Surf and Turf in a plant based restaurant? What could they possibly be serving? This is one of the dishes on the dinner tasting menu at The Field, Hackney.
The Field is a newly opened restaurant just around the corner from the very fancy Mare St Market. All the dishes are making vegetables the main element of each dish. There is an option to add meat or fish to each, which they call “Plants Plus”. On this menu, there are no vegan meat substitutes, just whole grains, pulse, seeds, nuts and vegetables.
The kitchen is manned by just the two guys, Nik Williamson and Ryan Petty. One has trained at some top names in London’s culinary world like and the other ran a very popular pop up and has written a book with over 100 porridge recipes.
There are two menus , the more casual and rustic fare at lunch time and the fine dining tasting menu at dinner.
Their Plants Plus concept is definitely one that will please all vegan and vegetarians who want to dine out their carnivore friends.
Surf and turf was actually a heady concoction of mushrooms and seaweed. A roasted, caramelised celeriac, wrapped with savoury seaweed and topped with an umami rich mushroom jus. This is the quality of cooking and the style that is being produced in this kitchen. There is quite an extensive wine list filled with organic and bio dynamic wines.
From the lunch menu we had the plate of roasted vegetables which came with a seeded dip, cashew nut butter and beetroot hummus. The bread is Bread Station Sourdough which they serve with Marinated tomato juice, smoked mushroom, harissa and cashew pate.
The other option is the “Just Falafs“, green herb falafel, hummus, cashew nut pate, sourdough, avocado, pickled red cabbage, seed & nut mix, lemon & pink peppercorn dressing.
From the dinner menu, we started with a very simple sounding asparagus dish. It’s a plate of zucchini, white and green asparagus, toasted barley and pickled almonds on a bed of asparagus puree. This was a plate packed with flavours and varying textures of the nuts, asparagus and barley. The description on the menu did it a disservice as my dining companion liked it so much she literally licked the plate.
Zucchini, White Asparagus, Barley, Almonds
Homemade vegan pasta is a challenge to get right. These guys were hand-rolling the pasta as we turned up, an element that they are still looking to perfect. The pasta sheets were turned into highly flavourful Agnolotti filled with sauteed cavolo nero, crunchy pine nuts, cocoa butter and pine oil. Topped with a tofu and cashew nut sauce. The pasta wasn’t quite al dente but we forgive them as the combination of ingredients on the plate appeased every taste bud.
To complete the dinner menu, they offer a very inventive Lion’s Mane tart. Lion’smane is a mushroom that has a sweet flavour. The tart is a vegan shortbread base topped with sweet corn custard and grated lion’s mane mushroom. I love the creative use of ingredients but I didn’t like the combination of ingredients.
Annoyingly coffee is served with only non-milks so if you are not vegan and want some normal milk, it’s not available. This is just the one blip in an otherwise faultless meal.
These guys at The Field can really cook. They have created a very creative and exciting plant-based menu where you won’t miss the meat. Their food will certainly please everyone and they might be the ones to convert you to vegan cuisine. I love the way they are introducing more unusual ingredients and treating regular products in exciting ways.
If these guys were in competition with the other vegan restaurants in the recent episode of the Million Pound Menu, they would have won hands down. A passing comment made on the programme assumed that only vegans will eat at a plant based restaurant. I did a poll among my carnivore friends and though not statistically significant, shows that they are all happy to have a meat free meal if the food is interesting and well thought out.
Vegans are not the only people who eat at meat free restaurants.
I can’t wait to go back to try more of the dishes on the menu. The Field in Hackney is definitely one to watch.
The Field (Courtyard of Fount London)
358-360 Westgate St,
EatCookExplore was a guest of The Field