I had the best vegan curry I’ve ever tasted at an award-winning restaurant in East Dulwich.

Trinco in Oru Space in East Dulwich was named winner of the Best Café award at the Good Food Awards 2024, in a neighbourhood that was recently ranked as one of the best neighbourhoods to live in the UK.

Dulwich was recently named by blogger Muddy Stilettos as one of the top places to live in the UK and was one of the only south London neighbourhoods to make the list.

News Shopper: Oru SpaceOru Space (Image: Oru Space)

The site features a co-working space open during the week, along with wellbeing classes, and a daytime café which turns into a restaurant serving Tamil Sri Lankan cuisine and cocktails during the evening.

It offers a relaxed, plant-filled hub with a daytime menu that “transforms” into a warmly-lit intimate setting at night with an evening menu.

The kitchen, led by chef Izabela Kobylarz and Maya Berthou, features a “plant-rich menu” focusing on flavour and colour.

I was recently invited to try out their evening menu with a friend, and having never tried much in the way of vegan curry dishes I was keen to give it a go.

News Shopper: Enjoying a Coconut MargaritaEnjoying a Coconut Margarita (Image: Emily Davison)

I would describe the restaurant as laid back, casual and very well suited for people looking for a place serving nutritious foods that don’t compromise on flavour.

To begin with we were welcomed with a delicious oat milk Chai drink made with aromatic spices, and having never had chai before I can absolutely attest that it would be something I’d drink on a regular basis.

The restaurant also offers a menu of wines, spirits, cocktails and mocktails to try, and after asking for the most popular cocktail on the menu we were recommended the Coconut Margarita.

The drink is a take on a classic Margarita with a twist, served with tequila, coconut liquor, coconut milk, coconut syrup and lime juice, all topped with a pinch of salt and coconut flakes.

The drink was very creamy and sweet and went well against the sharpness of the lime and tequila, and it would be a drink I’d order again.

News Shopper: Coconut MargaritaCoconut Margarita (Image: Emily Davison)

For starters we ordered the cheese and spinach rolls, a family invention which are served with a pineapple, apple and mango mayo, along with some fried cauliflower florets served with tamarind ketchup and spring onions.

Both dishes were very flavourful, the cheese went so well against the tangy flavours of the apple and pineapple, and the cauliflower florets were crunchy and had a delicious seasoning.

News Shopper: Cheese and spinach rollsCheese and spinach rolls (Image: Emily Davison)

For mains we both ended up trying the recommended plates, which are made up of a range of smaller dishes.

Our server recommended we pick a base dish, two curries and two sides along with some dishes that come as part of the platter.

For my plate I opted for the tempura curry along with the jackfruit curry, as well as a simple basmati rice dish and the cucumber sambol.

The dish also came with some delicious banana chips and an additional side, I was incredibly surprised at the sheer amount of food there was.

When we were presented with two large platters with a range of appetising dishes I let out an audible gasp.

Doing it this way with the smaller dishes made it a great way to try so many combinations of flavours I’d never tried before.

News Shopper: We tried a range of appetising dishes for the mainsWe tried a range of appetising dishes for the mains (Image: Emily Davison)

The jackfruit curry really pleasantly surprised me, the sauce was rich and creamy with some aromatic spices, and the cuts of jackfruit really reminded me of the texture of chicken.

The tempura curry had more of a shredded texture and put me in mind of a lamb curry, with the way the dish just melted in your mouth.

There were so many flavours going on, from the spices to the cooling taste of the cucumber sambol to the tangy crunch of the sides.

Moving onto desserts, I was absolutely stuffed but determined to try one, and I ended up trying their chocolate tarte served with a blood orange sauce.

My friend tried the Trinco sundae served with vanilla ice cream, brownie pieces, kithul toffee syrup and caramelised peanuts.

The tarte was delicious and had a crunchy base, and the blood orange sauce combined with the rich dark chocolate went so well together.

If I had to describe this dessert, I’d call it an “indulgent vegan version of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange”, it was simply delicious.

News Shopper: Chocolate tarteChocolate tarte (Image: Emily Davison)

All in all, I think this place is a true gem for vegans and plant-based diners in south east London. The food was absolutely delicious and it was clear to see that a lot of passion has gone into the restaurant.

It was a place that had me wanting to return again very soon.