222 Veggie Vegan is a fully plant-based restaurant located in the heart of West Kensington, London. It opened all the way back in 2004 and owes its ongoing success to its very passionate head chef Ben Asamani, who has been serving delicious vegan food to West Londoners ever since. Myself, then a meat eater, and my partner Tom used to frequent it regularly for four years while we lived in West Kensington; we were always lured back by, not only the fresh wholesome dishes, but also the great service and laid back atmosphere. We moved away from West Ken in 2011 and hadn't been back to 222 since, until a few months ago when we were in the area. We were very pleased to see that not only was 222 Veggie Vegan still open, but it was also thriving. Head chef Ben remains at the heart of the kitchen and as always we had a fabulous lunch.
222 is open for lunch and dinner on a daily basis. Lunch is an all-you-can-eat buffet for £9.50 per person served between 12.00 and 15.30. The offerings include tasty and nutritious salads, stews and curries all brimming with fresh vegetables, tofu and pulses.
Dinner is a-la-carte, served between 17.30 and 22.30, where you can choose a made-to-order starter, main and dessert. Many of the options are wheat-free or gluten-free, which is clearly marked on the menu.
Some examples of starters are:
Heart's Desire: Specially selected artichoke hearts sautéed with fresh aromatic herbs served on a bed of rocket leaves with a roasted pepper sauce £5.95.
Lentil Peak: A Mediterranean-style dish with oven-baked ripe tomatoes stuffed and topped with seasoned green lentils. Served with leek and carrot £4.95.
Bean and Tofu Pancake: A delicious blend of black-eyed beans and tofu wrapped in a tender wholemeal pancake topped with tomato and vegan cream sauce £5.50.
Main course options include:
Ben's Special: In-house special stir-fry with either organic brown basmati rice or organic wheat-free noodles. Prepared with seasonal vegetables and your choice of seitan or marinated tofu (additional option of oyster mushroom with the wheat-free noodles). Prepared mild, medium or spicy to your taste £9.95. (This is always my favourite!)
222 Burger: Organic tofu and veggie mince burger on a wholemeal roll. Served with fresh leaf salad, oven-baked chips and home-made ketchup £9.50.
Seitan Stroganoff: A favourite with our customers. This deliciously creamy dish with seitan strips, caramelised onions, fresh herbs and pepper cubes in cashew cream is served with organic brown basmati rice £10.95.
Vegan Icecream: A selection of flavours (three scoops) £4.50.
222 Pancake: Vanilla ice cream wrapped in a wholemeal pancake, topped with warm vanilla and chocolate sauce £5.25.
Tofu Cheesecake: With ice cream or vanilla dessert £5.25,
Drinks on offer include sparkling soft drinks, fruit juices, smoothies, beer, lager and a small selection of wines (£3.75 for a glass of house or £14.50 for the bottle). There is also a choice of teas and coffees. You can see their full menu by visiting the website.
The only downside of 222 is that it is a very small space, and with it being so popular it's often full to the brim. Booking in advance is definitely recommended. You can do this by calling 020 7381 2322.
222 Veggie Vegan is located on the bustling North End Road - about a 5 minute walk from West Kensington tube station. Whether you're a vegan, vegetarian or a fully-fledged meat eater, I definitely recommend a visit to this little hidden gem.