If there’s anyone who deserves the title of London’s coolest vegan in 2017, it's gotta be this guy. King Cookdaily (real name King Senathit) opened his first meat-free spot Cook Daily in Boxpark Shoreditch in 2015 and it wasn't long before he picked up a bunch of fans – including grime dons Skepta and JME – hyped about his creative south-east Asian bowls of veggie goodness. He's now opened a second branch in Boxpark Croydon (yep, even CR0's going green).
Here, he shares his five favourite spots in London.
Fed By Water, Dalston
'In winter 2015, my staff knew how much I love Italian cuisine so they told me about this authentic restaurant that had a separate vegan menu, even though they served meat. Funnily enough, that same evening the owner Fabio invited me down for a tasting menu after my evening shift. We instantly clicked on a vegan hype and what was meant to be a late dinner turned into an after-hours meeting with a few empty bottles. Fast forward to 2016 and Fed By Water is 100 percent vegan! It serves delicious Italian grub with a vegan twist and my favourite is their spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino – with extra chilli, of course!'
Dark Sugars, Brick Lane
'My friend Paul aka The Chocolate Man of Dark Sugars once explained to me the history of cacao and how the design of his shop tells a story and an amazing journey of the infamous cacao beans from West Africa. Dark Sugars specialises in truffles and also have a wide range of dark treats influenced from around the globe. My favourite is from their 'Vegan Tree' section, the chilli chocolate truffle. It's a unique combination that works very well and is quite addictive.'
Vasanta Bhavan, East Ham
'I stumbled across this South Indian restaurant around seven years ago by mistake. My knowledge of south Indian cuisine was nonexistent back then. I just paid attention to what the locals were having and how they were eating with their hands. Within one month I knew the whole menu off by heart and had yellow stained fingers. My top three dishes are the masala dosa, vada and idli – basically a typical South Indian breakfast.'
Vida Bakery, Brick Lane
'I first met Dani of Vida Bakery at one of our Cookdaily vegan meetups in east London. She brought along a platter of her vegan treats. I love her signature chocolate-based cupcake which is smothered in a rich chocolate ganache. Mmmh! I’m actually not a fan of most cupcakes as I find them way too sweet, but Dani has it spot-on in my opinion. She has finally opened her new shop on Cheshire Street, just off Brick Lane.'
Vanilla Black, Holborn
'Having worked in this meat-free kitchen with chef-patron Andrew Dargue, Vanilla Black is definitely pioneering the vegetarian food dining experience within the UK with vegan dishes and desserts. It’s definitely my go-to place when I'm not in a tracksuit. Oh yeah, and it’s Michelin recommended.'