Farmstand (Cov G)

imagephoto (26)photo (25)photo (24)I’ve been working in Covent Garden now for about four years. It’s a vibrant place, or in other words – hideously busy with little opportunity for a bit of peace and quiet. It’s therefore very easy to fall into a routine at lunchtime of dashing to M&S/Pret and taking cover back at one’s desk.

It’s a shame because there are some inexpensive and interesting options, but sometimes the effort is overruled when its awash with tourists on the streets outside.

So I have a recommendation from a nutritionist friend – Farmstand . It’s five minutes away from the office and I’m due to catch up with a colleague so thought today would be good to give it a try.

For the initiated (me), farmstands are the roadside stalls you get in the States selling surplus crops and produce from local farms.

The ethos here is sustainable meat and fish, UK based suppliers, compostable packaging and no added sugar except for organic coconut sugar in a few highlighted items.

It’s open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner AND they serve beer and wine.

Options are ready to go boxes or build your own. We’ve got time today so we go for a ‘build your own option’ at £7.50.

This is what was on offer but due to the approach of this place I’m sure it will change regularly depending on seasonality.

Option one is to choose 1 main and 2 sides

MAIN

  • Grilled Harissa Chicken
  • Pulled Beef
  • Salmon with Lemon, Fennel & Star Anise
  • Split Fava Beans with Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seeds

Option 2 you can choose 3 sides

SIDES

  • Buckwheat Grain with Chives
  • Puy Lentils with Wild Mushrooms & Chervil
  • Quinoa with Candied Beetroot & Black Beans
  • Charred Broccoli with Chilli & Garlic
  • Roasted Artichokes with Capers & Parsley
  • Cinnamon Roasted Heritage Carrots
  • Raw Romanesco Cauliflower with Mustard Seeds
  • Raw Kohlrabi, Pear & Daikon

I opted for the pulled beef with puy lentils with mushrooms and cinnamon roasted heritage carrots. The beef was spicy and tender, the lentils and mushrooms packed with fresh herbs and the carrots deliciously sweet. On a cold day it was nice to get some healthy hot food inside me rather than a lethargy inducing sandwich. My veggie friend was extremely happy with her selection: the fava beans, lentils and artichokes. The lovely man serving asked if we’d like a salsa (not dance) so chose a mild tomato and pomegranate version which was delicious. However I didn’t realise this was an extra £1.45 until I examined bill later. Maybe a bit steep but not realising the extra charge was my only small gripe. It was on the menu board above the tills but passed by me amidst the excitement.

Staff were great. My teabag had split so was swiftly brought a new cuppa to my table despite it not being table service.

They’ve been open a month I think, but there was still a man at the front door to welcome us and explain the concept.

Its a bright and airy restaurant – you could almost forget you are in one of the busiest places in town. Industrial lighting and bare brickwork is offset by a wall of plants. Stainless steel fridges are hidden by wooden cabinets, making you feel like you could be in a Cotswolds farm shop. Please don’t think this is a farmyard themed place though, it’s all very tasteful.

Tables are set out in twos but there’s a room at the back with a larger table for the Mac/meeting brigade.

Still and sparkling water was available for free via a dispenser – nice touch.

Food is really tasty and offers enough selection to keep you coming back without getting menu fatigue. You feel like you’re being virtuous without sacrificing on portion sizes or flavour.

For anyone looking for a quick and healthy pit stop I would definitely recommend.

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