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 Post subject: SAF
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Went for dinner at SAF last night and loved it.
I've been meaning to go for a while but the wait was worth it. Parsnip "rice" avocado nori rolls with pickled radish shared for starters with my friend and then we split 2 mains and 2 desserts for maximum taste testing. Raw Pad-Thai and these mini buckwheat pizzas with cashew cream and diff toppings (marinated mushrooms, kalamata olives, spinach & basil pesto). The best part was dessert though....wait for it PUMPKIN tofu cheesecake which had a fluffy coconut base, nutmeg cream and "mulled wine pearls" and a super rich chocolate ganache tart which had candied pecans on top and a cashew base with a hint of cinnamon along with some sort of sweet syrupy stuff. I think I let out a moan on my first bite :)
I'm thinking about having my 21st there or possibly getting them to do canapes for a party...

Anyway, anyone else been here? What did you think?


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:33 pm 
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I've been wanting to try it, but it's pricey and not really Paul's cup of tea. I know Mat's been and has given a good review.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:37 pm 
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MessyVeggie wrote:
I've been wanting to try it, but it's pricey and not really Paul's cup of tea. I know Mat's been and has given a good review.


We should go, Nick's not up for it either!

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:40 pm 
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jojo wrote:
MessyVeggie wrote:
I've been wanting to try it, but it's pricey and not really Paul's cup of tea. I know Mat's been and has given a good review.


We should go, Nick's not up for it either!


Let's do it!

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:17 am 
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Whereabouts is it? [I didn't totally miss you saying so did I?]

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:41 am 
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Beccaful wrote:
Whereabouts is it? [I didn't totally miss you saying so did I?]

Shoreditch, London. Kind of a strange place but it was pretty easy to get to on the tube. (5 min walk from Old Street)


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:47 am 
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There's one in Whole Foods (Kensington) too.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:34 am 
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MessyVeggie wrote:
jojo wrote:
MessyVeggie wrote:
I've been wanting to try it, but it's pricey and not really Paul's cup of tea. I know Mat's been and has given a good review.


We should go, Nick's not up for it either!


Let's do it!


I wanna go! We should see if we laugh so hard they want to kick us out this time.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:01 pm 
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I loved it, and I love the cocktail list too! (But I am a drinker).

Last time I was in WF with friends, we decided that we needed a cocktail pre our normal WF sushi. Best shopping trip ever!

Mat.

P.S. We went on NYE last year and their set meal was amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:55 pm 
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There needs to be a PPKparty. A serious night out full of ridiculousness, hysterical laughter (I still have that notebook somewhere), and general ridiculousness.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:14 pm 
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MessyVeggie wrote:
There needs to be a PPKparty. A serious night out full of ridiculousness, hysterical laughter (I still have that notebook somewhere), and general ridiculousness.


Aren't we doing this for EuroVision?

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:20 am 
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Oooh London, it's therefore possible for me to go there. YAY.

I also want to go to a PPKparty. YAY x 2.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:19 am 
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melisser wrote:
MessyVeggie wrote:
There needs to be a PPKparty. A serious night out full of ridiculousness, hysterical laughter (I still have that notebook somewhere), and general ridiculousness.


Aren't we doing this for EuroVision?

this has to happen!!

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:01 pm 
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But I want to actually watch Eurovision! We need to go OUT.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:19 pm 
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We should deffo do a night out. Hey anytime you want a night at flares you can crash at mine! hahahahaha. Or we could go to que pasa or Tru in camberley - they are both shittastic!!

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:28 pm 
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I went just last week for NYEve and it was one of the best meals I've ever had. (It was probably one of the most expensive meals I've ever had as well; luckily I didn't pay :P ) Set menu of 7 courses, ridiculously amazing. I can't even try to comment on what the courses entailed. I know there was a raw chestnut pate with truffle alfredo cream; that was the best savory course. There was a 'P salad' of pomegranates, pomelo, pistachio powder, and other p foods. Dessert was raw smoked banana ice cream and avocado ice cream with the most incred raw chocolate crust imaginable. Omg it was so good. Definitely go if you can!

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:31 am 
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RandiJM wrote:
I went just last week for NYEve and it was one of the best meals I've ever had. (It was probably one of the most expensive meals I've ever had as well; luckily I didn't pay :P ) Set menu of 7 courses, ridiculously amazing. I can't even try to comment on what the courses entailed. I know there was a raw chestnut pate with truffle alfredo cream; that was the best savory course. There was a 'P salad' of pomegranates, pomelo, pistachio powder, and other p foods. Dessert was raw smoked banana ice cream and avocado ice cream with the most incred raw chocolate crust imaginable. Omg it was so good. Definitely go if you can!


So glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. The set menu sounds fun and dessert especially delicious of course! I'm definitely going there for my 21st with about 25 people but I'm still torn between doing the tasting menu or having everyone just pick their own- probably just mains and starters and asking them to do a special something for a birthday cake equivalent?
I kinda think option 2 might be better as my guests are pretty much all omnis with probably no experience of this kind of fine food :) so maybe they'd enjoy it more picking their own..?


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:54 am 
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Hi you guys. This is my first post, well aside from the introduction one.
I've been to both the one in Shoreditch and the one inside Whole Foods. I liked the one in Shoreditch a lot better than the Whole Foods branch. The food tasted fresher, the service was a lot better too. If I'm paying that much for food then I don't want to have to wait around and watch people who arrived after me get served. An update on the order would be nice or a drink refill offer?
One of the things I had was the kale/avocado salad (at the Whole Foods branch) and they didn't prepare the kale right. You have to squish it around with your hands (they use gloves) so the kale isn't so tough. What they did was put a beautiful plate of kale in front of me with the avocado dressing and it was dry and chewy. So I ate a few bites, took the rest home, squished it around and ate it :-) Then it was good!

I would still go back though. I want to give London vegan businesses my business and hope that things improve. In Shoreditch you may pay a lot but everything there, including the service is top quality.


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:52 am 
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Sandya wrote:
So I ate a few bites, took the rest home, squished it around and ate it :-) Then it was good!


This really made me laugh. Welcome Sandya!

Also, just to join in the thread hijack, yes to Eurovision staying in party and crappy club going out party, I wanna go to flares dammit!


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Yeah Holylopez now that I read that back I'm laughing at it too. Thanks for the welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Sandya wrote:
One of the things I had was the kale/avocado salad (at the Whole Foods branch) and they didn't prepare the kale right. You have to squish it around with your hands (they use gloves) so the kale isn't so tough. What they did was put a beautiful plate of kale in front of me with the avocado dressing and it was dry and chewy. So I ate a few bites, took the rest home, squished it around and ate it :-) Then it was good!


Wait, is that an important part of preparing kale normally, or just for a specific dish? In what way do you squish it?
I like kale but thought it was tough and a bit stringy by nature.


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:42 pm 
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GreenDuck wrote:
Sandya wrote:
One of the things I had was the kale/avocado salad (at the Whole Foods branch) and they didn't prepare the kale right. You have to squish it around with your hands (they use gloves) so the kale isn't so tough. What they did was put a beautiful plate of kale in front of me with the avocado dressing and it was dry and chewy. So I ate a few bites, took the rest home, squished it around and ate it :-) Then it was good!


Wait, is that an important part of preparing kale normally, or just for a specific dish? In what way do you squish it?
I like kale but thought it was tough and a bit stringy by nature.



Always squish it! Massaged kale salad is my favorite food, especially squished with avocado. It makes it like heaven.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:54 am 
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Hey guys and girls! If anyone reads this before I take my girlfriend for dinner tonight can you recommend which saf to go to - shoreditch or Kensington? I have been wanting to go for ages and if I'm going to be forking out (heh, forking) large amounts of cashish for uncooked food I don't want to sit there thinking it might be better at the other one. Or maybe they're both the same. Your reviews are needed!



Edit: sandya just read your post and looks like it's shoreditch for me. The rest of you let me know what you think anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:57 am 
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Badgermog wrote:
Hey guys and girls! If anyone reads this before I take my girlfriend for dinner tonight can you recommend which saf to go to - shoreditch or Kensington? I have been wanting to go for ages and if I'm going to be forking out (heh, forking) large amounts of cashish for uncooked food I don't want to sit there thinking it might be better at the other one. Or maybe they're both the same. Your reviews are needed!



Edit: sandya just read your post and looks like it's shoreditch for me. The rest of you let me know what you think anyway.


Definitely head to the Shoreditch restaurant. It's the original restaurant with its own proper kitchens whereas the Kensington one is just a branch of SAF within Wholefoods using their facilities and not actually completely enclosed even so you'll have wholefoods customers all around you!
Enjoy, It's a great restaurant :)


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 Post subject: Re: SAF
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:15 am 
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Ok, So I took my gf to the Shoreditch Saf last monday for dinner......am I the only one who doesn't like Saf? I mean, there were things I liked about for sure, but overall, I don't think I'll be going back.

We ordered a cocktail each first: my gf went for something whisky based and sultry sounding, also featuring orange liquor, peach and a hint of chocolate (sounds sexy right?) however it tasted of just whisky and orange, heavy on the whisky, not particularly pleasant. I can't remember exactly which drink I went for, something with a smoky bourbon which was better, but not amazing. When ordering starters, I was informed that they were all out of the cashew cheese au poivre which I was really looking forward to so instead we went for a shared mezze. It came fairly quickly and our waitress enthustiacally informed us what each item was. To be honest she was a little annoying - very jovial and nice, but when I have read the menu and item description I'm happy to discover what each item is by myself. It was quite strange the way she needed to explain to us that the betroot ravioli was nut cheese filling with thinly sliced betroot that had been marinated in water for 5 hours. I think such a product knowledge is brilliant for any restaurant staff, but please only go into such detail if I were to ask. (I also couldn't help but be a little dissapointed in my head when she said this, as I have seen the recipe for that particular item online in which the betroot was soaked in garlic oil - needless to say what I was served was a bit tasteless). The waitress gave us the low down on the other items including some rather salty dolmas with genuine rice rather than parsnip rice (another small dissapointment, something else I wanted try), although they did come with a delicious creamy tzatziki; some utterly tasteless (dehydrated?) raw pitta/cardboard thingies, an equally flavour devoid hummus - which I assume is their white bean hummus I have seen elsewhere on the menu - topped with an unexciting harissa; and lastly the star of the starter, a miniscule amount of babaganoush which was nice and zingy, and just perfect save for the amount.

Mains: I had their 'black tofu', some tofu steaks with a VERY salty miso marinade, some nice kimchi, slightly overcooked broccoli and slightly undercooked brown rice.
Gf had the 'saf quiche' which was a nut cheese filling with sundried tomatoes and herbs in, some sort of dhydrated nut/seed crust and a salad. The salad dressing was revolting, I don't know why; the crust was another overly salty thing and the cheese filling was ok I thought, but my gf insisted it was sickening to eat it all and also overseasoned.

Dessert: I chose the (I think it was pumpkin) cheesecake and my gf opted for chocolate orange cake. The waitress set them down, told my gf hers 'looked just amazing!' and explained to me that mulled wine pearls on my cheesecake were made from mulled wine and pectin. If I couldn't have worked out they would have been made with mulled wine and some sort of sugar I should be shot but whatever...it was a bit stodgy and the mulled wine pearls tasted cheap and nasty, hundreds and thousands would have been an improvement.
The flavours in the chocolate orange cake were quite tasty but it was totally unenjoyable as the cake itself was SO DRY it was like shovelling toasted breadcrumbs into your mouth.

Verdict: Very nice venue, loved the relaxed atmosphere and decor inside but the food is a total let down, most of it is crazy salty and quite frankly, I don't know why they have decided to replace many of the raw options with cooked ones. Sure have a few non-raw ingredients in there, but now half the menu is standard vegan cooked fare not worth paying a premium for (My main could easily be had at somehwhere like Itadaki Zen in London for a more reasonable price). The general pretense of the place got to me as well, call me old fashioned, but when someone puts food in front of me that I have chosen from a list with descriptions, I just want to eat it. I could even get over being talked through my choices, but telling me how delicious it is? I'll be the judge of that thanks.

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