Back to Roots Popup

I was lucky enough to be invited to a complimentary meal (via Love Popups London) at the Back to Roots Popup that’s currently in 26 Grains in Neal’s Yard. Firstly, I want to take a moment to talk about the chefs behind this pop up and the name itself! These three lovely chefs worked together four years ago in Greece. Since then, one has moved to London and another to Melbourne, but they’ve continued to stay in touch! This whole menu was planned via skype calls and I’m in awe of their commitment to achieving this and all getting together to deliver it! The menu is 7 courses, all of which are vegetarian. Now do you see how awesome their name is? ‘Back to roots’ for both them and their food – love it!

Ok, so let’s talk food!

Kaltsouni with wild greens and racomelo miso. This dish had so much flavour! Very herby with a great crunch from their handmade filo pastry. It was delicious and a really impressive start to the evening!

Patzari beetroots, chestnut cream, hazelnut, and raspberries. This dish was amazing! The presentation is insane and the commitment to different flavours and textures was so impressive. I brought my mom with me to this lovely meal and this dish was her favourite of the night. There were three kinds of beetroot in this dish (who knew there were so many!?) including one that they dehydrate and then rehydrate to give it a texture similar to a raisin (which was awesome!). This dish also has a dollop of goats cheese sourced from a tiny dairy farm in Greece, which was very strong and so good!

Braised leeks, orange, prunes, dill, and vine leaf. Again, amazing presentation! The chefs’ vision with this dish was to tap the crispy vine leaf, like you would a creme brulee. I was really surprised at how well leeks and orange worked together. The vine leaf added a really great crunch and savoury flavour to the dish as well.

Fava mandi, vegetable cherry jus, onion compote, and pickled cherries. Did you know that fava has 8g of protein in every 100g? I certainly didn’t, but it’s a great way to sneak some extra protein into your diet! These chefs used it like a paste to create the dumpling casings! This dish was my absolute winner for the evening! The texture and flavour was so on point! The yoghurt and cherry added so much to the dish as well. I was just blown away!

Savoy cabbage stuffed with wild greens and mushrooms, with augolemono sauce. The chef said that out of the menu, this is probably their signature dish. It’s a take on the very traditional dolmas. Traditionally, this dish would be made using lamb, however this vegetarian version uses mushrooms instead!

Candy pumpkin with pistachio. I was worried about this one when I read the menu, but I shouldn’t have been. While candied, the pumpkin still had structure and wasn’t overly chewy. The pistacho was a really cool element to the dish. Because of the way they prepared it, it sort of melted on the tongue, like snow. Together, it really worked and I never knew a pumpkin could be so sinfully sweet!

Poached pear in Samos wine, fennel, chamomile ice cream, and fennel pollen. The chamomile ice cream was the real winner of this dish for me! It was absolutely lovely!

Overall, I had such an amazing experience! The chefs, the explanations of the food, and the food itself were quite an experience! I could feel the love and thought that went into each of these dishes and I really appreciate it. Also, as a vegetarian, it was really exciting to have a fully vegetarian tasting menu! I can’t recommend them enough! Check them out:

*This meal was complimentary, however, all opinions are my own honest ones! 🙂

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