Turkey – not just for Christmas

To find somewhere that serves delicious, healthy food, that’s super high in protein, and makes a delicious Aperol Spritz sounds totally unattainable, until you venture to Strut and Cluck (http://www.strutandcluck.com): a unique restaurant nestled in the heart of Shoreditch on Commercial Road.

Menu: When describing this to my friends, I refer to it as the Turkish restaurant that serves turkey. Protein-lovers around will know that turkey is one of the leanest meats which therefore makes it a perfect option for a healthy meal out. However, I have never seen it on a restaurant menu before, until now! The menu at Strut and Cluck has turkey at the heart of each dish, with a delicious middle-Eastern variation on each.

Interiors: The restaurant almost feels like a mediterranean home: lots of wooden panelling and bringing the outdoors inside. This was wonderful in Summer/early Autumn, but I do wonder what it will be like over Christmas.

This was my second time at the restaurant. The first time, Strut and Cluck were still finding their feet as a relative newcomer to the market. The service was a bit slow with our table of four girls, and we received complimentary sides as an apology. However, the food was so good that first visit that I just had to return for seconds.

On my second visit, my friend and I were seated on one of the two-person tables along the back wall of the restaurant which are slightly close together. However, because the room is so full of natural light, there is no feeling of claustrophobia. A great option for larger groups is to hire one of the private rooms, designed in the same indoor/outdoor garden theme.

Before commencing turkey/tahini heaven, my friend and I ordered an Aperol Spritz each. I have tried a LOT of these in London, and have to say that Strut and Cluck do some of the best!

We then shared some smokey aubergine and pitta (go without the pitta if you are carb-free!) which was delicious, and the most amazing cauliflower with lemony creme fraiche and pomegranate. The star of the show, however, has to be the huge turkey drumstick with tahini, zhoug and roasted cabbage (pictured). The turkey was cooked to perfection, and each unusual flavour combined perfectly. And of course, anything with tahini gets a huge thumbs up from me! – 5*

Atmosphere: Given the light interiors, you feel like you are abroad, which is aided by the light mediterranean music playing in the background. The best thing about it is that Strut and Cluck has found its niche: serving healthy home-cooked food, presented in its own way with no airs or graces, in a room that feels as if you have stepped straight off the plane.

Overall: I already have two further bookings scheduled at Strut and Cluck, so it has become a firm favourite of mine! I am looking forward to trying their Christmas offerings, and seeing how they transform the summery atmosphere into one more aligned to London’s cold streets!

Food menu (options available): 4* (if you are veggie or don’t like turkey, however, this may not be one for you!)

Food (taste): 5*

Drinks menu (options available): 5*

Drinks (taste): 5*

Atmosphere: 4*

Service: 3.5* (it has definitely got better since the first time, but it’s probably their only downfall)

Vegan haven in Dalston

As a self-confessed gym and protein addict, going to a vegan restaurant may not be the most obvious choice of dinner date. However, in order to catch up with my much-loved (vegan) sister I acquiesced, and opted to try something new. Plus, I will never say no to #cleaneating!

Fed by Water in Dalston (http://fedbywater.co.uk) may be a bit of an effort to get to, but so worth it! This tiny little restaurant is off-piste, and you feel like only those in the know would be lucky enough to go there.

Menu: The restaurant used to serve both vegan and non-vegan food, but the popularity of the former soon triumphed, and their menu became vegan-only. And, surprisingly, even though I am a meat-lover, there are plenty of fantastic options. The premise of the restaurant is on purity (hence the name), creating delicious, Italian food that is 100% vegan.

Interiors: The restaurant is next to Kingsland Shopping Centre in Dalston but, once inside, no sense of the busy-ness of outdoors permeates. The minimalist interiors are brightly juxtaposed with vegan slogans painted on the walls, and the plethora of fresh fruit and veg on show emphasises that everything here is homemade, on site.

Upon entering, we were warmly greeted, and the fantastic service continued throughout. We then swiftly got down to business ordering a couple of sinless (sugar-free) margaritas (pictured), and started with their very popular starter: ‘cheesy balls‘, made out of four different varieties of cashew cheese and served with homemade bread. The ‘cheese’ was creamy and flavoursome, a great option if you are #dairyfree – 5*

It being an Italian restaurant, the obvious choices are pizza and pasta, the most famous of their pasta dishes being their vegan carbonara. However, unfortunately, they were unable to switch spaghetti for a lower carb option of courgetti for me, slightly knocking their star rating down!

Instead, my sister opted for the Nature pizza (pictured) on a hemp seed base, whilst I opted for ‘Raw Ballox‘: raw veggie balls served with dehydrated apple slices, quinoa, courgetti & avocado tartare and, the star of the show, cashew basil ‘cheese’. I also got a side of smoked tofu for some added #protein – 5*

Atmosphere: Despite the restaurant being small (I would guess it seats approximately 30 people), the atmosphere is a pleasant buzz as opposed to impossibly noisy; the tables are well-spaced, and you can opt to either sit a deux, or on sharing benches. – 4*

Overall: A wonderful evening with very attentive staff, and delicious, very different food. The beauty of this restaurant is you could order a standard Italian two courses: bruschetta and pizza, or you could opt for our choices which were a little more adventurous, and something entirely unique to Fed by Water.

And that sums it up: this restaurant caters for vegans, but offers such a plethora of options that non-vegans could have one of the most delicious meals in London here, as I certainly did! The food is rich and packed full of taste, but you do not leave feeling unhealthy. Instead, you are freshly energised, with a pleasant buzz from the delicious margaritas.

Food menu (options available): 4*

Food (taste): 5*

Drinks menu (options available): 5*

Drinks (taste): 5*

Atmosphere: 4*

Service: 4*