Have you heard of Wonderland in Soho yet? It’s a diner style restaurant with dishes inspired by nostalgic movies and cartoons. Think Futurama, The Simpsons and Pulp Fiction.
Wonderland is no regular burger place though, it focuses on sustainability with one of the largest lists of organic ingredients I have seen in a restaurant in London. And I’m someone who pays particular attention to organic ingredients.
From organic chicken in Mr Blonde Fried Chicken Sandwich, to organic Jersey milk and cream in Dr Marvel’s Milkshake.
The uniqueness of the concept doesn’t stop there, each dish also has a vegan alternative right across the meat dishes on the menu, hence the slogan “Meat vs Plants” making it a welcoming venue for carnivores and vegans alike.
We went to check out Wonderland for dinner on a rather gloomy grey evening, which changed as soon as we stepped into the restaurant. Its light purple dimmed lighting and plenty of lit up jazzy Alice in Wonderland framed posts does take you out of this world a little bit.
Is this where The White Rabbit with his pocket watch lives? Greeted by enthusiastic staff and American diner style menu board above the open plan kitchen we quickly picked a spot to sit.
I was drawn to the corner with shell shaped diner benches also finishes in a purple shade. I want to say light lavender perhaps? There is no paint smell but the venue definitely looks brand new, which is no surprise since it only opened in June.
After a bit of wall art studying we pick equally colorful menus. First things first – the drinks. We go for Blackberry Mojito and Cranberry Mule. My boyfriend is warned the Cranberry Mule is on the stronger side and it is indeed boozy. But we both love them.
My Blackberry Mojito also comes with a kick. It’s balanced though and has a hint of natural blackberry syrup. Both drinks come in tall branded plastic cups with metal straws.
For food we go for Royale with Cheese Burger but unlike John Travoltar’s story this one comes with grass fed Angus beef patty, organic cheddar and steamed bun. It arrives in a branded box packed with bight cartoon characters on the inside of it.
The burger itself is a decent size and very juicy but not dripping too much, we’re of course not using cutlery. The bun is golden and fluffy and keeps its shape very well, despite us firmly pressing on as we bite into the burger.
The burgers are stacked with plenty of veggies and pickles, we are told they are made on premises. Just as I notice that the organic cheddar looks a little different from an ordinary cheddar the staff member apologises to us for replacing it with American cheese for today since they ran out of cheddar.
It does not compromise on the flavour at all, so no complaints here. We also share Le Big Mac fries, which is simply speaking deconstructed Big Mac on fries but grass fed. It’s a large portion and can easily substitute for a main.
My first choice was Aloo Chat Fries with sweet yogurt, mango chutney, tamarind ketchup and pomegranate, but I’m told they are on the spicy side.
So Le Big Mac fries it is. They come topped with homemade gherkins, wonder sauce, cheese, roast onion jam and mince meat. Plant mince and cheese alternatives also available.
The name doesn’t disappoint. It’s Big Mac flavour but of a high quality and with no unpleasant taste for the rest of the day, that leaves you regretting having the cheeky fast food meal.
While my boyfriend gets distracted by a work call I sneakily order Korean BBQ chicken wings from the plant section. They arrive promptly and before I know it he reaches out for a piece while casually asking me what it is. I name them leaving out the vegan part.
As he munches on the second piece I drop the word vegan. He is both surprised and impressed but frankly so am I. Although the vegan produce has come a long way in recent years these have gotta be some of the best creations.
The wings have the meaty string-like chicken wing texture inside and crispy coating on top. They are not burning mouth Korean style hot, which is a bonus since neither of us can handle spices very well.
Our final dish is Big Momma’s Chicken Shawarma, open style with varied of ingredients and plentiful of sauces. It’s very aromatic and filling. After a few bites my boyfriend declares that he’s officially full while I decide I have just tiny bit space left for a dessert.
I just can’t leave without at least trying the iconic Simpson’s pink organic doughnut or chocolate hazelnut milkshake. I’m drawn to the latter.
Milkshakes used to be my favorite when I was little but the proper kind with quality ice cream, fresh cream or milk and natural berry syrup or compote. Lately they have been disappointing but I’m hopeful about this one and for a good reason.
It’s frothy and creamy not sickly sweet with a lingering hazelnut and chocolate flavour. We are told Wonderland still orders hazelnut paste from Piedmont region in Italy, where Nutella originated but later moved focusing on cost reduction and use of palm oil.
Wonderland makes their milkshakes with organic cream from the Jersey cows. When I had a sip I felt like one of those food commercials where the consumer gets transported to the region of the product.
Well I was in hazelnut grove in Piedmont in Italy. Needless to say I finished the whole milkshake.
We both left incredibly satisfied and full. I don’t really want to recommend Wonderland because I want it all to myself. It’s quality fast food for gourmands.
Wonderland, 49 Old Compton St, London W1D 6HL