Vegan salad restaurant Slaw will launch a residency on Upper Street in Islington from 1 February. It takes over Scandinavian restaurant group Rök’s former site, following its closure two weeks ago.
The self-described “plant based grab-and-go concept” will take over 149 Upper Street “for at least five months,” slinging highly photogenic salad assemblies that lean on grains, pulses, and legumes as much as vegetables — no meat substitutes, but no lack of consideration for protein, either. Opening little over 100 feet from Ottolenghi’s Islington site — also slinging highly photogenic salad assemblies that lean on grains, pulses, and legumes as much as vegetables — it’s taking on a master at his own game.
Expect squash with a carrot and cumin pearl barley risotto and a hazelnut and rye crumb; a blackberry and apple granola with maple, thyme, pecan, macadamia and salt crumble and crispy apple skin; herb and garlic chickpeas with paprika roasted tomatoes. The owners claim “very strong feelings about reducing food waste,” which will hopefully bear out in reality.
The brevity of the residency — and its being Slaw’s first — suggests a balance of risk and the opportunity to open a shop window: Upper Street is one of the most changeable restaurant streets in London right now, with a music hall/restaurant, the second site of popular vegan café Wild Food Café, and a sausage-only restaurant all opening in the last three months.
Slaw is also announcing itself as a residency from the very beginning, rather than the oddly voguish habit of opening as a restaurant, before pivoting to residency upon closure. More soon.