Few things say gentrification more than new organic food stores, yoga studios opening and cool vegan restaurants. In the last 10 years Dalston has had all of the above, and Fed by Water sits comfortably in the last category.
Fed by Water offers authentic, traditional Italian cuisine with the objective of bringing the nutritional importance of pure water to the public conscience. They say that by removing all impurities found in tap water like limescale, chlorine and bacteria our food tastes and feels better. Add in the fact that the food they serve is 100% vegan and they source much of their ingredients locally, and you know that by eating there you are looking after yourself and the environment too.
To begin we were treated to a sample plate that featured an array of their popular starters: bruschetta, scrambled tofu with seitan chunks, cashew cheese balls, seitan carpaccio served with soy parmesan style cheese, and homemade bread. They were all wonderful and had so much flavour. For those of you unfamiliar with seitan, it is derived from the protein part of wheat and has an incredibly meaty texture and taste. Along with soy, it features quite a lot on Fed by Water’s menu to offer vegan alternatives to meat.
Next up was the main course, and we tried both a pizza and a pasta dish.
This spaghetti carbonara was made with smoked tofu, turmeric and soy cream topped with crispy seitan chunks. I don’t think I’ve ever had carbonara before as I don’t eat pork, and I couldn’t believe how cheesy and meaty this vegan version tasted. Absolutely delicious!
We had the ‘Nature’ pizza which was on a hemp seed base with cashew mozzarella style cheese, aubergine, courgette, peppers, artichokes and portobello mushrooms. It always surprises me how unnecessary it is to use real cheese when great vegan alternatives are available, and Fed’s offer certainly didn’t disappoint.
Finally we enjoyed 2 desserts: a raw carrot cake with a delicious cream cheese style frosting, and a ‘tiramisex’ (their name, not mine) which was incredibly creamy and tasted amazing.
This restaurant is fantastic for people on meat-free or dairy-free diets (I overheard one vegan diner on the table next to me say ‘I can’t believe I can eat everything!’), but if you are also gluten-free it may not be for you as there are not gluten-free pizza or pasta options. This meal was a treat for me as I try to avoid wheat whenever possible as too much of it doesn’t agree with me, but occasionally I’ll have some. I think Fed by Water would be even more amazing if they offered some gluten-free versions too so everyone can see how great their food is!
Fed by Water is a vegan restaurant because it serves food without animal products, but it definitely is not just for vegans. Any meat eaters and cheese lovers would still be happy here. The food is delicious, full of flavour and is a reminder that we don’t need to always rely on animal products to get the flavours we are used to. The owner Fabio has worked hard to show that with a bit of imagination and creativity it is still possible to enjoy all your favourite food without harming animals or the planet.
Fed by Water, 64 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2LX