Okay this post is long and overdue I do apologise but having Ethos on my mind for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to post this instead of leaving it to sit in my drafts folder.
A few months back (Oct/Nov times) I decided to try out this popular vegetarian restaurant with my bestie Coco who turned pescatarian almost a year ago. She hadn’t really ate out at vegetarian or vegan restaurants so I wanted us to try out a new dining experience which didn’t involve me stuffing my face with meat and her watching me. She has said a few times she misses meat and poultry so I wanted us to be on the same page this time. I found out about this trendy little restaurant called Ethos through another friend who’s pescatarian. It had just opened up earlier in 2016 I believe and became really popular for non-meat eaters. There’s loads of vegetarian and more vegan restaurants popping up now which I think is great.
Ethos Foods is located on East Castle street, just a stone throw away from London’s bustling Oxford Street. When you’re at Oxford Circus station, the restaurant is a short 7-10 mins walk away. The restaurant blends in well with its surroundings so you might walk past it without knowing. Nestled between other buildings, the beautiful glass front shows off the natural looking decor inside.
The decor inside is simple but modern. As I went around October/November times, the restaurant had a wonderful autumnal display. Lots of oranges and browns (colour theme) which looked warm and inviting. I was also very impressed with the shop front. The wide floor-length windows allow you to eat and admire the outside at the same time. I loved the black leather (I’m guessing it’s faux-leather!) booths and marble table tops. I found the birch trees a bit weird at first but grew more and more fond of them whilst at the restaurant.
It’s not a massive restaurant – the image above of the shop front is basically the length of the whole place but I think this gives it a friendly and intimate feel. In terms of the space, I can’t really say the place is buggy-friendly. Yes the doors can open up for large or double pushchairs it’s a little difficult to navigate around to the seats with a bigger pram. My advice would be to ask for a seat nearer to the buffet stations and doors. The staff are very attentive so I am sure they would be smart enough to work that out should it ever happen. I was a little apprehensive about the space beforehand (even though I only have a tiny little Mamas & Papas Urbo) I didn’t bring it because I wasn’t sure I would be able to move around the restaurant comfortably with the pram. The seats are positioned quite closely together and when I had to move about with Baby Girl in my baby wrap, I felt a bit cramped and the restaurant wasn’t even busy.
As lovely as the faux-leather booths were, it was a little tricky to sit in as the tables are pushed quite closely to the chairs. The other thing was that you don’t get a booth to yourself – for Ethos to make use of the space, the booths are split into two so they can sit two sets of guests in them. It’s a clever way for utilising space but not the most friendliest for parents with young children… but then again I guess we’re not their main target market. The family-friendly space is the only downfall of Ethos though, everything else if above standards.
Now onto the food…
Food, Glorious Food
The food at Ethos is absolutely amazing. O.M.G! The flavours, the varieties, not to mention the desserts. Oh my. We’re not a vegetarian family so I’ve not been to many though I am choosing to go to more as I really liked them. The first veggie restaurant I went to was Mildred’s in Camden and I had the most amazing halloumi and char-grilled aubergine flatbread burger. From that day onward, I knew I loved the vegetarian dining experience and Ethos Foods didn’t let me down. There was plenty of fresh food to choose from (hot and cold) and the self-service buffet meant I can easily pick a little of everything I fancy.
The food is priced on a pay-by-weight basis which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For me, it meant better portion control and the price per kilo was affordable. I think I paid about £12 for my full plate and then I spent a little more on desserts (charged separately, around £2-3 per slice.. I chose 2 things) and opted for tap water my whole lunch was around £20.00. Okay, £20 for lunch is not what I’d spend daily but it’s a good price for an occasional lunch with friends, etc.
I had miso roasted aubergines, halloumi bites, spinach and ricotta cheese balls, green beans, Hungarian goulash, seaweed salad, cous cous, massaged kale salad with kumquats, and a broccoli with carrots cashew cream curry. My favourite was the aubergines, spinach/ricotta balls, the goulash and cashew cream curry. Everything was packed-full with flavour and spices. No-one can ever tell me that vegetarian food is bland and boring! On purpose, I tried to avoid having too much carbs simply because of having Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies it puts me at higher risk of developing it later in life. So for that reason only I am a little cautious but it doesn’t mean I cut out carbs, just limit it to a decent amount. I resisted the sweet potato fries and creamy potato gratin but had a little bit of gnocchi instead. 🙂
Now that autumn is over, I am sure the menu at Ethos would be a little different. I recently checked out their sample menu online and some things are not on there like the spinach and ricotta balls and seaweed salad. However it is a ‘sample menu’ so you could still stumble upon it at the restaurant.
I wasn’t going to get dessert but then I thought why not as who knows when I’ll be back lol … I can’t ever imagine going here with both LO and Baby Girl – not while they’re still young as they’ll probably make so much noise and disturb everyone else’s dining experience haha! I tried to be as good as possible and only picked two things – the peanut butter bomb (an Ethos favourite) and a raspberry and vanilla raw square. The peanut butter bomb was incredibly rich, I shared half of mine with my friend and still thought it was rich. Amazingly delicious though, there was only one left which I picked but if there was more I’m sure I would’ve gone back to buy two more. They taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups but way better!
The raw square was fabulous and just as I would expect for a raw dessert. If you’ve never tried raw desserts before you are seriously missing out. It was so mouth-watering, softly whipped and had a slight coconut taste because I think they used coconut to make the base of the square. Absolutely yum!
My friend also bought herself a raw raspberry square and a black bean brownie which I tried. It was so tasty but again so rich in taste and texture. One brownie was more than enough for the both of us. I really want to try and make my own black bean brownie and a few other raw desserts but I haven’t got round to doing so yet. I may have to put some time aside next week to do so!
So if you haven’t yet gathered from my raving review, I highly recommend giving Ethos a visit whether you’re a vegetarian/vegan or not. If the food hasn’t won you over at least pop in to give the desserts a try – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not somewhere I would say to eat for a work lunch but great if you’re with a couple of friends and looking for a place with good vegetarian food, a lovely atmosphere in the heart of Central London.
Enjoy & Bon Appétit!
Here are some other bloggers who’ve also been to Ethos and written about their dining experience: