We aren’t just carnivores here at London’s Dinest. No no, we love our vegetarians too. Miss Herbie (our resident vegetarian) has made us all appreciate the wonders of vegetarian food and how it can be just as exciting as its meat counterpart. To prove this she took the London Dinest’s team to visit a critically acclaimed vegetarian-only restaurant; Vanilla Black.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly hostess who took our coats and let us choose a table to sit at. We chose a quiet table in the corner of the bustling restaurant. The décor of the dining room is intimate, with dim lighting and vintage mirrors and paintings hanging on the walls.
Once seated we ordered drinks, Kir Royales and beers all round. The menu is impressive, it reads like something out of Alice in Wonderland. Each option sounded better than the previous that we were spoilt for choice! Once we ordered, a waitress brought over an amuse bouche of strawberry mousse with a black pepper foam. It was divine and a great way to cleanse our palettes.
Shortly this was followed by warm bread and butter. The two types of bread, one a fruit loaf, the other a wholemeal, were both baked on site and were lovely and light.
First courses included Whipped Jacket Potato with fried shallots, tomato purée and Wensleydale cheese. This was a bowl of warm, inviting deliciousness and each mouthful was a taste sensation. The potato was light as foam, and the cheese added the right amount of flavour without making the dish too dense. The fried shallots were the icing on the cake (excuse the food pun!), finishing off the dish with a deep, rich earthy flavour. The next option we tried was the brie ice cream just due to its intriguing nature. All in all it was really interesting! Quite rich but still delectable. It probably needed more of its hazelnut brittle as an accompaniment however experimenting with food is the reason we’re here!
For the second course we had Mushroom Mousse with Rosemary scones, mushy peas and Fennel and we loved every morsel of it! The mousse was, again, earthy and rich, the scones were light and fluffy. The Fennel also worked really well with the peas and mushroom. Next to arrive was the double backed ribblesdale pudding with a smoked croquette and poached hens egg. The soufflé-like pudding was beautiful: in looks and taste. The cheese was not over-powering and worked with the smokey taste of the potato.
For dessert the milk chocolate with avocado ice cream and roasted apple sorbet with somerset brandy cream were the stand out choices on the menu and both were great ways to end the meal. The avocado ice cream was the surprise of the evening as it worked so well with the chocolate.
The meal was accompanied by a bottle of Viognier reserve which was also delicious and comes highly recommended from the team here at London’s Dinest.
Overall the evening was lovely. All the food was inventive, and the elements on each of our plates worked well together. Let’s not be shy here, we would love to go again and try some of the other dishes so we tip our hat to Vanilla Black for an amazing evening! Dress nice and be prepared to be enveloped in an evening of vegetarian deliciousness.
17- 18 Tooks Court, London, EC4A 1LB