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Essence Cuisine (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Vegan Shoreditch

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Essence Cuisine has now closed. Time Out Food editors, November 2018.

If you’re looking for an introduction to the raw food ‘movement’, high-end vegan spot Essence Cuisine might seem an intimidating entry point – but look past the iffy new-age branding and focus on what you’re eating. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Aside from some uncomfortable bench seating, the vibe is relaxed considering the uber-minimal, industrial decor. Friendly staff are on hand to guide you through the surprisingly accessible menu.

A nut ‘cheese’ board seemed a good place to begin, with an oaky, sticky ‘cheddar’, a creamy lemon-and-dill number and a tart pear chutney. Apart from the overkill of truffle oil in one cheese, this was a nice little sharing starter.

The highlight of the meal, though, was a green curry. Kelp noodles with sweet, curried cashews and a well-spiced, rich sauce made for a dish full of flavour and texture. This did not feel like a plate of uncooked ingredients – it felt and looked like a professionally prepared meal. And it tasted delicious.

There was also a host of decadent desserts (try the zingy, mousse-like lime cheesecake with sharp cola gel) and good wines (vegan, organic and biodynamic, naturally), proving that eating raw and plant-based doesn’t have to mean dodging fun or flavour. Essence shows that you needn’t be a hardcore health fiend to go raw.


Address: 94 Leonard St
Transport: Shoreditch High Street Overground.
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