Reviewed by Emma Rogers
The new organic and healthy Avocado Garden café opened in Blackheath late last year, so we went to have a look and see what they have on offer for Mother’s Day!
Avocado Garden is right on the parade at Blackheath (and for anyone who knows the area, it’s next to the heath itself and a short walk from the station and bus stops) in the bustling village atmosphere of Lewisham’s inner-city suburb. The premises was previously part of a chain but is now run as an independent restaurant with its one-of-a-kind theme around avocados. Don’t worry, although avocado is on the menu it’s more the sentiment of fresh ingredients, organic foods and being cooked from scratch on site which has made it the local hit with families and early morning professionals looking for the combination of somewhere good to eat and somewhere to take a breakfast meeting online.
We were welcomed by the staff one sunny afternoon mid-week. It was surprisingly busy with people sitting at tables (they’re dog friendly too so there were a few pups around!) and people milling around for drinks. I took my mum to see how it might measure up for Mother’s Day and she liked the atmosphere because customers were welcomed at the door and taken to tables in the bright and airy front. The menu, which can be found on their website, is varied but not too vast. For avocado lovers like myself, there are several ‘green’ dishes, a few meat dishes, but the main bulk of the menu is vegan. It also has a slight Mexican twist to it, as the owners explained to me, because the organic avocados are shipped in from Mexico specially, and are kept at the same temperature as growing so that they don’t prematurely ripen and age before they reach the Avocado Garden’s kitchen.
We tried several dishes from the menu that might be suitable for Mother’s Day. The Mexican Spiced Chicken arrived with two pieces of chicken breast, seasoned with a spicy coating (but wasn’t so hot that children couldn’t eat it) and on a bed of humita (which is a maize puree). There’s a little avocado on top too, and a few corn bits to garnish but this is a dish for meat lovers who are avoiding vegan food. The spices were wonderful, and I loved the chicken seasoning and the way it was cooked fresh, plus it was piping hot too! The dish was amazingly filling, which leads me onto the onion rings…
At the recommendation of our hosts Jay and Peter, we tried the deep-fried onion rings. Made with avocado and chilli jam, then coated with tzatziki sauce when fried, they had a unique taste and are incredibly filling! A nice accompaniment to the spicy chicken. My mum had the Smoked Salmon on charcoal bread with avocado and poached egg with a matcha hollandaise sauce. Again, this was a huge meal and included completely different ingredients and flavours to all the other dishes. The salmon was high quality and soft, and the charcoal bread’s flavour was complimented by the matcha hollandaise sauce.
Both meals were washed down with homemade smoothies; one berry and one mango. Each was a meal within itself and you feel like you could live on just a smoothie alone because they’re so filling and so packed with fruit. My mum loved her handcrafted mango smoothie that she wanted to know if she could order just a smoothie to take away?
I was most looking forward to trying something I’ve never been brave enough to make myself; avocado ice cream! We were warned that it was very rich, so we ordered a bowl (two scoops between us) to try. Yes, it was rich, and yes it was filling and yes I loved it! It doesn’t taste of avocado as much as you would think. Jay explained to us that it’s made with pineapple to give the texture of ice cream when it’s frozen and adds a sweetness and sharpness at the same time. Truly delicious.
Peter explained that along with not cutting corners on avocados, they use premium coffee as well, so my mum tried a latte. I’m not a coffee drinker but I’m assured that it was particularly enjoyable because it was smooth without a bitter taste, perfect to end a meal with.
For Mother’s Day, Avocado Garden makes the perfect go-to family café for organic and vegan eats, and especially for the food lovers amongst us who love to treat mum!
For more information or to view menus, visit www.avocadogarden.co.uk.
Avocado Garden, 58-62 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, London, SE3 0BN | 020 3935 4574