Rootmaster, E1 6QL
- Elys Yard, The Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street
Rootmaster was a vegan cafe/restaurant situated in an old Routemaster bus in the carpark of the old Truman Brewery just off Brick Lane. It closed at the end of December 2010. As of June 2011, the Rootmaster website states that they have no plans to reopen.
The information below is retained for people who want to know what it used to be like.
Kake visited on a very sunny Wednesday lunchtime in May 2008. All (five or six) outside tables were occupied and it was rather too hot to sit inside (all the seating is upstairs and there's no air conditioning; it's pretty much exactly like sitting on the top deck of a bus in warm weather) so I got one of the staff to ask a couple of the other lunchers if they minded me sharing (they didn't).
I had the teriyaki stirfry with brown rice (£8.50) photo. It wasn't bad. The flavour relied fairly heavily on soy sauce and some of the vegetables, particularly the carrots, were cut (and hence cooked) rather haphazardly. The tofu (locally produced by Clean Bean and delivered by bicycle) was good though. A 330ml bottle of Belu mineral water was £1.50.
They're fully-licensed, and offer a number of wines and beers (didn't get details, sorry, it was too hot to think about booze). You can book tables in the evening (not sure about lunchtimes). You can also hire out the entire upper deck, though there is a fairly substantial charge for this. Takeaway is available.
Kake's verdict: The staff are perhaps not as focused on customer service as they could be, and the food's neither cheap nor subtle, but it's in a Routemaster! And it's all vegan! For me, these advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and I may well come back.
- Time Out review
- East London Local review
- To Happy Vegans review
- Sarf East Vegan review
- Some interior photos found on Flickr: interior, daytime, table with cushions, interior, night time