We always had an aversion to “green stuff” growing up in my household - we were hardly a “beige” family when it came to food, but we were never five-a-day evangelists.
Thankfully, I’ve a much more come-one-and-all approach to cuisine these days, so the prospect of using up an evening meal out on a restaurant called Eat Your Greens doesn’t quite send a shiver down my spine.
I am always cautious about these sorts of places, though. At their best, they’re a way to reduce our meat intake and encourage better eating – sometimes serving good food. At their worst, they can be a slightly smug lifestyle choice championed by those who seem a bit blind to the class disparities around eating.
Preach over. But let’s just say my pretention radar was wired up as I walked in to the New York Street eatery in the mood for a proper feed.
It doubles as a small grocery – a cool little idea. The decor is clean and open, functional but stylish. It’s got the feel of a pop-up that’s just recently committed to going permanent. Plants hang around the curved line of two- and four-seater tables by the large glass windows, which let the light in beautifully on a summer night.
The dinner menu looks quite good, if not screaming with dishes I’d usually go for. It’s all vegan, unless stated otherwise, but there are a fair number of meat and fish options. The one catching my eye is the new season spinach, jersey royals, split pea daal and tomato chutney (£8). My partner has the mejadra – sometimes a rice dish but here made with spice “oat groats” and puy lentils, alongside crispy shallots and pickled chilli (£8).
First though, we start with a black pea hummus and bread, which is dashed with oil (£3). The hummus is earthier than is usual, and a nice change.
The drink taps are simply labelled ‘pale’, ‘dark’, ‘wine’, etc, so I chance it with a pale. Because of the labelling, I ask if it’s homemade, which makes the very good, chatty waiter look a little alarmed. It’s actually Huddersfield brewery Magic Rock’s Saucery (3.9 per cent session ale, £4.70). Slightly sharp, fruity, not bad. An Elderflower Collins cocktail (£5) also goes down a treat.
The main is delicious: the tomato chutney really sweet, the daal satisfying and potatoes – left alone, nothing really done to them – are good. My co-diner is jumping through hoops over the crispy shallots, and is going Instagram bonkers. We both finish with a espresso chocolate torte with blood orange marmalade (£4.50). The former is lovely, the latter too bitter for us.
There’s little pretension here – apart from some hilarious conversation from a neighbouring table – just well thought out combinations of nice food. And affordable too.