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Pret a Manger Forgets It’s 2020 and Puts ‘Buddha Bowls’ on Vegan Menu

The maroon sandwich juggernaut really could have given them another name

Pret a Manger’s vegan menu now includes these Buddha bowls and poke Pret a Manger [Official Photo]

Just call it something else!

Pret a Manger, the reliable, normcore, jambon beurre-toting lunchtime staple, has fallen like so many fast casual chains before it, succumbing to the pressure of naming one of its dishes in a way that unnecessarily flattens a culture. A new dish on its vegan menu — which now includes watermelon-tuna poke and smoothie bowls, and will be available in London and Manchester branches — features “brown rice with dressed kale and a dollop of Pret’s humous, mixed with roasted sweet potatoes, chipotle chilli sauce, avocado, almonds, and smoky carrot ribbons.” It’s called: humous, sweet potato & kale Buddha bowl, and has a base of brown rice. It is, and could be called a rice bowl, which still sounds pretty appealing and doesn’t invoke lazy ~mysticism~ in the service of selling lunch.

And in other news...

  • From chubby jiaozi to the Euclidean geometry of cheung fun, here’s where to eat Chinese dumplings in London.
  • As London’s restaurant market changes, so too do the dining experiences in its folds and borders — supper clubs, pop-ups, and their kin. Here are the most exciting London supper clubs of 2020 so far, and a reflection on their meaning in the city.
  • Developer Delancey will shut down Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre on 30 July. The future for its restaurants and traders, who make it such a vital community hub for BAME and Latinx people, remains purposefully opaque.
  • Gascon restaurant Monsieur Le Duck closed its first permanent site in Clerkenwell just before Christmas, owing to “unforeseen circumstances.” The anatidae advocate started life as a pop-up in Spitalfields, thrilling Jay Rayner with its “crisp and bronzed and salty and rich” confit and purple-rare duck breasts, before taking over the site vacated by Middle Eastern restaurant Sarona, who in turn had taken over from Workshop Coffee’s abruptly closed flagship cafe.
  • Good tweet:

Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre

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