British, Vegan, Vegetarian·
Gold Award

SquareMeal Review of Plates

Gold Award

Cutting out animal products, gluten and refined sugar would be an inconvenience to many. To others, it might be an interesting challenge. To Kirk Haworth, it was a revelation. Having travelled the world cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants, a diagnosis of Lyme Disease sent the chef on an altogether different journey, one of balance, well-being and medicinal plant research. Diners can now get a taste of his innovative plant-based cooking at Plates.

The first thing you notice is that there isn’t a drop of colour in the whole space. Or rather, there wasn’t, until two orange margaritas graced our table, supercharged by a kick of chilli. Palates engaged by the cocktails, we told the staff we were ready to start.

Haworth’s eye for detail quickly became apparent. A humble, albeit delicious, pea and potato fritter was elevated to new heights by a bed of tangy tartare sauce ajo blanco, while a dollop of seaweed caviar on top brought a welcome touch of salinity. Even the house bread was stellar, especially when slathered with silky smooth, fragrant carrot jam. Haworth’s pièce de résistance, however, was an ensemble cast.

Barbecued kalibos cabbage took centre stage, doused with a rich red wine reduction. Tempeh, often disappointing, here came as a gloriously nutty, crumbly ingot, while a sliver of confit lion’s mane mushroom felt like a scientific discovery, almost akin to seared mackerel. The final touch was a diametrically opposed duo: velvety cauliflower puree and sharp sweet and sour plum.

Having read ‘tiramisu’ on the menu, we thought the surprises would be over. Instead, we were given an unforgettable deconstruction featuring dandelion root ice cream, sour cherry and amaretto. With spot-on natural wine pairings from the deeply knowledgeable staff, this isn't a meal you could soon forget.

Don’t let the monochrome setting fool you, this is some of the most vibrant and exciting cooking we’ve had all year.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
British, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cool, Cosy, Fine dining, Fun, Glamorous, Lively, Luxury, Quirky, Romantic, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Plates is a pioneer of plant-based food in London. The kitchen is headed up by Great British Menu champion Kirk Haworth and inspired by his own personal desire to create boundary-pushing dishes without having to rely on animal products. By combining old world training with new world techniques, the team at Plates strive to create never-seen-before dishes that impress and surprise every diner who tries them.

Kirk Haworth has spent over 16 years working at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, including at The French Laundry, Restaurant Sat Bains, The Square and Northcote. His inspiration for Plates came when he was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2016. After discovering that a diet without meat, gluten, refined sugar or dairy reduced the intensity of his symptoms, there was no looking back. In 2024 he won TV's Great British Menu competition with a series of plant-based dishes, including high marks for a plant-based fish course that used seaweed in place of fish (and caused a bit of a stir in the media as a result). 

Sustainability is a huge priority for the team and the menu changes regularly in line with the seasons. Diners can opt for one of two tasting menus, which include dishes such as lightly smoked tomatoes, house ricotta, seaweed jam and English strawberry, house laminated bread and whipped spirulina butter, as well as some of his winning Great British Menu dishes like 'Feast of Farah' - mung and urid bean lasagna, charcoal, miso and chive sauce, and 'A Taste of Unity' - maw cacao gateaux, sour cherry, coconut blossom ice cream, African pepper, toasted macadamia and raw caramel sauce.


Who is the head chef?

The head chef (and co-founder) is Kirk Haworth, who has trained at some of the world's best Michelin-starred kitchens including The French Laundry, The Square and Restaurant Sat Bains.

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When does the restaurant open?

The restaurant opens in July 2024.

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Meet the team

Kirk Haworth

Head Chef

Head Chef Kirk Haworth has spent 16 years perfecting his craft in Michelin-starred kitchens including The French Laundry, Restaurant Sat Bains, The Square, The Quay and Northcote. After being diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2016, Kirk began to explore a plant-based lifestyle to help reduce his symptoms, a decision that changed his approach to food and cooking forever. Plates is the product of his personal journey with food and health, where he focuses on delivering modern plant-based food executed to the highest degree, while always keeping creativity, taste and sustainability in mind. He says: 'Sustainability is not just about the earth, the food or the ingredients - it’s about people, and creating a lifestyle that’s sustainable for all of us to coexist in good health.'


320 Old Street, Old Street, London, EC1V 9DR

020 7096 1307 020 7096 1307


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun 12:00-16:00
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:30-22:00
Thu 17:30-22:00
Fri 17:30-22:00
Sat 17:30-22:00
Sun Closed


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020 7096 1307 020 7096 1307

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