Thursday, 16 May 2013

A tribute to Bonnington Café

Wild garlic flowers added to both the look and taste of this dish
Just over a week ago, My daughter took me to a little cafe close to her flat in London. The Bonnington Café is run along cooperative lines and during this current climate, other businesses using the cooperative model seem to be doing better than most. There is a list of chefs who take it in turn to cook both vegetarian and vegan food, the food is modestly priced and where possible, locally sourced. All in all it was a pleasant experience and one I would enjoy repeating.

When I looked up the Bonnington Café on the internet, I found a review by Jay Rayner, it was both vicious and unhelpful and as far as I could see missed the point entirely of the purpose behind this small organisation, that of providing vegetarian and vegan food, accessible to local people in a friendly environment. Jay Rayner is a particularly sad man, who likes to give the impression that his treatment of people is entertaining and amusing, for those of us who work with such people on a therapeutic basis, it's simply that he carries a great deal of damage and would be far better off in another line of work.

Welcome Bosnia Herzegovina country No 98

When I was at the cafe I had a dish of haloumi cheese on a bed of lentils and beetroot, here is my version of this dish by way of saying thank you and do carry on the good work to the people who keep The Bonnington Cafe going. Click here to visit their home page

For this recipe you will need
Haloumi cheese
Cooked beetroot click here for the recipe
Puy lentils Click here for the recipe
Deep fried onions click here for the recipe
Wild rocket leaves or Lamb's lettuce

Begin by creating a small mound of the salad leaves of choice on a plate, arrange the lentils and beetroot around the leaves and sprinkle on a few of the deep fried onions, finally cut the cheese into 1 centimeter slices and fry gently in olive oil until they have taken on a good brown colour. Place 1,2 or even 3 slices on top of the dish depending on how hungry you are. I added a spoonful of my chipotle mayonnaise (home made mayonnaise with a little chipotle paste added) just because I find myself putting it on everything these days. 

What The Bonnington Café manages to do is to put together dishes which are assembled from components that marry together well, so often the easiest option is to cook a main star component for a meal and serve it with vegetables or a salad and  a carbohydrate of some sort. This dish can be put together in almost no time if you go to the trouble of making the components before hand, they keep well in the fridge and will inspire me to use them in different combinations. 


  1. I made this for my supper last night - loved it. This will be my way to cook beetroot from now on.
    I enjoy your blog - where did you get the marvellous name?

  2. Hello and thank you for your comment, there is an aubergine dish called Imam Bayildi which loosely translates as The Imam swooned, no doubt at the delicious nature of the dish. I just thought a light hearted British equivalent might be The Vicar died laughing. Funnily enough, Laura at the Bonnington Café is the only person who worked it out for herself, best wishes Tôbi.

  3. so far that is. . . . .