Thursday 26 May 2016

The MAE Deli

This week I was fortunate enough to have some spare time to visit London for the day and as I found myself in the West End I decided it was time to try out Deliciously Ella's venture The MAE Deli.

I won't go as far as to say i'm a huge fan of Deliciously Ella because, and if i'm honest, I have always felt slightly disappointed that a plant based chef of her stature never seems to make any reference to animal cruelty issues within the meat and dairy industry. I'm fully aware that she moved over to a plant based diet for health reasons only and that of course is perfectly acceptable. I'm also aware that she never refers to herself as a 'vegan' because of this. I guess from a personal point of view I just feel that it's a real shame that someone like her, who has such a huge following, doesn't raise more awareness or support for animal rights.    

All of that being said, Ella is however introducing and promoting a vegan diet to the mainstream which can only be a positive, regardless of her reasons behind it. There's no denying that she has raised the profile of the vegan diet and, if anything, made it more appealing and fashionable to the general public. I do own one of her books and I have in the past liked to try out some of her recipes. I've also followed her on Instagram for a long time now so as soon as she announced that she was opening an eatery in London I was really curious to find out what it's like.

First and foremost, I really like the setup of the Deli and how you can pick what dishes you would like on your plate by viewing them first on the counter. It's so nice to be able to see what the dishes are before ordering and this makes a huge difference for me because I can pretty much guarantee i'm going to like what I order. There's a mix of hot and cold dishes available which also change on a daily basis. 

My husband and I both ordered a mix of 4 dishes which came to £10.75 each which, considering the large portion sizes, was a pretty reasonable price. We both also picked up a fresh fruit juice carton without looking at the price and was pretty shocked to find they cost a whopping £6.95 each! It is freshly squeezed mixed fruit juice but even so this did seem very steep for a drink. 

The food itself was really tasty and there was absolutely no faulting any of the dishes we tried. We loved the falafel balls and sweet potato squares especially. I also had a gorgeous minty quinoa salad and some spicy cauliflower with lentils which was so delicious. We both finished everything on our plates and could have gone back for more! The food on offer at The MAE Deli is what I would call my favourite kind of plant based / vegan food as it's all super healthy, nutritious and vegetable based. You really do feel like you're consuming such an enjoyable variety of guilt free goodness!

One thing that did baffle me though was the option to add chicken or salmon to your plate. As far as I am aware Deliciously Ella has made her career on plant based eating so it does seem rather confusing as to why she would then offer meat and fish within her own eatery. I recall from her Instagram posts when the Deli was initially being constructed that the decision had something to do with it being a joint venture between herself and her husband (Matthew - hence Matthew and Ella = MAE - in case you were wondering!), who happens to eat meat. I think she only felt it fair to therefore include meat on the menu and maybe not rule out other healthy eating customers who happen to enjoy some animal based protein on their plates. Even so, I think Ella should have completely stuck to her whole plant based ethos as it is after all on the back of her success and I should imagine the majority of customers who visit are those who have also bought into her healthy lifestyle.  

As well as eating at the deli, or picking up a lunch to go, you can also pick up one of Ella's recipe books complete with her autograph. 

Overall I was pretty impressed by The MAE Deli. The food was perfect, the service was good and it was generally just a nice place to sit inside and spend a lunch time. It's definitely a more expensive option for lunch and some of the pricing, particularly the drinks, seems a little over the top. But all in all it is somewhere I would look forward to returning to again in future.

What with Tibits, Ethos and The MAE Deli the West End of London is quickly becoming one of my favourite places to eat vegan!

Have you been to The MAE Deli yet? 
How was your experience? 

1 comment

  1. I've been wanting to visit the MAE Deli for a little while now. The pricing has put me off, though, honestly. Her dishes are super simple to make at home so haven't been able to justify her prices. I also am in two minds about contributing to her meat options. It's a shame she's added them and although I understand she doesn't want to scare off her meat-eating crowd, it's a shame she's going to be loosing some of her vegan crowd instead.



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