The last time Helen and I managed to meet for lunch was back in the summer at Tibits. This time we found ourselves a few streets away at Ethos, a smart vegetarian buffet operating a similar system of selling by the weight of the plate. This time (way back in November), it was already beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Ethos’ light, bright, blue and white interior, with its stags head emblem and a leafless birch wood shooting up through the dining room.
Ethos seems to do a good, steady trade in takeaway and light lunches, but being gluttons, we got stuck and piled our dinner plates high, reluctant to miss out on anything good. Eritrean mango and cucumber salad, and tomatoes with lovage and courgette ribbons were a polite nod to a virtue that evaporated when faced with rich miso aubergine, barbecue seitan ‘ribs’, arancini, light and tasty courgette and feta fritters and Thai-style sweetcorn fritters bursting with punchy lemongrass. There was a cinnamon-heavy tagine, jerk rice, neat little quiches and vast Scotch eggs with the yolks still soft, apparently one of the most popular dishes. Most of the savoury dishes were vegan, with plenty of choice.
In truth, we were a little too eager to try everything and ended up with more than we really wanted. Our greed added up to two £16 plates plus dessert – apparently typical spend per head is more like £10, including a drink (the smoothies were good, as was my glass of Viognier), but we did wonder whether a set of scales by the buffet might be a good idea. Still, there’s always room for pudding, isn’t there? One delicious lemon posset with strawberries and a nutty treacle tart later, we headed out into the Oxford Street crowds, leaving all thoughts of dieting for the New Year.
Fuss Free Flavours was the guest of Ethos.
48 Eastcastle Street,
London W1W 8DX