Its name is a bit of a misnomer, because much of The Skinny Kitchen’s menu is anything but. Sweet potato or halloumi fries, for example, are moreish precisely because they’re calorific; ditto eggs benedict with avocado and chipotle hollandaise. There are plenty of good-for-you ingredients, but as the listed calorie counts show, very few mains come in at under 500 calories (for that you’ll need to order the raw buddha bowl).
The original TSK is based in Ibiza, and this London outpost is a slightly incongruous sidekick to Islington’s Business Design Centre. A big café space with lots of bare surfaces and a dance music soundtrack (even at lunch), it’s tricked out with fake greenery, velvet-covered chairs and a pink neon sign behind a long bar.
The menu is a roll-call of food fads (‘track your macros’, ‘clean eating’), but kudos for the number of vegan and gluten-free dishes, which are clearly marked. There’s also brunch (served until 5pm) and a main menu of global crowd-pleasers: from burgers and chilli to protein bowls.
A cold sharing platter – beetroot houmous, mashed avocado, raw carrot, radish, lettuce, big green olives and brown sourdough – was fine, though forgettable. A bowl of buckwheat noodles with tofu and veg was equally so-so, monotone in flavour except for the occasional chilli kick. Much better, and very much worth ingesting 836 calories for, was the beef burger; a charcoal bun stuffed with two patties, plus cheddar, pickles, red onion and lemon mayo. Also good was a punchy peanut chicken bowl.
Given the local competition, TSK is unlikely to be your first choice. Unless, that is, it’s a sunny day, when the terrace will come into its own.