulate digestion.
It was really great to see and taste ingredients more on the unusual side - such seaweed and yuzu - that Kirk prepared so well; seaweed has that gorgeous umami depth and is a great source of Iodine (which promotes hormone synthesis and female health) and vitamin K (essential for blood health) and yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a perfect marriage of tangerine and lime.
Particular highlights were the carrot and yuzu curry which was zingy and at the same time creamy with fresh hints of ginger; it was comforting and delicious. The dessert was also excellently thought out both in terms of texture and flavour, and I’m still wondering how Kirk made it; a perfect balance of luxuriously rich and creamy coconut, bittersweet cacao and sharp apple.
The siblings have exciting plans right around the corner, Plates is moving to a permanent space in Hoxton, early next year. Keeley said: “This year has gone really well, with all the residencies selling out, so it just feels right to keep the momentum. London is where we both live, so it’s the perfect place to start. We couldn’t develop the food in the way we wanted to without our own kitchen, so we felt we needed to find a permanent place to build a solid foundation. It will be somewhere people can come to discover new things in food and drink.” For tickets and more information visit plates-london.com