Cafe Petiole

Modern European, Vegetarian·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Cafe Petiole

Bronze Award

Gone are the days when vegans were confined to salads and avo toast. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with those two things, but what a joy it is to see plant-based food inching into the mainstream, particularly when it arrives fully fledged in Somerset House as the cafe counterpart to Rishim Sachdeva’s Mayfair restaurant, Tendril. Let’s be clear, like Tendril, Cafe Petiole is ‘(mostly) vegan’ - and while you’ll notice the occasional addition of crumbled feta there’s no room for fake meat masquerading as an ethical substitute. Instead, Cafe Petiole is staying true to its roots - or, rather, its Petiole (the stalk that anchors leaf to stem).

Settling down on upcycled bentwood chairs, and admiring tastefully monogrammed blush pink tables, it’s easy to forget the concept is vegan. A creeping thought suggests the interior design team are secret colour psychologists. However, we could never attribute the joyful experience of a hard-to-believe-it’s-not-vegan silken tofu and courgette quiche to the congruity of magnolia yellows and powder blues. This triumph is the work of Tarryn Williams, head of pastry.

Focaccia sandwiches, seasonal filo rolls, and espresso chocolate cookies displayed under a chalkboard mirror are a smart move - well suited to the grab-and-go customer demographic.
But it’s the hot menu that captures our attention. Diving into an aromatic plate of creamy butterbeans with chilli garlic, we’re reminded of laid-back European cafes.

There are some hard hitters at play here. While the Tendril tiramisu was tempting, it’s a rich basque cheesecake cut with a zingy morello cherry compote that unceremoniously nabs the top spot. Accompanied by a supple natural wine with a distinctive orange peel finish, it's one to remember.

Not everything is so pristine. We notice the edges of the heritage tomato and basil galette are verging on singed. And yet, we’re left with the overwhelming impression that we’re splitting hairs - Cafe Petiole is finding its feet, but it’s a brilliant spot to pass an afternoon.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Modern European, Vegetarian
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast, Lunch
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Child friendly
Food Hygiene Rating


Led by head chef Rishim Sachdeva, Cafe Petiole is a plant-first cafe, meaning that nearly everything on the menu is vegan. Sachdeva is the chef behind the menu at Tendril in Mayfair, and will be bringing with him his head pastry chef to focus on baked goods and desserts. Inside of Café Petiole, the feel is timeless and welcoming, having been designed by a London and Milan based studio — DUELLE.

For breakfast, you’ll be able to enjoy grab and go options like toasted banana bread with agave, and at lunch, plant-first dishes of blue corn tostadas with smoked lime and artichoke puree will delight diners. The rest of the launch menu is still in development, but there is set to be a range of tasty options. Some others that have been shared already are the salted piquillo peppers with coriander salsa and ancho chilli dressing, and grilled aubergine sabich with tabbouleh.

If you’re sticking around for dessert, and we recommend that you do, try the Tendril tiramisu, an already famous dish, or the lemon and poppyseed cake with black pepper curd.

The drinks list will be all vegan and features kombucha, juices and low-intervention European wines on tap that have been sourced from suppliers such as L.A. Brewery, Graft and Sustainable Wines, and Basket Press. If you like what you try at Café Petiole, you can take a taste home with you through a range of purchasable condiments — such as the chilli garlic, white bean spread and Chinatown soy glaze.

Image Credit: Anton Rodriguez


Who is the head chef?

Rishim Sachdeva.

Helpful? 0


Somerset House, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Opening Times

All day
Mon Closed
Tue 09:00-18:00
Wed 09:00-18:00
Thu 09:00-18:00
Fri 09:00-18:00
Sat 09:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-17:00


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