When R. and I got the chance to hit up a vegetarian (it was actually vegan as well, yo!) pop-up in London from the guys at Sprig, we jumped at the chance... some would say it even put a sprig in our step! Sprig London is a brand new casual fine-dining concept run by Peter Pickering, here's a run-down of what to expect from one of his in demand events...
We managed to squeeze into Vagabond N7 last Thursday, having almost failed to get tickets. Chefs are good at organising a kitchen but not really good at organising to go out to eat. That said, however, it's good to see vegetables so en vogue right now; but then I suppose we still haven't forgiven ourselves for gorging more than a polar bear before hibernation, over the previous festive period. I am not forgetting the actual vegetarians either (who, if you were wondering, amounted to about 10-20% of the guests present), I also wish I could be having minimal impact on the environment - I never really had that exemplary of a soul however. This, then brings me to the other vice of the night - it was BYOB.
I have known Peter for about 3/4 years now, his kitchen nickname was always Petrelli after the character from Heroes (even though he really looks nothing like Milo Ventimiglia - chefs are arseholes). He has worked at some well-known and highly-regarded restaurants in London - including Dinner by Heston, Chiltern Firehouse and Galvin La Chapelle, and although he doesn't describe himself as a vegetarian, per se, he felt there was a lack of good food available to those who are voracious for something herbaceous. Sprig London was £35 for 5 courses including a welcome drink, canapés and petit fours at the end of the meal and the menu was as follows:
Roasted Cauliflower, Kale and Romesco
Beetroot and Quinoa, Apple and Carrot emulsion
Chestnut Mushroom and Spinach Filo, wilted Gem Lettuce, Soy and Mirin
Maple-baked Turnip, Radish and Orange
White Chocolate, Coconut and Almonds
The stand-out dish of the night for me was the Cauliflower with Kale and Romesco sauce, R. and I have had some good Cauli dishes in the last couple of months but it was definitely up there in our top three - see R.'s post on Palomar Soho here for another great Cauli dish. The menu was an interesting eat around the veg patch; the feeling of it was that it was more of a tasting menu, dishes were well thought out, nicely presented and flowed really well together.
We know how hard these pop-ups are to put on, especially finding time and space to prepare all the food, let alone bringing it into a strangers' kitchen to cook for upwards of 30 people you've never met before! Kudos to you Pete, really great to catch up and try Sprig's food, we're definitely excited to see what you do next! A.
Watch out for R.s video review of Sprig coming Friday - I really hope I haven't embarrassed myself in it! Not many tickets left for you to come down and let us cook for you on Valentines weekend, if you fancy it book here.