When we had our short-lived heatwave here in London a few weeks ago, all I wanted to eat were fresh flavours and lighter meals. On one of those sunny lunchtimes as I was walking past The Mae Deli on Weighhouse Street, I decided it was about time I ventured into this Deliciously Ella outpost! Just moments from Bond Street underground station, I’ve walked past this lovely looking cafe many times and finally decided it would make the perfect spot for lunch that day.
Some of you will know that after lots of reading and watching a number of quite over-whelming environmental documentaries recently, I’m definitely looking to significantly reduce my meat intake. It’s a hard task for me as a life-long meat eater, but more and more I’m experimenting with vegetables at home and I’m really enjoying my meat-free meals. And so I’m also looking to reduce the meat I eat when out too.
It’s not just about the food at Deliciously Ella’s cafes. All the Delis are beautifully designed and filled with all the things I would love in my own home. It’s a calming environment, filled with natural wood furniture, pretty tiles and plenty of greenery. I mean, I would totally love to move in!
The lunches at The Mae Deli start at £7.50, which is not cheap and which is why I think I’d put off going for so long. However, after my recent experience I actually think its great value as the food is delicious and wonderfully filling.
The food and drink
All the colourful food is laid out in beautiful bowls and plates for you to choose from at the counter at The Mae Deli. There are ‘set’ lunches or, for a hefty £12.95, you can create your own with four of their salads.
I nearly ordered the falafel and hummus because the Israeli salad that came with it looked so juicy and inviting. But instead I decided to order something different: roasted onion and lentil balls. I created a ‘meatball’ recipe with lentils and aubergine before so I knew I would like this.
The lentil balls were served with a warm tomato relish, garlic cashew cream, brown rice and a lemony rocket salad. The balls were firm and perfectly seasoned and a great partner for the relish. But it was the garlicky cashew cream that I loved! It was the perfect runny consistency which a creamy flavour that made me want to slather it over everything. I need to recreate this at home as you could use it on so many things. I’ve already perfected my tahini dressing but now I need to get onto the cashew cream bandwagon.
Now, at £7.95 a portion I really wasn’t expecting to come away thinking this would be good value. But I take that back! I was so full before I finished my meal that I actually took a 10 minute break to read my book before finishing the last few mouthfuls. I certainly wasn’t going to leave any of it!
Oh and they do a damn good iced matcha latte. Which is so refreshing when it’s hot! I even went back the next day for one as it was 30 degrees outside and I needed a place to work for the afternoon. They have nice big tables with comfy chairs and great wifi so it’s a great spot for remote working. Oh and did I mention they sell lots cake…!
Should you go to The Mae Deli?
You can definitely eat with your eyes at The Mae Deli because all the food laid out looks so enticing. I will admit I was a little sceptical about the price point and the level of food, but I was totally wrong. Although the menu is almost completely vegan (having heard Ella speak recently she said they’d stopped serving cows milk completely) you don’t leave feeling dissatisfied. I left feeling wonderfully full and content. It makes me want to try harder in the kitchen to produce my own delicious food!
My only comment would be that the music was a little loud. I probably sound like an old lady! But, even with my own headphones in I could still hear their music. However, it is a great spot to work from as it’s nice and bright and they have great wifi. They have really friendly staff and you will definitely leave filling FULL! I’ll definitely be going back to The Mae Deli to try more of Ella’s creations.
Do you have a favourite vegetarian cafe in London? Where should I try next?
The Mae Deli
18 Weighhouse St
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