Our resident vegan, Rachael Lindsay, is popping down to the new vegan pop-up, The Meet in Clapham, London. Occupying an old railway arch in Clapham North and serving up vegan plates by Dominic Taylor, let’s hear what The Meet is all about…
I immediately love the design of Fu Manchu, the location for The Meet pop-up in Clapham. Bare railway arch brick, colourful graffiti, spotlights onto the food, the rumble of the train overhead, so hip that it is a bit too hipster you might say. It creates a laid-back but underground atmosphere, and a great backdrop to get tasting some modern vegan fair.
We dive into the menu with a trio of small plates: a Nugget of Gold, Green Giant and Mac Daddy O. I love the creative dish names almost as much as the tasty food. Nugget of Gold is a play on the chicken nugget but completely meat-free with crispy seitan and a very yummy ‘curry sauce’ dip. Green Giant is one of my faves; satay-smothered charred broccoli, edamame, tofu and avocado, all topped with crispy peanuts, and the Mac Daddy O is some of the best vegan mac n cheese I’ve ever tasted. And mac n cheese is one of those dishes that I seriously miss as a vegan.
The mains don’t disappoint. We go for Jerkin Around, jerk tofu with fried plantain and pineapple salsa in a wrap, and I Don’t Give a Lamb, three bean vegan koftes in flatbread. Jerkin Around bursts with Caribbean flavours plus there is a scotch bonnet mayo which comes through strong so go for this if you are into your chilli. I Don’t Give A Lamb was a nice twist on the traditional lamb kebab and, although it was one of the most straight-forward sounding dishes, it was one of my favourites of the night.
The Meet prides itself on vegan versions of classic cocktails and I enjoy a Machito, made with Bacardi and Macha Powder which gives an earthy green tea undertone and a classic-Mojito lime zing. Other mouth-watering varieties are the Rhubarb and Vanilla Custard Martini and the Vegroni with vegan Vermouth.
I have to admit that dessert was a bit of a push after all those cocktails and savoury delights so I opted for the Baileys Almande Hot Chocolate complete with raspberry puree, vegan whipped cream and deep, dark chocolate! Ok so I admit it is an odd choice for someone looking for a light sweet but I have no regrets, it was devilishly good, again one of the best vegan hot chocolates I have ever had. My partner in crime enjoyed three flavours of vegan ice cream which were top notch, and I hope we will be back to sample the Run Forest (chocolate, forest fruits and hazelnut vegan cheesecake) and Topsy Turvy, the pineapple and almond upside down cake.
Overall, head Chef Dominic Taylor is doing a great job at plating up experimental vegan dishes that riff on meat favourites. The flavour pairings are excellent, the cultural influences diverse and it is all at excellent value. With burgers, bottomless vegan brunch on the weekend and Sunday roasts, there is far more to try so I would highly recommend, whether you are vegan or just vegan-venturous.
The Meet is open from Tuesday to Friday, 5pm-10pm and at weekends, 11am-9.30pm. For more information, visit themeet.co.uk.
Cover photo credit: Deliveroo