In a world that goes through food and energy at a scarily rapid pace, these London restaurants and cafes have armed themselves for a war against waste. Whether it be through the interception of produce, the resourceful management of any waste or the use of only renewable energy, these guys are stepping ahead of the pack when it comes to helping our world. And boy, ‘environmentally-friendly’ has never tasted so good.
1. Tiny Leaf, Notting Hill
Since opening at the end of January, Tiny Leaf have been re-shaping the way London’s restaurant industry approach food sourcing. Their entire menu is built around ingredients salvaged from local and organic food vendors, that would have otherwise gone to waste. Their approach shines a light on the ways in which we can make the most out of the world’s resources (and make it taste fantastic). The building itself, which was once Bumpkin, is truly impressive. Tiny Leaf has injected character across its 4 stories; the ground floor bistro is light and leafy, the second two floors are available to hire for events and the ‘Dark Room’ on the top floor is home to a sultry cocktail bar, open evenings from Wednesday to Sunday.
Due to the variable nature of their stock, the Tiny Leaf menu changes every day. What is guaranteed, however, is fresh and nutritious vegetarian dishes and some champion cocktails. We’d recommend trying their signature cocktail, made with organic gin, Elderflower, apple and ginger. It tastes too good (and healthy) to be alcoholic… very dangerous. When it comes to food, the Market Plate showcases vegetables in their full glory and is proof that simple, nutritious ingredients (and a great chef) are all it takes to make a mouth-watering meal. A definite must-try for veggies and non-veggies alike.
2. Save The Date Cafe, Dalston
No, you’re eyes aren’t deceiving you – this cafe in Dalston, which is part of The Real Junk Food Project only charges what you feel the food deserves. From 12-4pm on Thursdays and Saturdays and 12-10pm on Fridays, you can make your way down to 2 Abbott Street and indulge in some earth-conscious grub. At Save The Date Cafe, they intercept perfectly good food that would otherwise have been thrown away and turn it into tasty wholesome food.
They often run events in other locations around London, serving up their innovative menus, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for their latest culinary exploits. They also cater for private events and are available to hire, so if you want your event to contribute in the war against wastage, definitely check them out.
3. The Waterhouse, Hackney
Flaunting its picturesque canal-side views near Hackney, The Waterhouse Restaurant is owned by Shoreditch House Trust and was developed with help from Think.Eat.Drink. Not only has it established the Blue Marble Training Programme, which helps provide opportunities in the food industry for disadvantaged young people, but the restaurant itself was also built to be environmentally friendly. It only uses renewable hydroelectric energy, sourced from Regents Canal.
They’ve also got their waste management effectively covered through innovative measures that make sure their raw food, hot food and cooking oil is resourcefully disposed of. See Think.Eat.Drink for detailed information on this. They’re open for breakfast and lunch, Monday to Friday. Definitely a perfect spot to start the day (plus you can order halloumi with your morning eggs!). Check out the full menu here.
For more ethically-sound restaurants in London, click here.