Hold on to your Plates – Kirk Haworth’s Aussie-inspired menu with Daisy Green Collection is both wholesome and vibrant, says Editor Sophie Ritchie
Vegan dining has never been so popular, with people choosing seitan over steak more often than ever.
Best known for their bottomless brunches and laid-back Australian offerings, Daisy Green Collection’s latest menu collaboration highlights this food trend’s refusal to fade – with an exciting plant-based menu designed in collaboration with acclaimed chef Kirk Haworth of Plates.
Available exclusively at their Scarlett Green site in Soho, the five dish strong menu is all about tastes from the Land Down Under. Each one is marked clearly with ‘***’ when listed across the already flexible offering of entrees and starters.
From tacos to curry, the selection features vibrant flavours that pay homage to Australian culture, each designed by Kirk and the Plates team.
An entirely plant-based food studio in Hackney, Plates was opened by Kirk Haworth (alongside his sister Keeley) after he contracted Lyme Disease whilst working over in Sydney.
A tick bite led to four years of chronic back pain and memory less – cutting his career in London’s Michelin kitchens short but leading to the launch of Plates instead – and a way of cooking food that changed his life for the better.
Haworth’s on a mission to make natural food both innovative and exciting – and the collaborative menu aims to showcase his imaginative streak.
Always eager to see how creative food can be, I try it for myself, best friend in tow, on a hot August evening.
I trek through Soho’s streets (which are full of walking Urban Outfitter adverts and the occasional tourist) and arrive to find Scarlett Green in full swing for the evening.
The windows are wide open, the DJ music is blaring and around the contemporary space, glasses are being swilled and sipped as people relax in the hip surrounds.
My own tipple arrives soon after I sit down – I’m trying to be good, so I’ve ordered a saintly (but noxiously green) juice whilst I wait for my guest. The extensive cocktail menu however, looks tempting indeed.
I’ve barely taken a sip before my friend arrives, so after she settles in and has a menu peruse, we order up a storm.
We start with the Beetroot & cumin falafel (£8.5), Smoked aubergine tacos (£7.9) and Herbaceous pancake (£7.8), which are brought simultaneously to the fairly small table. These plates are all designed for sharing – a wide part of Aussie food culture.
Like the UK, Australia’s no stranger to veganism either – in 2016, it was reported as having the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world, with numerous plant-based businesses popping up.
We first try the tacos, a trio of smoked aubergine mouthfuls separated on a chic metal stand. Filled with soft green avocado cream, picked cucumber, house kimchi and slow baked carrot, it’s a colourful swarm of textures and colours – but it works.
The ‘Herbaceous’ pancake is less of a hit, the pickled beetroot and fennel not quite hitting the spot with a slightly bitter flavour.
I love the beetroot & cumin falafel however, especially with its dusting of rogue beetroot scattered artistically across the plate. With avocado cream, citrus, fennel, kohlrabi, hibiscus, toasted seeds, the collision of flavours create a deliciously smoky bite, without a hint of dryness.
For mains, we both move onto the Fragrant butternut and carrot curry (£12.6), served with black rice, toasted broccolini & kaffir lime.
It’s deliciously creamy when it hits the back of my throat – but there’s only about four spoonfuls before I’m left staring at a glistening black hole of sticky opaque rice.
Onto dessert, because anything with chocolate gets my attention. There’s no specific Plates menu desserts, so we grab vegan chocolate cakes to go instead.
The group of city workers next to me had ordered a tempting roasted pineapple dish… but I figured that would have been harder to wrap in my handbag.
The sweet dairy-free creation makes the train journey home certainly more endurable, with a thick slice of spongey chocolatey goodness.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Hold on to your Plates – Kirk Haworth’s earthy menu with Daisy Green Collection is both wholesome and vibrant.
Portions are hit and miss, but almost all the flavours are spot on – proving that plant-based cuisine needn’t be plodding along when it comes to pushing boundaries.
Make it happen
Where: 4 Noel St, Soho, London W1F 8GB
How: Click here or phone 020 3137 1342 to make a reservation.
Words by Sophie Ritchie