Hemsley + Hemsley
The first café from zeitgeisty clean-eating gurus the Hemsley sisters.
Should you be a fan of their cult cookbooks, the Hemsley sisters need no introduction – on the clean-eating stage, the duo are pretty much spiraliser-wielding rock stars. It makes sense, then, that they’d hook up with the city’s most on-point shop to open their first café. Hemsley + Hemsley is to be found within Selfridges’ new third-floor Body Studio. And for an in-store eatery, it looks surprisingly cool. There’s a minimal Japanese aesthetic to the bamboo-coloured walls and plants that dot the place, plus the lighting’s so well done that it took us a moment to realise it wasn’t natural.
But one thing that’s definitely natural is the grub. The entire (seasonal) menu is organic and free of gluten, refined sugar and hydrogenated fats. Fear not: there’s meat, full-fat dairy and booze on the menu, too – a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, after all. We opted for the feta and black bean burger (£12.50) and sauerkraut (£2). The patty was filling but needed more seasoning – the house-made cultured ketchup and fennel-flecked sauerkraut perked things up, though. The star attraction was the flaxseed bun. Fluffy and crisp, it was hard to believe it contained no yeast or grains – people with intolerances will know it’s near impossible to find bread with these credentials that doesn’t have the texture and taste of old rubber. We had the Choco Coco Shake on the side (£7), made of cacao, coconut milk, banana and raw honey – thick, creamy and unhealthy-tasting in the best possible way. Any slight niggles with the food – and its priciness – should be tempered by the fact that health-conscious cooking this substantial and thoughtfully put together is hard to find in London. The Hemsleys are sure to earn many more groupies in the near future.
3RD FLOOR, BODY STUDIO, SELFRIDGES
400 OXFORD STREET
+44 20 7318 3170
The food was really delishious, we got fish cakes and lamb sausages. They both had a lot of flavour and enough suace on the side. Even on a not busy Friday evening, the food was fresh. but, the portions very little too small and overpriced for a corner deli in a mall. The place deserves better atmosphere than looking at swim wear while you are eating and if so, it needs to be cheaper.
As a big fan of the Hemsley sisters’ cookbooks, I was very excited to try their restaurant situated on the third floor of Selfridges. And I wasn’t disappointed. My friend and I shared the salmon burger and the black bean burger. Both were delicious, although the black bean probably had more flavour. The flaxseed buns were crisp on the outside yet satisfyingly chewy. Smoothies were also tasty and felt very healthy! The waiter who served us was really friendly and happy to answer any questions. He was also keen for us to spread the word that the restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, as he said that most of their business comes from lunchtime diners. My impression would be that, even though they do serve alcohol, having a restaurant situated inside a department store just doesn’t create the most welcoming ambience for a nice dinner (even if it is selfridges). Also the menu isn’t huge, and so I can imagine many people might venture somewhere with a more extensive menu for dinner. But I’d be keen to try it for breakfast one day, and I’ll certainly be back for lunch.
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