Holiday Issue 2019

14 Established in 1989, Riverside Vegetaria markets itself, perhaps unusually, as a ‘vegetarian restaurant for non-vegetarians’. However, this is a restaurant that aims to impress with its Sri-Lankan-inspired menu that has sought to reinvent vegetarian cuisine from the ground up. On the back of the restaurant’s well-deserved success in LUXlife’s Food & Drink Awards programme, where it was recognised as the ‘Best Vegetarian Restaurant in South West London’, we endeavoured to find out more. We are in the midst of a vegetarian renaissance, as the greater health, wellness and fitness landscapes continue to grow year on year. As a whole, people are more focused than ever in improving themselves – whether that be through pledging to go to the gym more often, or through changing their eating habits. As a result, vegetarianism and, by extension, veganism are not considered fringe behaviours anymore, reserved for those who take their health to ‘extremes’. Vegetarianism has gone mainstream. Yet, long before this new trend emerged, Riverside Vegetaria was setting a benchmark for great, tasty and healthy vegetarian food for the masses at a time where it was seen as thoroughly ‘alternative’. Indeed, the restaurant remains where it was originally, nestled against the Thames in Kingston, South West London. Today, it has hoarded a plethora of accolades, highlighting the restaurant’s dedication to its founding mission – simply, to provide vegetarian food that satisfies any palette. From its Masala Dosai – a firm favourite and staple- to the spicy Jamaican stew, there’s a decidedly experimental twist to Riverside Vegetaria, as it uses spices and creativity to surprise and delight guests who may go in expecting bland flavour combinations. There’s nothing of the sort here, as the restaurant’s owner, Ritchie Sakthivel, keenly avoids common stereotypes. This is vegetarian food as it is supposed to be, realising -crucially- that a lack of meat doesn’t need to result in a lack of flavour. Equally, the restaurant can cater for special dietary needs such as wheat and gluten intolerance, and, specific to Riverside’s decidedly international menu, can create onion and garlic free meals as well. More than that, Riverside Vegetaria impresses in other areas, namely, in its dedication to ethical practices. Ritchie believes that it is important to source local produce, buying organic and fair-trade products wherever possible. Further, they have thrived through customer-centricity, adapting dishes to their guest’s dietary needs. The restaurant’s establishing mantra is, suitably, ‘Love All, Serve All’. All in all, this is good food, served in a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere – Perfect for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Company: Riverside Vegetaria Address: 64 High Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1HN, United Kingdom Website: Telephone: 020 8546 7992 Taste RiversideVegetaria : Driving theVegetarian Renaissance FO180140