When it comes to health, diet and eating out, probiotic foods are doing the rounds. Most people know probiotic foods are good but perhaps aren’t sure why, or even know exactly what probiotics are. It’s also tricky knowing how to get probiotics through a regular diet rather than by taking a shed load of supplement pills or drinks. This article runs you through the need-to-know info on probiotics and probiotic foods, as well as where to eat probiotic foods in London.
Why are probiotic foods a thing?
Probiotic foods are popular at the moment because these days people want to eat healthily and mindfully. Knowing where our food comes from and how our food will affect our health is a trend right now, more than it was five or ten years ago. A healthy gut is extremely important for our immune systems and overall wellbeing and so probiotic foods are a thing because they’re one of the best ways to promote good gut health. Simple.
What are probiotic foods?
Probiotic foods aren’t always exotic or expensive, they’re just rich in the ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria that keep your gut healthy by preventing ‘bad’ bacteria from lingering too long. More specifically, the intestinal tract is the organ in the body that digests and absorbs food and it’s here that the balance of bacteria needs to be spot on. If it isn’t, due to stress, medication or lack of sleep, for example, that’s when we start to feel ill.
The most common probiotic foods are yoghurt, raw cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso, pickles, kombucha, dark chocolate… the list goes on. These probiotic foods are pretty varied as you can see, which means the cuisines they’re often found in are as well. It’s true that you could just eat these foods on their own and not as part of a dish, but where’s the fun in that? Best to eat out and get probiotic foods in London instead.
Probiotic foods in London
1. Gaya Korean Restaurant
An excellent place to start for probiotic foods in London is a Korean restaurant, owing to the heavy use of kimchi and miso in Korean cooking. One Korean restaurant we can’t get enough of is Gaya, just outside of Wimbledon in Raynes Park. This is a cool little haunt worth travelling for and, as is the social style of Korean dining, there’s tabletop grills, pot stews and plenty of sides to get involved with. Order the spinach and tofu miso soup followed by steamed pork served with vegetables and kimchi for a refreshing hit of probiotics that’ll keep your gut ticking over nicely.
34 Durham Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 0TWBook Now
Sticking to Asian cuisine but moving north, Japanese cuisine makes use of many of the same probiotic foods as Korean. That said, a restaurant worth visiting to discover how the Japanese use of probiotic foods differs slightly from Korean is SUSHINOEN, a trendy sushi spot in Whitechapel. Here, dishes like the miso ramen noodle soup and the grilled aubergine starter with a curious miso paste are packed with all the probiotic qualities that are good for you, served in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily find on a Korean menu.
2 White Church Lane, Whitechapel, London, E1 7QRBook Now
German cuisine isn’t hugely common in London but it’s bursting with probiotic foods. Sauerkraut, to be specific, is the ingredient that features in many a German dish and the Stein’s family of German restaurants serve it exactly as it should be. Try a main of original spiced Bavarian pork sausages with grilled sauerkraut and mash for a wonderfully simple but delicious fill of probiotics. As well, Germans are big on their raw cheeses and pickles which you can expect to find here at Stein’s Kingston served alongside some quality cold cuts.
56 High Street, Kingston upon Thames, London, KT1 1HNBook Now
You may not have expected to see an Italian restaurant in an article about where to eat probiotic foods in London but Ardiciocca in Fulham does things differently. Ardiciocca is the very first gluten-, dairy-, and sugar-free Italian restaurant in London and chef Simona Ranieri is at the helm and whipping up gut-friendly dishes like the starter of marinated and flamed mackerel with kimchi cucumber, dill and coconut yoghurt; salads made up of salmon, fermented orange, red sauerkraut, baby spinach, fermented sweet potato cream and black and white quinoa; then mains like kombucha chicken with chicory and fermented carrots. Told you it was different…
461-465 North End Road, Fulham, London, SW6 1NZBook Now
5. Kitchen Table
Kitchen Table was awarded a Michelin star in 2014 for its 12-course daily tasting menu that celebrates the absolute best of British traditions, ingredients and flavours. This London restaurant only has 20 seats and in truth there isn’t a particular focus on probiotic foods, just a fine daily selection of kombucha teas to complement the menu. This is contemporary dining at its best and we don’t know of too many better restaurants in the Fitzrovia area as good for keeping your gut healthy and tasting some of the finest British food there is at the same time.
70 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QGVisit Website
Tibits on Mayfair’s Heddon Street is Swiss-owned and serves plenty of probiotic foods that love you and your gut. Tibits is an entirely vegan and vegetarian restaurant where every day you can choose from a selection of 40 vegetarian and vegan salads, hot dishes and desserts, all of which are made fresh, several times a day. At the time of writing some probiotic foods available on the Tibits menu were seitan bourguignon, kimchi and kisir salads as well as a ridiculously tempting palak paneer. Alllll the raw cheese.
12-14 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4DABook Now
7. Rabot 1745
Dark chocolate is one of the sweetest probiotics there is, so give Rabot 1745 a try. Overlooking Borough Market, Rabot 1745 offers a menu of contemporary West Indies dishes done with a British twist, almost all of which use freshly roasted (on site) cacao in some way or form, often as a savoury spice. Call it cacao cuisine, if you will. Try the <i>Assiette of Cacao</i> starter which consists of a chocolate balsamic reduction, cacao pesto, cacao nib butter and fresh sourdough, or the seafood cacao bouillabaisse for your main. Part of Hotel Chocolat, the British luxury chocolatiers, Rabot 1745 is a unique restaurant perfect for getting your fix of probiotic foods in London.
Borough Market, 2-4 Bedale St, London SE1 9ALVisit Website
Last but so very far from being least, Tarshish in London’s Wood Green hits you up with probiotic foods courtesy of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisines, meaning lots of yoghurt and raw cheese. The Mediterranean diet is often described as the healthiest on the planet anyway so it makes sense that good gut health is covered here. Try the chicken beyti or pair just about anything from the grill with a generous serving of tzatziki to get your fill of probiotics. We recommend the iskender kebab, a combination of lamb, chicken and adana shish, served on a bed of croutons and finished with halep sauce and lashings of probiotic-rich yoghurt.
16-22 High Road, Wood Green, London, N22 6BXBook Now