Why are restaurants going vegan?

Published on the 22nd Jan, 2019 by Azmina

I have been visiting restaurants in London to check out their vegan offerings, in my quest to understand more about the Veganuary buzz. Here I share insights from my interview with Tom Dudley, manager at The Albany in Great Portland Street.

Tell me about your vegan dishes

Last year we had a few dishes on the menu, but we decided to create a Veganuary menu this year and it’s been a great success. We have eight dishes, starters, mains and desserts and I’m amazed at how popular they’ve been amongst all types of customers. (more…)

G is for Gruyere

Published on the 22nd Jan, 2019 by Azmina

I find that most of my patients who’ve tried to avoid dairy foods really miss cheese. So this blogpost is all about one of my favourite cheeses. It melts well, has a full flavour and although cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, having it in appropriate amounts can give you valuable calcium, iodine and protein.



You may have been lucky enough to taste a Swiss Gruyere fondue – this cheese perfect for melting and it has a subtle taste. When you compare it to cheddar, you find that weight for weight, it has more protein and about half the amount of sodium (salt). If you’re watching your weight, grate it so it goes further, or mix it with a lower fat cheese like mozzarella.

Check out these 3 ways to enjoy Gruyere:

  1. Instant cheese on toast. Using a potato peeler, make shavings of Gruyere and flavour with black pepper or dried chilli flakes. Microwave for a few seconds till melted and spread over whole grain toast or crackers.
  2. Gruyere tomato crisps. Sauté sliced tomatoes and spring onions in a little olive oil. Move them to the sides of the frying pan and add grated Gruyere. Allow it to melt and become crisp, and serve this on top of the tomato slices.
  3. Cheat’s spaghetti cheese. Flavour courgette ribbons with garlic and olive oil, and stir-fry till lightly cooked. Top with grated Gruyere and toasted pine nuts.

Restaurant Nutrition Review – The Albany

Published on the 20th Jan, 2019 by Azmina

I visited The Albany in Great Portland Street, London, during Veganuary, to check out why there was such a big board promoting their vegan dishes. Here I share some tasty snippets of their vegan menu and suggest ways to make it healthier. This blogpost isn’t about endorsing particular restaurants; it’s about helping you to make better choices if you’re visiting them.20190121_145225


The cheesy nachos really surprised me. I’ve tried an array of vegan cheeses, and they’ve all fallen short on taste and texture. This cheese is perfectly melted and has the stringy texture I expect from melted cheddar. I liked the idea of the tikka bites, which are a vegan take on chicken. However, I didn’t feel they were a good replacement to chicken tikka; they were deep fried, and didn’t have the tikka flavour or chicken texture. But they did taste good, especially with the mango chutney and raita.  Here’s my self-made platter from the vegan starters. If you’re with a group, you might like to order dishes and share them out so you’re getting variety and not over-doing the fried choices.


Mains (more…)