There’s been a bit of a buzz (you may be forgiven for missing it) about the newest environmentally-friendly restaurant in London Town. Curiously ignoring Acorn House and its kin who have been quietly beavering away for some years on the eco-front, the press have made much of Otarian, a small vegetarian snack bar-cum-restaurant chain opened by Delhi-born Radhika Oswal, who claims it’s the first restaurant to display ‘cradle-to-grave carbon footprints’ for each and every item on the menu.
Great, we say. According to her website each ingredient is painstakingly sourced on the ‘proximity principle’; ie, there’s a no airfreight policy, ingredients are sourced as locally and seasonally as possible and there’s much made of allergy-friendly dishes too. (We shall gloss over the fact their mayonnaise is clearly bought in – check the ingredients on the website – and her statement in a recent Sunday magazine that she doesn’t necessarily source locally or organically as it can ‘throw up some surprises’…). The intention – primarily to provide vegetarian food on the basis that meat is planet murder and to state its total environmental impact – is in keeping with the zeitgeist; whether the practice lives up to the theory is another question. Read full post