All Reviews by margypargy
124 Drummond Street, London, UK, North West London, England
Best Veggie Curry Buffet in London
I've been frequenting Drummond Street restaurants for over 20 years (Diwana, Ravi Shankar too) but Chutneys is still my favourite. It's the most comfortable of the 3 veggie restaurants on the street and there are loads of vegan options on the buffet including one or two starters, three or four mains, at least one dhal and half a dozen or more really interesting salads. The vegan dessert is only fruit but I never have any room for that anyway! Their chutneys are fab, especially the garlic one and the coriander one. The food is fresh, properly spicy and the dishes on offer are different every time. They continue to evolve - the salads were added four or five years ago, presumably to keep regulars interested. I love this place! London would be way poorer for vegans without it.
11 Islington High St, North London, England
Mock meats and a lot of salt
I used to love this place but last time I went the food was really, really salty. It's part of a chain of vegan Thai buffet restaurants around London whose menu is based heavily around mock meats. There are usually eight or ten hot and cold dishes plus starters on the buffet, including mains of satay 'beef', sweet and sour 'chicken', noodles, fried mushrooms, a tofu dish and mock prawns; and starters of 'prawn' crackers, seaweed and veggie spring rolls. I have always enjoyed the chewiness of the mock meats because as a vegan you miss out on this. The flavours are sometimes a bit unusual but that's been ok. But recently I had one very salty meal which made me feel quite ill and made me question whether they use either just a lot of salt or a lot of MSG. I also saw on another website that despite claims of being 100% vegan they weren't (the boiled sweets for example).
The food is cheap (about six quid) but they always add an automatic service charge, which seems a bit odd as it's a help yourself deal. The drinks also add a bit on and the bill normally racks up to £18 for two, which doesn't seem quite as cheap as you thought it would be.
250 Camden High St, Camden, North West London, England
Tiramisu I miss you!
Go here, eat Tiramisu!!! Honestly, it's the most amazing pudding and you must try it before you die. If you do nothing else. Why isn't the whole world vegan?
7 Tower Buildings, Leicester Street, Southport, England
Bit pricey but owners are friendly
We ate here just after it had opened and they tried hard. We're both vegans and were a bit disappointed by the choice - mainly because there were NO vegan puddings on the buffet (and three fab looking ones for the veggies - including profiteroles - just to rub it in!) There was a buffet and we had a choice of 4 or 5 one-pot dishes, which were all quite tasty. We weren't keen on the 'nan's front room' decor and felt they should have gone for a cleaner, modern style (it being 2010 and not 1980). The wierdest aspect of the evening was having to go through the kitchen, ducking under the serving hatch, to get to the toilet. The staff seemed surprised when we asked to go, which was a bit odd. Unless their regulars are catheterised, what doe they expect you to do! On the up side the owner was really friendly and clearly wanted us to enjoy the food. The food was fresh and flavourful and there was a large pot of hummus, which we had with everything. But it came to about £25 with a drink and we felt this was a bit pricey given the choice, location and general ambience. Marg and Karen
76 Clarence Road, Hackney, East London, England
Go go go Pogo!!
Love this place! It's definitely quirky: one time we went and they had no glasses or cutlery and we had to wait for the dishwasher to finish. The friend we'd taken thought this was very funny and we still talk about it now. The food is 100% vegan and it's of the hearty, satisfying variety. It's made by vegans who understand the need for a full-fat burger plus all the trimmings, or a huge breakfast to soak up the excesses of the night before. Best place for a roast in London.
54 Irving Place, New York City, USA
I like this place. Our second visit this month was very similar to our first (in March 2011). The menu didn't seem to have changed much. We chose the plate of 'cheeses' for a starter and the sweetcorn and cashew tamales with chilli spiced portabella for one of our mains. The other main was a bit of a mystery: when it came we couldn't remember what we'd ordered and it was so unusual that we actually couldn't recognise it! Not bad unusual, but maybe not good unusual either. Just unusual unusual. The portion size for the tamales was fine, but the other main (the unusual one) was very small and as we like to share each other's dishes this wasn't easy - we ended up with about a teaspoon each! The desserts were FANtastic - salted choc caramel tart and mexican cinnamon mousse. With hindsight we might have just come for a salad and three desserts between two! The total cost for 3 courses plus wine was $170 and I don't think we would come back for a full meal next time we come to NY, because it's expensive and the menu isn't THAT original second time around. We'll try Candle 79 next time. 7/10
152-154 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, England
100% vegan but a bit up and down
My partner and I (both vegans) have eaten here three times now and each experience has been quite different. The first time was our anniversary and we got a great corner table, champagne on ice (pre-ordered but they chose a nice one for us) and the atmosphere and service were fab. We are not great fans of the raw food thing, so we didn't really love the cold spring roll starter and I was a also bit iffy about cold 'ravioli' made from beetroot. But the 'cheese' taster plate - three flavours with home made crackers - was really innovative and felt very special. The choc ganache tart was also splendid. We paid approx £100 for the meal and felt that although portions were small and some of the dishes sound better on the menu than in reality, the quality of presentation and care taken with the food was worth paying for. And the 'cheese' course alone was worth the visit! The second time we had lunch. It was Saturday and the place was deserted. Service was surprisingly slow. We had hoped for an exciting brunch menu, which I was sure I'd seen on the website, but we ended up with a very limited choice of basically sandwiches, which weren't anything to write home about. Mine was on a boring baguette and was pretty dry. The third time we went for a birthday celebration with two (non-vegan) friends. We had raved about the place but the friends weren't hugely impressed. The hummus starter and risotto were just 'ok', the 'cheese' plate again didn't disappoint and the two puddings (choc ganache tart and a cheesecake) were gorgeous. But at the end we all felt we'd spent quite a lot for a good but not great meal. The fact that it's 100% vegan is brilliant.
230 Archway Rd, North London, England
Truly Dreadfully Awful!
This wholly veggie Indian place does home delivery. But beware! The menu looked fantastic and the reviews made it sound great. We ordered £40 worth of food for delivery, requesting vegan substitutions as necessary. First problem was the wait: ONE HOUR AND FIFTY MINUTES! After an hour and a half I phoned to find out where it was. I got a fairly dismissive response from the restaurant and some muttering about traffic. When the driver finally arrived (with our help giving directions) the food was absolutely stone cold.
It turned out to be probably the worst curry we've ever had. Seriously. All of the dishes looked like brown sludge, either a thicker or thinner sludge, but with the same weird sauce. The veg jalfrezi had no veg, except potatoes and a few tinned carrots; the channa masala was genuinely the oddest I've ever tasted - a watery brown liquid with three types of lentils (no discernible chickpeas) and some grease floating on the top; the rava onion dosa did at least look like and taste like a dosa but was so cold and soggy it was really unappetising, and it didn't have much filling; the chilli fry mushrooms (a new one on us) was mostly green peppers and onions - ok if that's what it was supposed to be - with a couple of manky mushrooms added; the potato bondas (which we usually adore) had no flavour whatsoever and were even colder than the rest of the food, suggesting they hadn't been fried properly; the bhindi bhaji was ok but again covered in brown sludge; the tarka dhal didn't seem to have been in the presence of garlic and just tasted incredibly salty; the samber had a really strange greasy flavour and nothing else. To add insult even the popadoms were stale (one bag)and the other one just soft (due to the popadoms being in the bag so long). The assortment of chutneys tasted okish, except a couple were unidentifiable and really nasty, but the portions were tiny for two. The boiled rice was fine!!
We love curry and eat it loads in our favourite veggie curry haunts around London (Drummond Street, Chapel Market, Sagar and Rasa)and we expected Sarashwathy Bavans to be in the same league. Not on your nelly. We accept the vegan thing can be a bit challenging to meat restaurants but this place is 100% vegetarian so what's their excuse. The food was simply utter, inedible crap and not worth 40 pence never mind £40. I phoned to complain and ask for my money back but I am still waiting for the manager to call back.
17 Prince Albert St, The Lanes, Brighton, England
I have eaten at FFF lots over the years and had both good and bad experiences. They took a while to catch on to the idea that vegan is a (pure) form of vegetarianism, rather than just some weirdness. So planning a trip to Brighton in December I checked out FFFs Xmas menu, only to find it has merely ONE vegan 'option' for each course, whereas dairy-eaters get THREE. So I emailed them my comments, making comparisons to Terre at Terre, which is the other main Brighton veggie restaurant and where I've also eaten a lot. There were good and bad comments in the mail and I expected a sensible response to my points. Instead I received a totally defensive, quite unpleasant email from the co-owner, Ramin Mostowfi, accusing me of trying to create bad vibes between the two restaurants and ignoring my points about vegan options altogether. I don't know what their problem is but I'm not going to be eating there again. Shame because I really liked their choc torte.
12 Park Ave, New York City, USA
Good set lunch
My partner and I came here for our last meal in New York before flying home. We needed to be able to sit in comfort for a couple of hours and fill up on good, fresh, vegan food before the horrors of the flight home! Franchia was perfect. It is comfortable and stylishly decorated and the tiered spaces add to the atmosphere. We chose the 4-course prix fixe lunch menu which consisted of soup (a nice spicy soup with shredded tofu) or salad (unremarkable but with a nice dressing); dumplings (these were probably the highlight of the meal); a choice of mains (I had pad thai which was ok and my partner had a gorgeous tofu and pumpkin dish which was a real suprise); mango sorbet. It came with a choice of tea and we really enjoyed the unlimited hot water and having your own strainer. It made it fun. As it was a farewell meal we also had a bottle of wine. The total bill was about $80 including tip, which we thought was very reasonable for the style and quality we experienced. On balance it wouldn't make me put Korean food at the top of my list of best cuisines, but I think the freshness and unusual flavours/ingredients made it a memorable experience. 8/10.
Calle Golfo 3, Seville, Sevilla, Spain
Nice food and friendly people
We had lunch here. Everything is clearly marked so we found the vegan choices easily. We opted for black beans and rice, fried yucca with garlic sauce (which was very dense but tasty), a tomato salad and artichoke salad. We were also given plenty of bread and breadsticks, in case we hadn't chosen enough food (which we had!) We had a glass of Sangria and two coffees and the bill with tip was less than $30. really liked the laid back vibe and the friendly staff.
Updated from previous review on Monday June 18, 2012
4 Erskine Rd, Primrose Hill, North West London, England
Tiramisu cheesecake - WOW!!
Went with my partner for the set Xmas menu. We got LOADS of food - probably too much. The highlight of the meal - we fought over it - was the tiramisu cheesecake. It was honestly the best vegan pud we've had anywhere. We felt the Xmas menu was a bit light on vegetables (only 3 tiny carrots and a bit of something green accompanied the main course - a very tasty en croute with a good sauce). Can't remember the starter but it was ok. A nice touch with the set menu was a plate of petit fours at the end and a free cocktail to start. It was our first visit to Manna and we'll definitely go again.
45 Lexington St, London, England
Hearty veggie food - but cramped!
Mildreds has survived over the years because it provides hearty portions of tasty veggie food. Last time I went the burger was greasy and there wasn't a decent choice of vegan pud, but on a previous occasion I had lovely noodles and a great choc/coffee cake. As others have said the service can be iffy and the restaurant is ridiculously cramped, but sitting on other people's knees has become part of the Mildred's brand by now. It wouldn't be the same if there was enough room to eat with your elbows out!
55 Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, North London, England
I adore this place. I've been coming here for over ten years and throughout that time I have never had a bad experience. the food is consistently good and the people who run it are lovely. The vegan choices are really good and though there isn't a separate menu the waiters know exactly which dishes we can have. This is one of the few curry restaurants where I can have coconut chutney (because unusually they don't put yogurt in theirs). The mysore bonda is my favourite starter. For mains we usually have 2 lentil dishes: cheera parippu and nadan parippu and a truly yummy okra dish with tomatoes. The rava onion dosa is fab and there is a choice of rice - lemon rice goes really well with the deliciously complex Keralan curry flavours. This is definitely in my top ten favourite restaurants of all time. It gets very busy so you have to book or come early. Love it! 11/10
12-14 Heddon Street, London, England
Really like this place
We're both vegan and took some non-vegan friends here. I'd emailed ahead to check there were sufficient vegan choices, including puddings (important!) and received assurances there would be. Unfortunately when we got there they only had bircher muesli (??!!*) for pud, which was a bit annoying. I notice that another lucky reviewer got cheesecake, but no such luck when we were there. However....the choice of cold vegan dishes on the buffet was great (probably 70% were vegan), hot dishes less so (probably 30%) and the food was very good quality and a nice variety of flavours. Several dishes included tofu, which was well cooked. You pay by weight of plate and we managed £27 between two of us. I can see it being problematic if they start putting the price up, as £15 per plate for a buffet feels about max for me. The positive aspect of pay per weight though is that we saw absolutely no food wasted, which has to be a good thing. The ambience is really nice - it's probably the most comfortable veggie restaurant in London - and the location ace. On balance this is probably my fave restaurant at the moment.
c/ Pastor y Landero, 0 S/N, Sevilla, Spain
A Sevillian Sweetie!
Clutching our print-out from Happy Cow we trekked across Seville in 35 degrees of heat to find this little beauty, tucked away inside a market. It was totally worth the effort!! We were amazed by the choice of cakes and breakfast goodies. The first day we chose napolitans (like pain chocolats)and donuts with pink icing. Everything was gorgeous so we went back the second day for the dame again PLUS chocolate donuts. Wow, wow, wow! And wow! Everything is freshly made and really good quality and there is a great choice. They do a range of really good looking large cakes and slices as well as the smaller items we had. There is also a fridge stocked with mayo, cheese and other vegan essentials. If we lived in Seville we would be here every week. Thank you Veganitessen for making our trip truly scrumptious xxx