The Cozy Corner in Shoreditch That Packs a Vegan Punch
Welcome to King Cookdaily, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot on Hanbury Street in Shoreditch, east London. With a humble setup and just a handful of seats, it’s not your typical hyped-up restaurant. In a neighborhood bursting with flashy dining spots, King Cookdaily takes a different approach. It’s the kind of place that lets the food speak for itself.
Discovering the Discreet Vegan Haven
If you’re strolling down Hanbury Street expecting bold signs and flashy decor, think again. King Cookdaily keeps things low-key. With only 11 dishes on the menu sporting names like “Infamous,” “Yoga Fire,” and “High Grade,” you might not even notice it at first glance. But, for plant-based enthusiasts, this place is a gem.
Vibes and Vegan Virtue
Unlike the stereotype of vegans making their presence known at every turn, King Cookdaily surprises you. There’s no overt announcement of a meat-free haven; you have to glance at the menu to realize there’s not a trace of animal products. The vibe is laid-back yet detailed, reminiscent of Buddhist simplicity with a touch of devilish flavor.
Diving into Delights
Let’s talk about the dishes. The “High Grade” bowl is a veggie symphony – carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, yams, minced garlic, and dried red pepper bathed in a smoky sweet-and-sour barbecue sauce, topped with a crumble of hemp. A touch of devilish goodness, indeed.
The “Yoga Fire,” a personal favorite, offers a gentle dance of flavors with soft chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and mung bean dal in a golden coconut milk curry. Served over steamed rice with cucumber raita, it’s a bowl of pure, restorative bliss – fast food your body will genuinely thank you for.
The Man Behind the Bowls
Meet Chef King Cook himself, honing his plant-based craft since 2009. His previous shop in Box Park attracted a diverse crowd, from hip-hop artists to film stars. With King Cookdaily, you might expect grandeur, but the simplicity prevails. No multi-floor extravagance, no Instagram-friendly gimmicks – just the same eco-friendly bowls and cardboard forks.
More Than Just Bowls
King Cookdaily isn’t your typical vegan joint. No fancy signature sodas or cocktails. Instead, you get a selection of Thai Foco pops – guava, pomegranate, sugar cane, mangosteen, and soursop. Don’t ask for a trendy kombucha; they’ll offer you a Peak Calm “mood drink” instead. It’s a place that refuses to conform to vegan stereotypes.
Where’s the Show Kitchen?
Expecting an open kitchen to witness the vegan magic? Not here. No fancy displays, just a focus on the food. Maybe you’d like to catch a glimpse of the vegan lao bowl, a meat-free twist on Laos’ national dish. But alas, no show – just the promise of umami-rich chick’n mince over sticky plantain and toasted rice.
For Those Who Question the Norm
King Cookdaily won’t appeal to everyone, but for many, it’s a culinary revelation. The kind of cooking that makes you question why you’d clutter your system with meat. It’s not just about being vegan; it’s about crafting vegetables to perfection. Take the “Hard Bowl,” featuring twice-cooked cassava, ackee, dumplings, thyme, and a hint of scotch bonnet chili. It’s futuristic vegan fare rooted in beloved traditions.