CLOSED: Orchard

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 10 reviews )



11 Sicilian Avenue, London, England, WC1A 2QH

A small, rustic-looking vegetarian kitchen and grocery in an Edwardian arcade just off Holborn. The arcade itself opened in 1910 as one of the first places in London you could sit outside and have a coffee. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Take-out, British

10 Reviews

First Review by s_k_

Not bad - Edit

I went here the other evening. Just 5 mins away from the British Museum, situated in a nice little pedestrianized street. Stylish décor, as well as outside seating. A good place to spend a sunny day.

I ordered the asparagus, peas and poached duck egg, with the kohlrabi and apple salad. But instead of the kohlrabi, they bought bok choy with pink peppercorns. I didn’t say anything, as 1) I’m British and 2) I was considering the bok-choy anyway. The place wasn’t busy, there were only a few people in there, so not certain why that happened.

The asparagus and peas, were cool and not cold, which is good. The peas with a slight lemon zing to them. The poached duck eggs, were warm, not hot. To be honest I was expecting this to be a warm dish, but it worked as a salad. The peas being especially plump, with pea shoots to garnish.

The bok choy, on the other hand, was a bit bland, just with oil and the pink pepper corns. I was expecting an interesting dressing or some other twist. Having been to Vanilla Black a few times, I know what they can do, but that magic was lacking.

There was no bread or condiments, chilli, lemon, herbs etc. Nothing 'above and beyond'. They could try a a bit harder and it wouldn't bump up the cost, but it would add to the experience.

Overall it’s a good place, in a good location. I’ll probably go back and try some of their other offerings. It was just a pity that it was let down, by poor service and a bland dish. (If they had brought me something tasty and exciting by mistake, rather than something less so, I would be much happier. But such is life.)

Pros: Interesting food, Good location, Fast service

Cons: Mistaken order, Bland dish, Expensive

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Nice spot for lunch - Edit

The soup and sandwich deal is very good value with interesting sandwich options e.g. smoked egg mayo. Cauliflower soup was delicious. Staff are very friendly and service is quick.

Pros: Interesting sandwich options, Friendly staff, Nice range of teas

Cons: Tables downstairs by kitchen - avoid

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Uninspired - Edit

Bland vegan food. Cooked asparagus and potato. Very uninspired - no aroma, no spices.

Pros: Central, Rustic

Cons: Few vegan items, Bland tasting vegan options, No vegan desserts

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

tasty dishes but needs more vegan items - Edit

A few vegan items but mostly lacto-ovo vegetarian. Portions are small, but the two savoury items I had were really tasty: smoky cauliflower on mashed potatoes with parsley and cucumber ketchup ₤6.50; and truffled savoy cabbage and spring onions ₤4.
Also on the menu were: marmite jacket potato; baby spinach and forced rhubarb with pink peppercorn dressing ₤4; breakfasts of organic eggs or roasted oat porridge; cakes and desserts ₤1.95-5.95.

Suggestion to them: if there is only one soup, make it vegan (vegan soups are very easy to make). It would be better to offer more vegan items, so both vegans and vegetarians could eat them.

Pros: tasty, imaginative dishes

Cons: not enough vegan items

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

vegans, don't bother - Edit

Very little on the menu for vegans, my husband and I both ordered the truffle potato with refried beans and my son had the only other vegan option, the omnipresent hummus sandwich. The potato was literally a baked potato with truffle oil and fried beans on top.

London chefs, please learn how to cook vegan, you are boring me!!!!

Protein, wherefore out thou, protein? Do we really have to ONLY eat vegetables and starches because we quit meat.

That said, the meal was fine but nothing I couldn't have whipped up myself at home in a few minutes.

Lovely staff.

No vegan desserts!

Pros: nice space, lovely staff

Cons: boring food

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Great food, friendly staff - Edit

Orchard is much more casual, compared to Vanilla Black (also run by the same people). I have eaten there twice -food was tasty and imaginative, and staff very friendly. It has a independent cafe sort of feel. We were not rushed with our meals, and the prices are pretty good. Cakes and desserts are pretty good!

Pros: Friendly staff, Imaginative food, desserts / cakes

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Tasty treats & reasonable prices - Edit

Quaint, rustic yet with a pleasant airy atmosphere. There were only around six or seven tables inside. Our meal was enhanced by the happy-go-lucky vibe given off by the serving staff as they served us tap water in tin cups, as though on a camping trip.

The homemade (?) bread looked and tasted great; mine was walnut. Customers can order bread in advance by writing their name on a scrap of brown paper on the wall.

The menu was easily sufficient for a cafe, and there were a couple of vegan dishes on the menu. My field mushroom and tarragon faux pate sandwich, however, was a step too far in what I think of as the 'experimental' direction of vegetarian food. It tasted bizarre, to be frank, and I regret having to force it down.

A friend ordered smokey beans on baked potatoes, which looked gorgeous and came with three of the day's salads on the side; another went for creamy baked potato soup with truffle oil, which unfortunately was not such a hit. The portion was generous, but it was extremely rich and heavy, so the benefits of a decent bowl size were wasted.

To remove the unpleasant memory of my sandwich I picked up a dessert on the way out: a beautiful chocolate cookie pie, or perhaps it was a macaroon of sorts. Call it what you will; either way, it was soft and delicious.

The damage was around £6; not bad for a pleasant lunchtime experience in Holborn. I'd gladly go again.

Pros: Good atmosphere, Good value, Healthy cuisine

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Reviewer Avatar

  Contributions +36

Spot the vegan option... - Edit

I would not like to write a negative review of a vegetarian or vegan restaurant or cafe, and I am not about to start now.

However, one comment I will make is that having looked at the food available in Orchard cafe, the reason that I have not eaten here, (apart from ordering a soft drink), is for the same reason that I have never eaten at Orchard's sister restaurant Vanilla Black which is situated nearby....the owners do not place any importance in providing a reasonable amount of menu options for vegans.

Why that is, well, I can only speculate, but you would think that given Vanilla Black has not been supported by vegans since it opened a few years ago, (because of a perceived nonchalance towards providing vegan options on the menu for vegan diners), that the owners would not make the same mistake when they opened Orchard recently. Sadly they have not made the connection that to be supported by vegans, they have to provide decent vegan options, (or maybe they have and cannot be bothered), but either way, as much as I would like to eat food at Orchard and Vanilla Black, if my local pub provides vegan options on the menu and these two businesses do not, then I am going to prefer to support my own local pub rather than Orchard or Vanilla Black unfortunately.

One does wonder why the previous reviewer includes 'vegan' in his/her review...I would be interested to know what actual vegan food was sampled.

Pros: Located near a tube station, Nice, rustic design

Cons: Lack of vegan options, Lack of consideration for vegans

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing - Edit

Simply the best vegetarian/vegan food I have ever had. I travel all over the world and the challenge of eating vegan has led to many a long search in some very vegan unfriendly countries. What a find! The Orchard is simply brilliant. Beautifully prepared, subtle and flavourful. Surprising and very fresh ingredients, sourced carefully and ethically. Menu is quite small but likely accounts for the care with which each is prepared, and changes regularly. I will be eating here on every trip I make to London.

Pros: beautifully prepared , new and wonderful flavours, outside seating

Cons: None

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Delicate yet filling - Edit

Orchard is a lovely little place. The food is carefully prepared,
delicious, and filling. The slightly rustic decor matches the food
exceptionally well. The location is also terrific, in a quiet spot
right in the heart of London (two minutes from Holborn tube).

Pros: well-crafted, lovely setting, not too expensive

Cons: small selection

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to London Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details / Review guidelines
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has CLOSED: Orchard closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 6714 times.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support