Post details: Vanilla Black

04/04/07

Permalink 09:38:24 am, Categories: Food, Review, 409 words   English (UK)

Vanilla Black

The second time I went to Vanilla Black I knew what to expect. Potentially this leaves room for disappointment, but there was no disappointment to be found.

I'm not a vegetarian, and sometimes I struggle to be enthusiastic about vegetarian dishes. Looking at the menu I thought that there was nothing on there I really fancied. The best option for the main course was almost but not quite the same dish that I had last time. I plumped for some stuff that I thought I could bear.

The truth is that this meat-eating savoury thing is just in my head. There were five of us, we each chose something different, and we all tasted each others food. Everything was gorgeous. I could have had anything from the menu and liked it. The choices I did make were probably the best choices for me that night, but on another night I would have had something different.

To put it bluntly, this place does stuff with vegetarian food that Cranks can only dream of. They have a Michelin recommendation and they fully deserve it.

I had a deconstructed lentil dhal to start. Even having tasted it, I can't say that it sounds inspiring (the menu does go into a little more detail than just the title). Lentil dhal is probably one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of a vegetarian restaurant, but this was incredible. The deconstructed part just means that they cooked everything separately and then put it all on the plate at the end. (Does that sound lazy to you; It's not, it's inspired.)

My main was a crispy vegetable 'lasagne' a rich and sweet tomato and onion relish bound together an aubergine and cucumber filling sandwiched between layers of something that was a cross between a flour pancake and a rosti. It was all topped with a good ball of shepherd's purse cheese, rather like a fresh mozzarella.

Conveniently there were five dishes on the desert menu, so we just ordered one of each. I got mostly a belgian chocolate pudding with white chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. By far the least inspired choice on the menu, but it was just what I was in the mood for. Everyone else got something much more interesting and again everything was delicious.

The atmosphere is quiet, informal and the service attentive but not fussy.

so far this place is 2 for 2. Keep up the good work.

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