Boy oh boy do I love Maple & Fitz. I visited yesterday for the first time and it really is a gem. Based in buzzing Fitzrovia, Maple & Fitz is a small, healthy eatery serving big bowls of moreish salads, tasty sweet treats and delicious smoothies and cold pressed juices.
Set up just over a year ago by Canadian chef Adria Wu, Maple & Fitz have definitely set up shop at the right time – healthy cafes and restaurants are booming in London thanks to the popularity of healthy eating personalities and cooks such as Hemsley & Hemsley, Deliciously Ella and Madeleine Shaw. If you were to go back a few years, there was a real lack of places to pick up a cold-pressed juice or a tasty, exciting salad that didn’t just consist of iceberg lettuce, and this was definitely a big factor that spurred Adria on to set up Maple & Fitz. However, Adria, who I was lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with, hasn’t always been in the food/hospitality industry. She started off studying engineering and then worked in finance, and it was only when she decided that she wanted healthy eating and food at the forefront of her career, that she crossed the pond to study at Le Cordon Bleu in London and the UK College of Nutrition & Health. Pretty impressive, huh?
It was clear from our chat that she is extremely passionate about healthy eating and wellness, and wants to share this enthusiasm with others. In fact, when Adria began establishing a menu for the eatery, she posted recipes on her blog, Maple & Miso, so she could get feedback from the wider community, making sure that the menu remained accessible to all, supplying both fun, healthy and colourful dishes.
However, as exciting and life-changing the set-up was for Adria, she also discussed the challenges she faced when setting up a new business, such as money being a challenge and things unexpectedly going wrong – around 6 months ago, the eatery was badly flooded; not a cheap problem to fix! But overall the pros without a doubt outweigh the cons…
So why ‘Maple & Fitz’? I feel silly for not having realised before, but Maple refers to Adria’s Canadian roots, and the Fitz refers to Fitzrovia! I particularly liked how Adria referred to the Canadian maple leaf – it symbolises promise, and Maple & Fitz promises to deliver a healthy, well-balanced meal with nothing to hide.
It’s clear that Maple & Fitz is really thriving, and that’s partially due to the fact that the brand places such emphasis on the importance of community – the community of the employees, Fitzrovia and healthy eaters. They’re planning on setting up a second site elsewhere in London and I’m extremely excited to pay a visit once it’s up and running.
After our lovely chat, I tried out a few of the goodies from the menu. First up was a delicious salad bowl with the following:
- Julius Caesar – shredded kale, romaine, toasted buckwheat, mangetout, cabbage, pecorin, toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, with a Dijon-lemon tahini dressing
- West Coast Slaw – sliced red cabbage, fresh mint, spinach, toasted seeds, pickled pink onions, shredded mango, golden raisins, cranberries, ginger sesame dressing
- Broccoholic – broccoli, garden peas, leeks, lettuce bites, fresh parsley, kidney beans, garlic, citrus spring herb dressing
- Baked salmon fillet with miso and mirin rice wine
I think you’d struggle packing any more goodness into that dish!
This was then followed up with a green tea; a coconut water, pineapple, lemon and romaine cold-pressed juice; and a particularly tasty treat: The Ultimate Granola Bar which was made of oats, almonds, mixed seeds, maple syrup, agave, coconut, cinnamon, sultanas, prunes and citrus zest. It really was as good as it sounds.
If you’re up in the area, definitely pop in and pay a visit. There’s a lovely seating area by the window or you can head downstairs which is really cute and cosy, or if it’s a particularly nice day, there’s a table and chairs set up outside. Failing that, if you can’t quite get away from your desk, you can also place an order via Deliveroo. Ah, the wonders of food delivery.
Thanks so much to Adria and the rest of the Maple & Fitz team for such a lovely lunch – it really is a wonderful eatery!
P.S. To all you readers – there’s also a fab breakfast menu featuring all the good things in life: maple porridge, granola parfait and poached eggs & avo…