With an exceptional variety of choice – all plant-based and gluten and artificial sugar-free – this Knightsbridge gem demonstrates that there’s more to vegan food than the typical Beyond Meat burger.
Vegan food has a rep for being boring, and as a vegetarian myself, I can attest that this is not always totally unwarranted. Rather than re-creating fast-food favourites like pizza and burgers, Holy Carrot is on a mission to change people’s minds about vegan food with a refined menu that includes vegan “seafood,” vegan shepherd’s pie, and crispy “sexy” tofu in the most scrumptious sauce to ever exist.
Stepping into Holy Carrot feels like stepping into Instagram wellness heaven. This makes a lot of sense, as it’s housed by the Urban Retreat spa in Knightsbridge. The restaurant room feels light and airy, and we are seated right in the middle by the wonderful staff, which was the ideal spot to look around and take in the magnificent décor from all angles.
We begin by trying to pick which cocktails to order, knowing full well that deciding what to eat will likely take us an inordinate amount of time, as it always does. So, of course, we need an alcoholic accompaniment. Plot twist: we can’t choose which cocktails we want either. So, we are encouraged to order The Hermit and The Devil, and that’s just what we do. One for the taste and one for the theatrics. The Hermit is a delightful palate cleanser with a cucumber flavour that makes you feel as though you’re drinking straight from an aloe vera plant. It’s super refreshing. The Devil tastes much more alcoholic and spicy almost. It also smokes when you lift the glass out of the small bowl it arrives in. Fun, right?
Then, after much deliberation (and some eavesdropping as to what others in the restaurant were planning on ordering), we decide to order the “seafood” sharing platter as our first course. Yes, we have eyes bigger than our bellies. As we make our way through the platter, our favourites become clear. The crab croquettes taste just like a mini fishcake, which was a favourite of mine before going vegetarian. They even have fake caviar on top. We are also intrigued by the vegan calamari and are pleasantly delighted when tucking in. The nori-wrapped Tofu – or “Tofish” – then truly amazes us with its similarity to fish. This is an uneasy feeling for me as a vegetarian who hasn’t eaten fish in years. It is, however, undeniably tasty and a credit to the restaurant’s vegan recreation of seafood.
Then it’s time for mains. We decide to share two dishes – the “crab” burger and the “sexy” tofu dish – because we’d be jealous of each other if we didn’t taste them both, obviously. The crab burger is self-explanatory, but wonderful all the same, with just the right amount of “fishy” flavour. Our favourite dish to try is the “sexy” tofu. The tofu is crispy and glazed to perfection, and the sauce is honestly heavenly. The sauce, which was made up of aubergine, red pepper, and peanut sauce, was similar to satay but thicker and with more of a kick. The textures are so perfect together and I do not want this dish to end. But sadly, it does… because we eat it all, of course.
Despite being ridiculously full at this point, we don’t stop there. We order the dairy-free chocolate cheesecake and an oat milk decaf mocha (no caffeine after 4 pm for me) to follow. The purple carrot sorbet is the finest supplement to the dessert, as it cuts through the richness of the chocolate. We don’t even struggle through it, because it’s so tasty. It’s the perfect end to a wonderful meal.
We take a detour into the Holy Bar, a dark and gothic room off the main restaurant, before leaving. If only we had more time, we could have another drink.
I’ll definitely be returning to Holy Carrot, and perhaps I’ll stop by the spa for a facial the next time I visit…
Holy Carrot is open Tuesday to Sunday and sits on 2-4 Hans Crescent. For reservations, follow this link.