Pop Up Restaurant Serving Vegan Meals open from December 16 until 23rd in London

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B-Zen Café -
Where Food is Medicine Not a Vice

100% VEGAN

100% Organic 

100% Gluten Free

100% Sugar Free

100% Nightshade Free


Sample Menu







All Ingredients including the spices are 100% Organic & Gluten Free

Location

Shoreditch, London, UK

B-Zen Cafe

46 Great Eastern Street, Hoxton East, London, EC2A 3EP, United Kingdom

+44 (0)7595253641

Hours

Open today

09:00 am – 12:00 am

Pop Up Restaurant, 8 Days only 16th - 23 December

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About Us

Our Chef

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Bina Thompkins has lived and worked in 3 Continents and 8 Countries. Santa Fe, NM is finally home. She was brought up in an orthodox Hindu home where Ayurveda was the center of her world. She is trained as an Environmental Engineer and therefore Believies in an All Organic Cuisine.

The Food Created is meant for Healing and is made with Love. It is meant to keep us in a meditative State. The concept is that Food is Medicine not a Vice. That our bodies are sacred and should be treated as our First Temple and that we should take real care as to what enters our digestive system.

Ayurvedic Astrology

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Ayurveda – Balancing Life

The body and all the Organs are made up of 3 Elements or Doshas; Pitta – Fire, Vata – Air, Kapha – Liquids. If these Doshas are balanced then disease cannot take over. 


An Ayurvedic Practitioner helps keep the doshas balanced and therefore can cure ailments. 


An Astrologer works on healing not only the Physical body and also the mental body but most importantly the Psychic Body. 


A good Ayurvedic Doctor will consult an Astrologer to understand the Psychic realm and if a certain disease can be cured and also when balance is regained.

Some Rules of Ayurveda:

1) Dessert  First 

2) No Fruit with Food. Fruit should be eaten 30 mins before anything else. 

3) No Dairy with food with the exception of Ghee. 

4) Gluten Free. 

5) Ayurvedic Spices but no Chili. 

6) No Nightshades i.e. Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplant etc. 

7) No Raw Foods

Article

Santa Fe New Mexican


Ayurvedic pop-up B-Zen cafe seeks to elevate your elements, over dinner          


By Tantri Wija | For The New Mexican

Jan 30, 2018

                       

Bina Tompkins, owner of the restaurant B-Zen, arranges bottles of wine for customers to review on Friday January 26, 2018. B-Zen opens Friday evenings in Chocolate Maven and specializes in ayurvedic cuisine. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexica


Bina Thompkins, owner and chef of the pop-up restaurant B-Zen Cafe, holds her daughter, Mira Thompkins, 4, in the kitchen before Friday night’s dinner rush. Photos by Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican


Bina Thompkins says her chicken curry served with rice and vegetables is her number one seller.


An order of freshly made Vegan Pakora at the pop up restaurant B-Zen on Friday January 26, 2018. B-Zen opens Friday evenings in Chocolate Maven and specializes in ayurvedic cuisine. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexica


B-Zen Cafe’s butternut squash soup is vegan and organic. Everything on the menu is organic and gluten-free, and much of it is vegan.


       The last place you’d think to find a haven of ayurvedic, body-balancing cuisine is in one of Santa Fe’s most decadent bakeries, but pop-up restaurants make for strange mistresses sometimes. B-Zen Cafe, Santa Fe’s newest ayurvedic food concept, has been running as a pop-up out of Chocolate Maven for the past four Fridays, serving up cuisine billed as being “medicine, not a vice” among the cases of cakes and pies.


The “B” in B-Zen cafe is for owner and chef Bina Thompkins. Thompkins is a Hindu from the region of Sindh, Pakistan (formerly India).


“I was brought up in a really orthodox ayurvedic family,” Thompkins says. Ayurveda, basically, is a system of medicine (a broad term, since it encompasses diet, astrology and religion) originating in India. Pertinent to diet particularly is the idea that people’s bodies are composed of varying doshas (elements): pitta (fire), kapha (water) and vata (air), and that maintaining good health means keeping these doshas in balance using, among other things, the proper foods.


“We believe in balancing our bodies and our lives,” she says. “If you keep those three balanced, there will be no disease.”

Thompkins takes a multidisciplinary approach to her food, blending both science and the principles of ayurveda into her recipes.

“Science is where I come from,” Thompkins says, “and the kitchen is my laboratory. In my food, I have put a lot of science and a lot of thought. … I’ve researched cancer and every element of what goes into nutrition, and read and studied Ayurveda throughout.”

Thompkins was sent to boarding school in England at the age of 11, then attended Imperial College London for a master’s degree in environmental engineering

You can ask Thompkins for your ayurvedic body composition when you come in, if you want to optimize your eating experience.


“When people come in, I can tell straightaway if they’re pitta, vata or kapha based on what they look like or their energies,” she says. “Some people come and ask. A lot of people already know.”

Thompkins is also an ayurvedic astrologer, through her business, Astrology Santa Fe. (She is also a paralegal for her husband, because everyone in Santa Fe must have at least three jobs.)

“I look at your chart and how the planets are aligned in terms of your health, also utilize ayurvedic herbs to help balance your three doshas,” she says.


“I’m a natural healer,” she says. “The best way for me to heal people fast is through food.”

B-Zen’s menu comprises roughly four appetizers, four main courses, four desserts and four drinks on any given Friday. The menu changes frequently, and the recipes come from Thompkin’s family.

“You’re taught ayurvedic food from your grandparents,” she says. “It’s what my grandmother taught me. They’re recipes passed down through families.”


While you can select your foods on principles of the doshas, Thompkins has tried to keep the menu more general so that people can order whatever they want.


“One dish is really for all the doshas, and one is for each of the doshas that will benefit people with that imbalance,” she says. “Vata people can eat meats and it’s OK. Kapha people shouldn’t eat any meat; it should be all plant-based. Pitta, some meats, not all.”


The appetizer list begins with kitcheree, which Thompkins calls the “mother of all ayurvedic cuisine,” a high-protein porridge made of rice and daal (lentils) that she says is good for all three doshas. You can also try the vegan organic butternut squash soup (everything on the menu is organic and gluten-free and much, though not all of it, is vegan), the vegan pakoras (“Indian tempura,” as Thompkins puts it, battered with garbanzo flour, served with a beet sauce), or idli sambar — steamed, fermented rice cakes with lentils that take three days to prepare. Or try all four: Thompkins offers mixed platters of all the courses, in case you want to “taste the rainbow.”


Main courses may include a vegan daal dinner with rice and vegetables and vegan saag paneer (a spinach dish) in which the usual cheese-based paneer is replaced with tofu. There also are meat options, like chicken curry served with rice and vegetables (according to Thompkins, her number one seller), and a steak dinner served with seasonal vegetables.

“I do a proper steak,” Thompkins says. “I get organic steak. I only serve four ounces, and I get complaints about that, but it comes with rice and vegetables. … At night, if you have more than four ounces of meat, you can’t digest that.”

There are a number of foods you won’t find on the menu. Ayurveda specifically prohibits the consumption of plants in the nightshade family, which include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and chile. Thompkins avoids them all.

“Nightshades contain a chemical in them that is poison,” Thompkins says, who has very strong feelings about such foods. “It turns into cancer. Our bodies cannot digest it.”

You also won’t find fruit anywhere on the menu. According to Thompkins, fruit does not belong at dinner.

“Fruit, when mixed with food, becomes poisonous as well,” Thompkins says. “It mixes with the acid in the food.”

She does, however, state on the menu that ideally, dessert is to be eaten first.

“It’s really simple. Your brain gets a message when you eat something to release insulin to digest your food. The release of insulin can only happen once, it can’t happen throughout. So if you eat dessert first, there’s enough insulin released to digest your meal.”

At B-Zen, you can choose between desserts like rice pudding made with coconut cream and sweetened with coconut sugar, gajar ka halwa (a kind of carrot dessert), vegan chocolate cake made with almond flour and sweetened with honey, or mohanthal (an Indian dessert made with garbanzo bean flour and ghee) with vegan kulfi (a kind of ice cream made with coconut milk). But even if you don’t want your sweets first, Thompkins has you covered.

“Everybody who walks into my restaurant gets a little piece of mohanthal, which is a recipe from my great-grandmother,” she says. “It’s really high in protein and ghee, and I put coconut sugar in it, which has a really low glycemic index. … In case they don’t order dessert first, there’s enough there to kick in the insulin.”

Finally, drinks include vegan chai, honey and ginger iced tea, a rose milkshake made with coconut milk and Thompkins’ own “CCF tea” (coriander, cumin and fennel) that serves, she says, as a postmeal digestive.

Most of the food at the B-Zen pop-up is dairy-free except for ghee (clarified butter). According to Thompkins, it is difficult for the body to digest dairy after dark. But Thompkins hopes to open a brick-and-mortar spot soon, where she’ll serve breakfast and lunch, which will include dairy.

In the meantime, you can join her for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday at Chocolate Maven; reservations are highly recommended. And in case you want to balance your doshas with your beloved, she’s doing a whole menu for Valentine’s Day that’s all aphrodisiac foods — there’s a whole section in the Kama Sutra about food, after all.

IF YOU GO

What: B-Zen cafe pop-up restaurant

Where: Currently operating out of Chocolate Maven, 821 W. San Mateo Road.

When: 5 to 9 p.m every Friday

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Reservations