The Omni Collective in Peckham is a modern, international plant-based restaurant serving seasonal sharing plates. Omni, as it’s more commonly known, is the passion-project of chef-restaurateurs George Matheou and Jess McGill. This was an invite but my review is 100% honest.
I invited my friend Kaye to join me and we had a table booked on a Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm. I wasn’t expecting it to be full but every table was taken. I later learned from our server that they have an amazing ‘All in’ deal which gives you 50% off food from 5 – 6:30 pm on Tuesdays to Fridays. So no wonder it was full!
The decor and ambience
It was absolutely freezing outside when we visited so I was delighted that it was warm and cosy inside the restaurant. I am very particular about lighting – I can’t bear bright restaurants! So I was very pleased that the lighting is very atmospheric, with lamps on the tables that could change different shades – from a soft yellow glow to more of a white light.
Whilst the lighting was perfect for dining, it wasn’t great for taking photos!
The decor reminded me a bit of a neighbourhood restaurant in Brooklyn, with the brick walls, pipes, hanging lightbulbs and the wooden panelling.
Everything (and I mean everything – wine, beer and spirits) is 100% plant based and vegan.
The food is seasonal and sourced from premium, local producers and suppliers. Dishes are modern, and inspired by cultures and cuisines from around the world.
The menu changes monthly (or sometimes earlier), depending on what’s seasonal and available. The menu is set, costs £40 per person (unless you have the ‘all in’ deal) and is designed to be shared by the table.
If you’re worried about small portions, worry not. There was so much food, I was fit to burst by the end!
What I really love about The Omni Collective is their dedication to sustainability. They make sure there is as little food waste as possible, by fermenting and pickling and reducing surplus vegetables into stocks and sauces.
The set menu is divided into four sections. The food arrives as it comes, but you in no way feel rushed or that it’s coming right after each other. In fact, our whole meal lasted over two hours.
You start with an amuse bouche, which isn’t on the menu. I can’t quite remember what it actually was (it may have been turnip or radish) but it looked, and tasted, just like pork belly!
We were then served fermented vegetables and pickled vegetables with smoked olives. I love pickled vegetables so this was right up my street. And the smoked olives were a revelation!
For drinks, we chose a glass of sparkling wine.
The salt baked beetroot with ajo blanco, dill and bourbon vinaigrette was earthy and refreshing on the palette and looked pretty as a picture. I’m not a fan of raw shallots, however these were surprisingly subtle.
The courgette baba ganoush with leek treacle and burnt onion ash with the focaccia was insanely delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it and had to stop myself from asking for more bread.
My husband is Italian so I am used to pretty amazing pasta. One of my favourite vegetables is the Jerusalem artichoke so when I saw the Jerusalem artichoke tortellini with miso butter and sunflower seed purée on the menu, I was intrigued.
What an absolute delight! The miso butter you never would have guessed was plant based. We wolfed this down!
We paired this with the Pecorino white wine, which was superb.
The Hinona Kabu turnips with preserved mushrooms and panko were unctuous but also quite filling. The turnips were fairly crunchy and the panko added texture.
As it’s Autumn, of course pumpkin is in season. The Delica Katsu brioche sandwich with yakisoba sauce was absolutely divine. The pumpkin had a crunchy coating and was very flavoursome.
The 1000 layer potato with saffron aioli was not only stunning to look at, but delicious to eat. Suffice to say, I didn’t want to share it!
The one dish that I wasn’t too enamoured with was the shaved fennel with gin and basil and Calabrian bergamot. It was refreshing but I’m not a big fan of fennel.
We were both so full by the end of the meal that the thought of dessert was just too much. But, who can say ‘no’ to apple crumble with Calvados whipped cream? The portion was HUGE. So much so that I boxed up what we didn’t finish to take home for my husband.
The whipped cream was so boozy! It worked really well with the apple crumble.
We had an absolutely fabulous meal and the service was excellent. As a meat eater I did not miss meat AT ALL. The dishes are innovative, super tasty and beautifully presented. I would absolutely come back!