A vegan restaurant in southwest London with a pay-what-you-like menu has beaten over 18,000 rivals to be voted the most popular restaurant in the UK capital.
As reported by the Evening Standard, Amrutha Lounge in Earlsfield has clocked up the highest proportion of five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, making it the most popular restaurant in London according to the travel website.
With 273 five-star reviews out of a total of 281, the restaurant currently occupies the number one spot for London venues on Tripadvisor, which is known for its unbiased user reviews, less than a year after opening.
The brainchild of school friends Arvin Suntaramoophy and Shyam Kotecha, Amrutha Lounge opened in the southwest London neighbourhood of Earlsfield last February, having started life in 2014 as a successful street food truck.
Flying the flag for ‘vegan soul food’, dishes are made from scratch at the venue each day with the aim of elevating simple ingredients “to extraordinary levels”.
Among the dishes on the current menu are: beet gazpacho with peanut and parsley; Thai green curry with fluffy white rice and Asian salad; and a noodle stir fry with roast mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, chilli, coriander and peanut sauce.
Sri Lanka-born, Clapham-raised Suntaramoophy was shocked when he found out his humble restaurant was more popular than the likes of The Ledbury.
“We’ve had a lot more bookings, but most of our customers are local people who keep returning. The reputation we have in the community is our foundation,” he told the Evening Standard.
In addition to its 100% vegan offering, Amrutha Lounge has a fair price policy, meaning customers can pay as much as or little as they like for their meal. According to the Evening Standard, no customer has ever underpaid for main courses, which cost around £12.
Those who can’t afford to pay for their meal can make up for the value by volunteering for a few hours at the venue. Amrutha Lounge is also BYOB and doesn’t charge any corkage for wine.