We all like a spot of BBQ and a lot of burgers, but every now and then it's good for something to buck the trend. The just-opened Bel-Air in Shoreditch looks like doing the job, as the LA heath food inspired cafe opens its doors.
What you need to know about Bel-Air
The menu is developed by former Lardo, Zucca and St John chef Damian Currie. He's put together a menu of healthy dishes using natural ingredients and fresh produce, with a focus on it all being low in salt, low carb and free from refined sugar.
You can start the day off with a breakfast shot - these include the "Fresh Prince" made with fennel, mint, cucumber and ginger. There's also a "Build your own Breakfast" which includes buckwheat porridge, home-made pineapple and coconut granola, or jumbo rolled oats as a base – topped with home-made coconut yoghurt, almond milk or greek yoghurt, add delicious compotes, super-food powders such as spirulina, maca, and baobab, a squeeze of agave syrup, nuts, chia seeds, toasted coconut and cacao nibs.
And breakfast eggs too. They include "Healthy Hangover Hash" with chorizo, grated courgette, smoked paprika, Shakshuka and the "Muscle Beach", a minute steak served with a poached egg and smoky spinach and sweet potato hash.
The healthy kick continues at lunch. There are crab cakes packed with fresh ginger, chilli and coriander with shaved crunchy pak choi and pickled daikon salad or ancho chilli braised beef with pink pickled onions, guacamole, chipotle and shredded cabbage with coriander and lime. Plus salads in oversized bowls to let you mix and match a salad box, including a broccoli and almond slaw, raw root vegetable with apple vinegar and green herbs or roasted aubergine with tahini yoghurt, dukkah and ripped mint leaves and sliced black chilies. And there is protein available alongside that too - poached salmon, chicken breast, root vegetable frittata or peppered smoked mackerel.
And for dessert, there's caramelised pineapple, oat & flaxseed cookies or coconut, lime and cardamom macaroons.
And you can order all this to takeaway from the app which know when you arrive. They're using the iPhone iBeacon functionality to make sure that everything's ready the moment you enter and they can get your food to you immediately.
Bel-Air is at 54 Paul Street, EC2A 4LN. The official launch date is on 16 March, 2015. For the latest info, follow them @belairfood