In the past I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of going into Headington for food, but it’s getting better and better for vegans – with the opening of Grounded Kitchen on London Road being the latest restaurant addition. Serving up Korean-inspired nourish bowls, fast-food style, there is something for everyone (except, perhaps, if you have zero tolerance for spice). First impressions are good, as plant-based options are clearly labelled across the menu, setting you up for an enjoyable low-maintenance meal out.
We visited on Friday evening of Grounded Kitchen’s opening weekend, and there was a steady stream of customers flowing through the door at all times, clearly looking forward to trying something new. I thought the team behind the counter handled the pace admirably, and although there was a bit of a queue, the freshly cooked food came out fast and hot.
We tried the Spicy Peanut Tofu bowl and the Korean Tempeh bowl, both being made with the same base of rice, fresh veggies, and Shichimi spice. Every mouthful gave you something slightly different, but each packed with flavour. From the meaty fried mushrooms, to the crunchy fresh peppers, to bursting warm cherry tomatoes, everything was prepared to a high quality. Perfectly ripe, creamy avocado slices were cooling and needed to balance out the spice. The tempeh and tofu portions were generous, and it was nice that there was a sweet potato and edamame bowl for those who prefer the least processed ingredients.
The heat in the bowls definitely builds over time, so we washed ours down with an iced oat milk matcha latte, and a fruity quencher. Both were smooth and refreshing, but I particularly enjoyed the acaí quencher, topped with crunchy granola, sweet berries, and coconut. It could almost take the place of a dessert, though there are also ‘superfood’ smoothie bowls on the menu too if you want to finish off with something sweet.
Grounded Kitchen was giving street food vibes, and I could certainly imagine their bowls being served up out of a van at a food festival. With that in mind, the price was maybe one or two pounds more than I would expect to pay, given that we were eating out of a cardboard bowl with a disposable wooden spoon. That said, these are filling, balanced, protein-packed meals, so I didn’t feel hard done by.
The one disappointment was that they’d run out of bao buns by the time we got there, and I was gutted as I was sure these were going to be my favourite part of the meal. I suppose it just gives me more reason to go back soon to try them!
Have you visited Grounded Kitchen yet? What did you think?
This was a complimentary PR meal; this article is an honest reflection of our experience.