There are many reasons that I feel truly blessed to live in London – to me one of the most vibrant cities in the world. One such reason is that you are never far away from somewhere to eat healthily and eat well – from raw to vegan to paleo and everything in between, us Londoners are lucky to have so many choices to fit any dietary need on our doorsteps. So I was thrilled to get an invite to South Kensington’s newest healthy hotspot Squirrel to try out their new Winter dishes and of course to dine in the Treehouse!
So other than the opportunity to tuck in amongst the tree tops, what else does Squirrel have to offer?
Squirrel opened earlier this year, with a vision to create a fun, all day casual dining concept that didn’t substitute health for good taste. The menu has been carefully curated by Squirrel’s very own Zoe Stirling, an established Nutritional Therapist and Creative Chef Consultant Dara Sutin (who has worked with Jamie Oliver and Gwyneth Paltrow). Zoe herself said, “My ambition was to create somewhere where I could be completely confident that each ingredient was full of nutritional benefit” and each dish is freshly prepared to order which means that ingredients can be substituted to cater to every taste and indeed dietary requirement. This is exactly what I did with my Warm Grain Bowl – the Guac and Roll. The standard Squirrel recipe contains chicken, but as a non meat-eater I substituted this for tofu, which was a perfect match for the other ingredients of brown rice, spinach, sweetcorn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, pickled red onion, tortilla chips and a lime jalapeno vinaigrette. I can’t lie, my mouth is watering again typing that out!
The Guac and Roll warm grain bowl was filling and absolutely delicious – a fantastic combination of flavours that didn’t feel too heavy. I absolutely can’t wait to try some of the others from the Treehouse Menu – not least because of their amazing names like Ginger Spice and Miami Rice! There are also salads, soups and seasonal specials to choose from, and the Treehouse has also recently started serving breakfast with options such as Poached Egg Bowls and Chunky Avocado Toast from 7am every day.
I washed my Grain Bowl down with a delicious Matcha Latte topped with cinnamon, and may have also treated myself to a slice of vegan Rocky Road – a little piece of dairy free, honey-comb filled heaven!
I couldn’t resist another couple of treats to take away so that I could continue the Squirrel experience at home, and took a Berry Good cold pressed juice (Strawberry, Apple, Lemon and Mint) and a pot of mixed nuts and seeds to sprinkle over porridge and yogurt from the Squirrel Away nut station.
It’s not just bushy-tailed animals who will be happy with what’s on offer at Squirrel – they even have healthy treats for dogs too in the form of these Chicken and Flaxseed biscuits. If only they had cat versions for me to take home for Khloe!
Overall, there really wasn’t anything I didn’t love about Squirrel. It is unique and quirky, but with amazing attention to detail – the Drinking Wells, Squirrel Away station, acorn shaped lights, indoor Treehouse and enormous Squirrel mural on the wall to name but a few. With a concept restaurant it would be easy to focus on style over substance and in this case fit-out over food. However, with strict nutritional guidelines and a mission to make healthy food taste good, the Squirrel menu most definitely delivers.
Whilst I loved my healthy Guac n Roll warm grain bowl, matcha latte and Rocky Road, I want to work my way through the whole menu – my only problem will be knowing where to start next. Poached Egg Bowl with Black Beans, Tomato, Coriander, Feta and Spinach for breakfast? Or a Kale Yeah salad of salmon, kale, fennel, cucumber, sweet potato, radish, almonds and citrus sumac dressing? Squirrels may go into hibernation – but not me – I’ll be hanging out here amongst the treetops all Winter long at this rate!
Thank you to Squirrel for inviting me to dine with them – as well as their website you can find them on Instagram and Twitter: @WeAreSquirrel and by searching their own hashtag, #nutsabouthealth .