Genesis, Shoreditch: review
We try vegan burgers, mac 'n' cheese and ice cream sundaes at this vegan fast-food joint in Shoreditch
Looking for vegan restaurants in London? Read our review of vegan fast-food restaurant Genesis, and check out more vegan restaurants to visit here.
Genesis in a nutshell:
Organic, vegan fast food eaten against a backdrop of bubble gum-pink banquettes, neon signs and original graphic art. It’s all very Shoreditch.
The Santoro brothers (who have now left the business), both vegans despite their family’s 100-year-long involvement in the meat industry, created Genesis to prove that plant-based food can be indulgent. So expect a menu bulging with magically meat-free burgers, hot dogs and tacos.
What’s the vibe?
Counter-style service makes Genesis feel as casual as a regular fast food joint (place an order, take a pager to your table, then wait for it to buzz), but the décor – copper light fittings, pop art and houseplants – lends itself to more of a dining experience; you’ll be happy to sit a while here.
What’s the food like?
Ordering is a challenge – there are more than 30 burgers, hot dogs, salads, tacos, noodles, soups, small plates and sides to choose from, spanning Indian, South East Asian, Middle Eastern and American cuisines.
We started with America, and the signature Genesis burger (a patty packed with bulgur wheat, quinoa, coconut aminos and veg) with extra coconut cheese – it melts surprisingly well. Mac ‘n’ cheese, made with a type of ancient grain called kamut, was the dish of the evening, with its dairy-defying creamy sauce and sweet edge. Roasted turmeric cauliflower came with a vividly green tahini sauce and flaked almonds, and a fried avocado taco with refried beans was made fresh and fiery with pico de gallo.
Dessert, an ice cream sundae, was swirls of Mr Whippy-style ice cream laced with chunks of rich cacao brownie and sour raspberry sauce.
And the drinks?
Pick kombucha, cold-brewed coffee, chaga beer (made from a type of mushroom), wine or an organic cocktail. The vividly purple ‘sacred spritz’, made with vodka, lemongrass and blue matcha, was great fun to drink.
Order at least one bowl of the kimchi fries. Squidgy, spicy and naturally vegan.