Tue 19 April 2016
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To say the London dining scene has been on a yoyo diet would be an understatement. From raw food, paleo, 5:2 diet and Goop cleanses to fried chicken, hotdogs and burgers, it’s been back and forth non-stop. But, it seems, balance is on the horizon (and we’re not talking about the McDonald’s kale salad). Thanks to a crop of high profile chefs, fast food has been given a do-over. Bulgur-chicken nuggets, organic and seasonal fruit pies and plant-based ice cream sundaes: it’s still junk food, but not as we know it.
We first noticed the fast food shake up stateside. Michelin chef April Bloomfield’s newly opened hit NY restaurant Salvation Burger, has all the traits of a fast food joint – burgers, hotdogs, skinny fries, and even fried fruit pies – but greasy spoon this is not. Beef burgers are made with grass-fed beef that’s butchered in-house, veggie burgers are made with beets, lentils and vermicelli noodles and the fruit for the pies is organic and seasonal.

If all you’re after is a Maccy D’s fix but your vegan diet won’t allow it, try by CHLOE., which serves up fast-casual plant-based vegan trash food – think burgers with lentil, chia and walnut patties, mac ‘n’ cheese with a sweet potato-cashew cheese sauce and varieties of ice cream, from roasted banana bourbon to kale cookies and cream.

However, it’s in California where fast food is really being tackled, en mass, thanks to Roy Choi (the chef responsible for the food truck movement) and his ‘revolutionary fast food’ chain, LocoL. The 99-cent ‘Cheeseburg’ contains a beef patty blended with grains, tofu and a beef-and-seaweed garum; chicken nuggets are mixed with grains such as fermented bulgur wheat; sides of fries are replaced with rice and greens; and sugary sodas are forgone for $1 aguas frescas.

But, until by CHLOE. and LocoL hit the UK, we’ll be getting our ‘junk food’ fix from Farmacy. The menu at the soon-to-open Notting Hill restaurant is plant based – but with burgers, reuben sandwiches, parfait and ice cream on the menu. Oh, and wine.

‘Healthy’ indulgence. Here we go.
Calendar Picks
This Week’s Picks
The typography of legendary street artist Ben Eine gets the neon treatment for the first time at Lights of Soho. April 20 – May 21. 35 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0RX.  The Kit + Ace ‘Carry On’ capsule collection. Think cashmere and casual luxury pieces for the traveller in mind. Until April 20. 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD  Barrecore X Brunch at Bluebird Chelsea. April 23. 9.30am or 1pm. £28pp. 350 King’s Road, London SW3 5UU  Bottomless Pisco at Pachamama’s new Spring brunch. 8 Thayer Street, W1U 3JY. 50% off food for the first two weekends April 23/24 and April 30/May 1.
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