A Beginner’s Guide to…Yefet NW5, vegan small plates delivery


A taste of the Middle East, lovingly prepared in Kentish Town – and plant-based, too



What exactly is it? A delivery service with KT resident and Chef Yonatan Levy at the helm, whipping up plant-based meze. In more normal times, Yonatan worked in restaurants across the capital, including Parisian hotspot Frenchie. Becoming a stay-at-home dad when the pandemic hit, Yonatan’s thoughts turned to new ventures. Drawing on childhood memories, Fridays became challah baking day. Rich and soft with a slight sweetness, it’s traditionally made with eggs and is similar to brioche.

Then what? Enter Fields Beneath owner Gavin Fernback, challenging Yonatan to create an animal-free version. The result? An equally light and fluffy bread, made using aquafaba (chickpea water). With the leftover legumes, the obvious next step was to make hummus, and salads to go alongside – and so the idea for Yefet was born. Named after a colleague’s nickname for him, Yonatan prepares and cooks small plates and baked goods from his vegan-certified kitchen.

Yefet
Hell yeah: Dips. Photo: LE

I’m peckish now. We’re not surprised. Made-to-order, Yonatan’s Israeli delights are bursting with flavour, and healthy to boot. Think baked rice with cumin and bulgar, stuffed vine leaves and cabbage rolls, sfiha (eggplant and tomatoes with jalapeno, lemon and coriander), baba ganoush, caramelised onion with courgette and Urfa chilli, and Moroccan carrots.

OK, but how does it work? There’s an array of tasty picks, with your choices arriving in sealed circular containers (see main pic, above). Each has a colourful label; ingredients are clearly listed. And the cost? Individual pots will set you back between £1.50 and £10.


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Yefet
Broccoli: the right crunch. Photo: Laura Evans

But is it a faff? Not at all. With little to do other than peel the lids off, it’s dead easy as well as super-yummy. A couple of our choices need to be reheated on the hob, but only for a jiffy. So you can unpack and dive in within 10 minutes.

What do you recommend? Yonatan’s hummus and aubergine cream are the lightest dips we’ve had the pleasure of eating: period. The former has an undertone of nutty tahini; the latter a citrus zing. Textural Matbucha – juicy plum tomatoes cooked down with charred red peppers and garlic – has a pleasing thwack of spice, and smokiness from a dusting of paprika. We love the roasted jerusalem artichokes, too: earthy and a tad sweet, they’re accompanied by aioli dotted with slithers of red onion and green olive. There’s tang from a squeeze of lemon, and a herby hit from a sprinkle of oregano. Everything works in harmony; each bite is satisfying.

Yefet
Dessert: babka. Photo: LE

What else did you scoff? First-class is the tenderstem broccoli (pictured just above) with just the right amount of crunch, served with smoky romesco sauce and hazelnuts. And to round things off, it’s babka (above) for pud. Yonatan’s dairy-free rendition of the sweet, braided bread is made with coconut milk and laced with top-quality dark chocolate. Better yet, the remainder lasts us into the following week, and is a revelation toasted so the choccie melts – the ideal snack to enjoy with a cuppa.

Delivery deadline? The cut-off time to place your order is 8pm on Wednesday, with delivery Friday by Neko, a local and independent bicycle business which is zero-emission. But if you prefer, mosey along to Yonatan’s to collect in person.

Anything else we should know? Yonatan’s working on broadening his offering to include more substantial options. And you can sign up to his newsletter if you fancy some recipe inspo.

More details on Yefet and the menu here. Friday delivery is currently to the following postcodes: NW1, NW3, NW5, NW6, NW11, N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N10, N19 (expansion is coming, as well as more delivery days).

Kentishtowner ate as guests of Yefet

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