I’ll be up front: vegan cuisine isn’t my cup of tea (after all, I prefer mine with milk). However, after hearing top Borough eatery Arthur Hooper’s had launched a new dedicated menu I decided it was time to give in and embrace the green shoots of change, writes Joey Millar…
Overlooking Borough Market, Arthur Hooper’s is still in its salad days having opened only last year. However the experienced staff and chefs at the restaurant are anything but green and have put together a new vegan menu – alongside their usual, varied offerings – using products often sourced just across the road.
That is apt: after all, the restaurant’s namesake Arthur Hooper was a fruit-seller in Borough Market back in the Victorian Era. Rest assured, however, that these days Arthur Hooper (the restaurant, not the man – he’s long gone, despite all that fruit and veg) serves up a very modern mix of European cuisine, from tapas style dishes to hearty set menus (two courses for £15, three for £18). As well as all this, the restaurant has also opened a new private dining rooms for parties and groups, suitably named the ‘Fruit & Veg’ room.
As I walked through Borough Market, where traders were slowly becoming outnumbered by revellers, it was impossible not to think of how it must have looked during Arthur’s time. So much had changed (after all, he lived in a bizarre period in which Millwall had yet to evolve into Lions and were still nicknamed Rovers) but a lot, I thought as I accidentally brought my foot down into a puddle of greyish water dumped in front of a fishfood stall, would still be familiar to him even today.
At this point I could describe for you each dish in detail (that’s probably what my editor wants, too, but they have long since accepted most of my word count will be taken up with historical rambling) but what good would that really do? Sure, I could say the samphire and almond salad was the perfectly fresh opening dish, or I could describe the frigiteeli peppers as being big and tasty enough to pass for a meal all in itself. I could say the sauteed new potatoes literally make me exclaim with joy as they were brought over while the crispy artichokes instead resulted in a satisfied silence.
Really, though, the best thing is to not just take my word for it – after all, I’m the standard of food reviewer who uses the same vegan/green pun twice in the opening two paragraphs – but to try it out for yourself. Because take it from me: anyone who isn’t lucky enough to experience Arthur Hooper’s new vegan menu should be green with envy (I’m sorry). And with vegan desert and wine options available too, you really have no excuse not to turnip.
8 Stoney Street
0207 940 0169