RESTAURANTS: Pressing matters

Juice bars are very popular these days - and not just with health nuts. Nikki Spencer reports
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The Independent Culture
Once upon a time, if you wanted to drink juice in a restaurant or cafe, the choice was pretty simple - the ubiquitous orange, or apple, or pineapple if you were lucky. More often than not, it would come out of a carton or in the really bad old days from a bottle, the contents of which bore little relationship to the named ingredient except in colour.

But in the last few years, juice - once the preserve of abstemious types and law-abiding under-18s - has grown up.

Spurred on by our quest for a healthier lifestyle and trends in other countries, particularly the USA and Australia, any new establishment worth its low-sodium salt is now offering weird and wonderful combinations, such as tomato and horseradish, and melon, lime and ginger, squeezed before your very eyes.

"People want something to give them a bit of a lift, particularly at the beginning of the day," says Julian Jenkins, executive chef at One Aldwych, who is currently creating various fresh juice combinations for the Cinnamon Bar (right), which opens in the luxury hotel in a few weeks' time.

The bar will start serving food and drink at 7am and Julian envisages that customers will call in on their way into the office.

"Recently a lot of people have invested in home juicers," he says, "but they are incredibly time-consuming and messy. Here we will save them the hassle first thing in the morning."

Over at the Aveda Institute's Love, on Weymouth Street, they cater for this market with their "Love in the Morning Powershake" with mango, strawberry, kiwi, pear, banana, yoghurt, honey and spirulina, an energising algae.

Originally, owner Kevin Gould thought that customers would use the drink as a meal replacement, but that hasn't actually been the case. "I thought people would have the juice instead of breakfast or lunch, but what a lot of customers are doing is having their full bacon and eggs or whatever and then, to make themselves feel as if they are being healthy, they are having a juice as well!"