London’s First Tofu Bar Launches At Naga
Forget the American foodie fashions of late; burger bars, steaks shacks, hot dog houses and chicken clubs, this summer is all about the lighter and more exotic edibles from the East; Kimchi tapas, Ramen noodles, Seaweed crisps and now, Tofu tit-bits.
Tofu has been a staple part of East Asian cuisine for many years, with numerous Tofu bars and dedicated restaurants easily found in Japan, China and Korea. However, in the UK and Europe, Tofu is more often than not viewed as the Vegan or Vegetarian’s substitute to meat, and by many a meat-eater, thought of as bland, and somewhat unappealing in texture. Overall, an unpopular alternative. But, this was before Silken Tofu, a softer type of tofu that has recently became more widely available and is being used more regularly in everything from dips and chips to stir-fries and salads.
Silken Tofu, as with traditional Tofu, is made from Soy Milk but the smoother, more creamy texture, and richness in taste is the result of a slower coagulation process. Executive Head Chef at Naga, Fachri Syarief, describes Silken Tofu as ‘akin to a mild and savory crème caramel’ and it is this ingredient that he has chosen to base his new bar menu on.
Guests that visit The Tofu Bar at Naga will be able to enjoy a selection of deliciously dedicated tofu dishes ranging from; the Mixed Tofu Platter,that showcases an assortment of Chilled Silken Tofu with Roasted Tomato, Crispy tofu with Seven Spice Pepper and Citrus Wasabi dip and Steamed Silken tofu, to the Tofu Pouches, that are stuffed with beansprouts and shredded carrots and accompanied by a sweet chili dip. Then, for the less health conscious there are even Spicy Tofu Fries – yes that’s right, it’s goodbye triple cooked chip, hello silken sautés. All bar snacks will be served on sharer plates and each dish will cost only £3.50. Lastly, there will then also be Naga’s signature Tofu dish available, Silken Tofu with Ginger Dressing. This will be featured on both the bar menu (4 pieces) and as a starter in the main restaurant (6 pieces).
To accompany the new bar menu, Restaurant Manager and expert Mixologist Tri Van Dan has also developed a bean curd-based cocktail, the Tofu Twist. Served in a chilled Martini glass the drink will be a blend of Soy Milk, Frangelico, Kahlua and Dark Crème de Cacao.
Chef Syarief created the concept of the Tofu Bar at Naga with the aim of inspiring visitors and to help create an excitement and buzz around tofu in London. With dishes such as the Spicy Tofu Chips in particular, he hopes to demonstrate to people that Tofu is a versatile ingredient that ‘should be enjoyed not just for it’s health benefits but also because of the fun and flavorsome dishes that it can be used to create’. However, lets not ignore the health benefits of regularly eating tofu, of which there are many. Recent research show that regularly eating soy not only may lower the risk of lung cancer in women, but it also helps to lower cholesterol, delay the ravages of age and is packed with protein and a great source of both Calcium and Vitamin E. So, for that bikini body that we all strive to perfect, best to begin with bean curd!
Naga is an award winning, elegant Pan-Asian restaurant located just off Kensington High Street. Naga combines chic and contemporary décor with a warm and welcoming atmosphere making it a neighbourhood gem that people will travel from near and far to visit. In the brief period since it has been previewing, Naga has already won Best Chinese Restaurant in London at the prestigious Asian Curry Awards.
So jump on board the tofu train and stop off at Naga!
NAGA TOFU BAR
2 Abingdon Road,
Tel: 020 7795 6060