Some restaurants, however, are bucking the image. Sauce barorganicdiner, a basement restaurant conveniently located on the way to the funky, hippy stalls at Camden Market, is a great ambassador for the organic trade. The impression here is that both cooks and diners care about food. There is no skimping, and no solemnity, and, although there is a plethora of smoothies and juices available, it was patently obvious that no one grouped in the booths felt inhibited about indulging in the excellent organic wines and beers on offer. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that organic produce is expensive, house wine is a very reasonable (for London) pounds 9.95 a bottle. And you can really tell the difference with organic food. I've rarely had a prawn more flavourful than those in my shrimp starter.
Mother-of-godchild was a tad disappointed that the vegetables accompanying her
main course were the same char-grilled ones she'd had as a starter, but pronounced her marinaded chicken delicious. And I actually enjoyed a hamburger - tender, well-flavoured and accompanied by fat chips. The lemon cheesecake was delicious too, and though poor old godmum, obviously on a bad night (she started the evening by destroying a wall-light cover) had to send back her chocolate cake because of its nut content, she was well pleased with the organic ice-cream that replaced it. How nice: to gorge and believe it's doing you good.
Sauce barorganicdiner, 214 Camden High St, London NW1 (0171-482 0777)
Cottons 55 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 (0171-482 1096)
The Engineer 65 Gloucester Ave, London NW1 (0171-722 0950)
Wazobia 257 Royal College St, London NW1 (0171-284 1059)
Cafe Delancey 3 Delancey St, London NW1 (0171-387 1985)