Offering a dose of Miami cool in Fulham, we visit Tell Your Friends, the chic restaurant raising the steaks when it comes to vegan dining
The words ‘vegan restaurant’ can prompt some people to recoil in horror. No meat? No dairy? Carnivores across the country cling to their steaks tighter than a baby to a blanket. But at Tell Your Friends, the trendy vegan joint found in the heart of Fulham, there’s a pleasant surprise awaiting when it comes to finding flavoursome vegan food.
As well as gourmet vegan cuisine, Tell Your Friends also comes with a celebrity edge – it’s the work of Lucy Watson and her sister, Tiffany. Best known for her cutting remarks and Olympian side-eye skills on the hit show, Made In Chelsea, Watson is a well-known fan of all things vegan – she also published a sin-free cooking book last year (you’ll find it propped up at the front of the restaurant).
Alongside Lucy’s recipes, you’ll find plenty of chic styling within the restaurant. Neon signs, hanging gold ceiling lamps and a scattering of ferns and cacti – it’s like stepping inside a stylish Miami hangout.
Choose from seats by the front windows (ideal for people watching) lounge by the bar or rows of tables towards the back. In summer, guests can also dine outside for an alfresco feel.
The Food & Drink
Offering a “100% vegan experience from kitchen to bar,” Tell Your Friends makes a refreshing change from the stereotypical healthy eatery, as it offers vegan comfort food alongside the saintly options. There’s even a range of wines, spirits and beers to try, rather than the lure of sparkling water.
Whilst you can visit for brunch, lunch and dinner, it’s the later sitting that I try TYF for. After a long day of emails and meetings in the city, it’s refreshing to sit by the large front windows and simply chat away with my best friend – and the waitress makes no attempt to hurry us we swap stories and gossip before finally choosing our dishes.
For starters, we start with a few small plates. The sunflower-crusted Chicken Bites (£6.50) made with jackfruit and tangy BBQ sauce mimic the textures of chicken so well that my friend double checks the menu.
We also try the Tuna Tartare (£7), which arrives as a prettily arranged plate of cucumber and wasabi brunoise, topped with tomato and a sesame ginger sauce. I really like the creativity of the menu, and the appearance of both dishes resembles the real deal surprisingly well.
For our mains, we move onto mightier mouthfuls. I opt for the Buddha bowl (£13) which arrives as a hefty blue bowl of bright orange sweet potato, sliced avocado, a block of sticky tofu and quinoa.
I wash it down with a kombucha, which leaves my stomach fizzing in a way that I can almost feel my gut health improving. I hope. Despite being all veggie, it’s really filling and I’m satisfied from the plant-based spread.
Mains now finished, time’s ticking on – and I have a train to catch back to Guildford. But I also have a sweet tooth, so we order vegan (and gluten-free) brownies to go. Chewy, crunchy and full of indulgence – for a health-friendly bake, it has an excellent disguise.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Friendly, fashionable and surprisingly affordable too. Tell Your Friends is raising the ‘steaks’ when it comes to gourmet vegan food with delicious flavour.
Make it happen
Where: 175 New King’s Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4SW
Bookings: Phone 020 7731 6404 or visit www.tellyourfriendsldn.com to book
Words by Sophie Ritchie, Editor