22 Carter Lane, EC4V
The City’s first entirely cashless restaurant that allows you to order and completely customise your food online or via one of the restaurant’s iPads. Its ultra-healthy menu is cooked on the premises using specially-sourced, organic ingredients and served up hot to suit pretty much any diet you can come up with.
It opened up on 22 Carter Lane, just off St Paul’s Churchyard, 10 weeks ago.
It’s a collaborative effort between Ham Yard Hotel chef Paul Davis, City financier Nick Popovici and Formula One nutritionist Helene Patounas.
Customers are encouraged to choose one protein, three sides and a sauce. Pick of the proteins are the crispy thighs from free-range, slow growing Yorkshire Ross chickens. It’s an incredibly juicy bird, even after it’s been oven-roasted without oil. Chewy wild rice is another highlight, zingy with a hint of lemon and shallot, and the polenta is crispy and substantial. For afters, there’s a variety of gooey brownies that are great value at £1 each and bottles of blushing pink Chi coconut water – probably the best on the market. Slide the counters up and down on the app to alter the protein to side ratio on your plate and watch the calories – and price – do the same. Sauce- wise, the baba ganoush is the clear winner, thick and fresh with a hint of heat.
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?
With only 14 barstools placed along the window ledges, you can’t rely on a seat and it’s too casual to impress. You could always order in via Deliveroo for a meeting, though, and it certainly beats a tray of cold prawn mayo sandwiches from the supermarket.
NEED TO BOOK?
No seats to book, really, but you can order via the website – vitamojo.com – and pick it up from the shop 10 minutes later. And if you’re cursed with late working hours, it’s open until 9pm.
Fresh ingredients and over 300 meal combinations will prove an irresistible pull for educated, health-conscious City workers. With prices coming in around £6-£7 for most dishes, it isn’t cheap but, if you’re willing to pay for choice, freshness and a hot meal, then you won’t be disappointed.
ONE MORE THING...
There are plans to expand Vita Mojo across the City, then the capital. It’ll be launching an app where customers can add their height, weight and fitness goals and its Smart Chef function will suggest meals and portion sizes, like a cheaper, portable nutritionist. According to Popovici, the eventual aim is to pair with a fitness band or gym franchise to literally cater for their customers.