4th September 2010

Alara Health Foods

posted in Restaurant Reviews by John @ 11:25 pm |

58 Marchmont St, London WC1, UK

The annual Marchmont Street Party took place on a fine day, and the little thoroughfare in central London was full of Caucasian, Indian and Muslim families, the faces of their youngest members stretched with concentration as they clutched their balloons. Among those feeding the happy throng was Alara, a health food store where the staff seem to be southern European, that offers self-service takeaway vegetarian meals.  It’s hard to choose from so many tasty looking foods, but I ended up with a plate of a lentil dish with potatoes and pumpkin known as dhansak, vegan shepherd’s pie, wonderful sprouting beans with ginger dressing to which crushed almonds gave extra crunchiness, some amazingly colorful beetroot hummus, a vegan potato salad with corn and peas, and a tomato and cucumber salad. Doubtless eating outdoors surrounded by people who are enjoying themselves adds piquancy to one’s lunch, but it occurred to me that the kinds of food on my plate, wonderfully reflecting so many cuisines, mirrored the varied human population on the street. The happy way in which peoples and cuisines can happily rub along together is surely something to be thankful for.

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