When January arrives, we can all agree it’s time to bid farewell to pig-in-blankets and camembert wheels, making way for a fresh and green start! Whether you’re embracing the #Veganuary trend or taking a more laid-back approach with a focus on veg-centric eating, explore the set menus at London’s hottest healthy restaurants this month that offer spruced-up veggies with a generous serving of culinary flair.

Naïfs • Peckham

Part of Peckham’s uber-cool restaurant scene, Naïfs is the purely plant-based spot that relishes family-style dining with a Mediterranean set menu. In response to the inevitable wet and chilly weather that we’re adverse to in London in January, the winter menu’s comforting line-up serves as a tonic! Seasonality is king at Naïfs, prioritising quality produce in the most sustainable manner. It’s not uncommon to find obscure ingredients frequenting the menu, the chefs are always on the hunt to present unexpected ingredients that are in season and this January you’ll get the chance to try out limequat’s and white carrots! In the medley of dishes, you’ll find smoked pumpkin & leek fritters and a radicchio & lentil salad with sunchoke crisps & garlic tofu sauce alongside others that boast creativity!

Norma • Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia’s Sicilian-inspired restaurant Norma, has launched an exciting collaboration to kick off the new year. Partnering with the acclaimed chef and cookbook author, Max La Manna, this exclusive culinary experience promises a feast for both the senses and the planet. Max La Manna, celebrated for his innovative, low-waste, plant-focused recipes that have taken social media by storm, brings his expertise to curate a thoughtfully crafted, plant-based menu. Celebrating low-waste dining, the tasting menu praises Italian flavours, using seasonal produce both from Italy and the UK. Inventive and impressive, the five-course menu features Julienne Bruno Burrella with ‘nduja’ and carrot top gremolata, roasted carrot raviolo with beetroot cream and courgette involtini with almond ricotta.

TENDRIL • Mayfair

Few restaurants jazz up vegetables quite like Tendril. Perched in the heart of Mayfair, chef Rishim Sachdeva is the creative force behind the (mostly) vegan kitchen and bar. Embracing Veganuary, Tendril has scrapped its ‘(mostly) vegan’ concept and gone fully plant-based for the month of January. Humble vegetables shine through each course, with no fake meat substitutes in sight. Embracing root-to-shoot dining and collaborating with carefully selected suppliers, each course is exquisitely thought out and unleashes a sublime mix of flavours. Chilli garlic grilled mushroom with butter bean & leek emulsion and gunpowder spiced roasted squash sprinkled with potato crumb are some of the highlights on the Veganuary tasting menu which takes you on an odyssey to showcase what Tendril represents, drawing inspiration from the flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Benares • Mayfair

Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, Benares in Mayfair has unveiled an Ayurvedic set menu to nourish the body holistically this January. This menu is not strictly plant-based but instead draws in the ingredients your body craves at this time of year. Crafted by Executive Chef Sameer Taneja, this three-course culinary affair embraces Ayurvedic wisdom, harmonising the body’s energies with a symphony of spices, ingredients, and textures. The menu is a remedy to the winter weather, skillfully addressing the seasonal shift in Doshas—Pitta, Vata, and Kapha—within the body. With a focus on warming flavours, the menu features exquisite dishes such as Kale Kofta, Winter Squash Nihari, Kuttu Puri, and a delectable Chestnut and Celeriac Samosa Tartlet accompanied by a warming Turmeric Toddy.

Mallow • Borough Market & Canary Wharf

The slightly chicer sister concept to Mildred’s (pioneers of plant-based dining long before it was considered cool) is mallow. This month the spotlight is on pan-Asian dishes, inspired by the colourful world of fireworks! Featuring vibrant colours and flavours to match, the dishes aim to mirror the joyous spark created at a spectacular firework display. In a mash-up of delights enjoy a delicate mango passion golgappi with charcoal chaat masala; black sesame shiitake toast with charcoal brioche and kalamansi sawsawan; and pumpkin khao soi served with fried plantain and pickled greens. Working solely with 100% plant-based ingredients that are both seasonal and sustainably sourced, you’ll find the pan-Asian-inspired set menu at both restaurant branches in Borough Market and Canary Wharf.

words by Isabelle Shury