Last Updated on November 28, 2021
Plant-based Mallow brings a vegetarian heart to Borough
Mallow restaurant opened in the heart of Borough Market opposite Southwark Cathedral earlier this month. This new plant-based concept is designed by the pioneering team behind Mildreds, which has built up an impressive reputation for its plant-based cuisines since launching in 1988.
Since Borough Market was established in 1756, there has never been a fully plant-based restaurant offering, so Mallow marks the start of a new era for the area, offering a 100% plant-based destination. Spread across two floors, the ground floor of Mallow restaurant contains the Roots Room with an open kitchen for diners to get a glimpse of the action, whilst the first floor has the Floret dining room and Petal Bar for guests to enjoy cocktails and small plates.
The Floret dining room’s walls were decorated with gigantic flowers which reflected a modern but relaxed atmosphere. It worked well with their offering of fresh and inspired plant-based dishes to suit all occasions.
I visited on a relaxed Saturday afternoon for a late lunch, so I thought I’d kick off the meal with a grapefruit spritz mocktail containing Lyre’s orange, coffee cordial, grapefruit, CBD bitters and 0% blanc de blanc. Although the drink contained no trace of alcohol, it tasted like a luxurious treat. I’ve never tasted anything like it before but all the flavours worked well together.
Mallow’s drinks menu has been carefully designed to offer an explosion of flavours, featuring sustainable and locally sourced ingredients and vegan wines. It boasts a selection of cocktails, mocktails, beers, soft drinks and hot drinks. The wine list which starts at £6.60 per glass has been carefully selected to feature a range of interesting growers who are renowned for their impeccable quality produce and respect for nature.
Mallow Restaurant’s weekend menu is divided into bowls, bread, plates and afters with nods to Mildreds iconic plant-based menu strongly focused on sustainability, seasonality and provenance. It is designed to have as little waste as possible through carefully sourced ingredients and innovative cooking techniques.
I tried the red lentil dahl with labneh and flatbread from the bowl section which tasted absolutely divine. The dish was very rich and warming, and the labneh added depth to the flavour. The flatbread was nicely baked and had just the right amount of moisture, perfect to accompany the dahl. It was a great dish to complement the grapefruit spritz as both flavours balanced each other out to create a hearty and warming sensation.
From the breads menu, I tried the smashed pea and almond feta on toasted sourdough. I didn’t even feel like I was dining from a vegan menu because it felt like something I would normally order for brunch. The sourdough was very light and fluffy and nicely balanced the peas with feta. This complemented the ABC nut butter, banana, date and almond milk market smoothie very well.
From the plates, the porcini truffle croque monsieur shines as ham is substituted with porcini to provide a similarly indulgent feel when compared to the traditional dish. The dish had the right balance of saltiness from the cheese, texture from the porcini and indulgence from the truffle. To counter the hearty feeling, I drank a pineapple, apple, ginger and turmeric organic juice which felt like a luxury version of what I would order at a coffee shop.
Mallow’s version of the full English breakfast contains scrambled tofu, maple baked beans, mushroom, potatoes, sausage (made from tofu), kale and sourdough toast. The tofu had an interesting flavour which does not taste like eggs, but the texture felt similar enough to scrambled eggs. When combining the tofu, baked beans and toast in a single bite, I forgot that this was intentionally a vegan menu as it gave off a hearty aftertaste.
As for the afters, the campfire marshmallow will delight your inner child as your server fires up the marshmallow with a blowtorch at your table. The marshmallow, which is made onsite with aquafaba instead of gelatin, is served with some flowers and comes on a chocolate-covered biscuit.
Handcrafted on site, the creme brulee with pear, fig and brown sugar tuile will ring festive bells in your belly because this egg-free dessert almost mimics the original dish in terms of flavour. As for texture, it is slightly less creamy than the original dish and feels a bit more gelatinous even though it doesn’t contain gelatin.
To sum it up, Mallow Restaurant offers an elevated all-day dining concept serving fresh, colourful and internationally inspired plant-based cuisine. The restaurant will be open seven days a week until 11 pm.
1 Cathedral Street
London, England SE1 9DE
0207 846 8785
weekdays: 8:30am – 11pm
Saturday: 9am – 11pm
Sunday: 9am – 10pm
Looking for something different? We recommend The Gate vegetarian restaurants