Vanilla Black In London is the kind of restaurant that gives vegetarian food a good name, no not a bad one, but a good one! It’s an upmarket treat- its a bargain lunch- it’s incredibly enjoyable. Its a Vegetarian Restaurant.
Vanilla Black started life in York. It then moved to East London a few years ago. It is in
Tooks Court– the legal area- it’s smart therefore- but not too smart- it’s sophisticated and relaxed, it has a mellow tone, it’s a charming place for lunch or dinner.
My wife Ruth and I visited for lunch, the restaurant was busy on a Friday. We had been before for my birthday in January, and were in London for the day, so why not do lunch at Vanilla Black too. 🙂
The decor is white and grey, subtle, understated and with a contemporary feel.
The food is creative, beautifully made and presented, and is so very exciting! Vanilla Black appeals to veggies and non veggies alike, on our lunch time visit there were many non veggies enjoying and praising the food and the theatre of the dishes.
Why? Because its exciting, thoughtful, it shows a touch so precise, so intricate, so refined, its just good, so very good.
We settled on the three course lunch menu for £24.50. A bargain we thought! You can have two courses for £19.50 and is a good place for a lunch meeting or lunch break if you work in London.
Having been before we had sampled the style of foraged veggie food before. One of the first heaps if praise is for the fresh bread and butter that appears, beautifully fresh and sets the tone for what’s to follow.
Ruth isn’t vegetarian, but rates Vanilla Black as one of the best restaurants she has ever been to. She loves it. It ticks every box.
We both chose to begin with the intriguingly named
Brie Ice Cream and blackberries with quinoa and pickled spring onions.
It was stunning, very refreshing, with a subtle Brie flavour running through, gently iced and given that extra fruity kick by the blackberries. The presentation was beautiful, a very summery dish, beautifully crafted.
To follow we chose different dishes.
Ruth chose the Double baked Ribblesdale pudding and smoked croquettes with a poached hens egg and pineapple pickle.
She thought it looked stunning again, with a lovely combination of flavours and textures, the hens egg was beautiful, runny, and with the pudding had the right flavours to heighten the dish. It also looked a work of art.
I chose the seared seaweed and cabbage with pickled potatoes, soda bread sauce, pickled mustard seeds, and foraged seaside vegetables.
When it arrived at the table it most definitely had the wow factor, a beautiful looking dish. I had never had seaweed seared before and the flavours and textures were spellbinding! The pickled potatoes were superb. The seaweed gave the dish the right textures and the sauce and veg gave it the luxurious topping to make for a perfect dish. As a whole it was again art on a plate.
For our third course, well after food this refined and enticing it would be rude not to, we both chose the
Smoked paprika fudge, malt loaf and builders ice cream, with crispy pearcr, and smoky pear.ispy It sounded lovely.
It was, it looked beautiful again, a deceptively sweet dish on first taste turned as you took the ice crewman with the fudge into a delicately matched dish that had a lovely combination of flavours with the tea flavour of the ice cream proving to be a real joy. A lovely pudding. All the dishes matched perfectly.
The lunch menu is a superbly thoughtful menu that takes you on a taste journey. It’s such superb value for London.
The service throughout was superb. It’s informative, friendly, and attentive and never feels rushed or charming. They charm you through the dishes and guide those that are unsure as too the ingredients textures and descriptions.
Vanilla Black is so very satisfying, a restaurant that cares and a restaurant that believes that vegetarians do care about food. The chef understands ingredients and creates combinations that are works if art on a plate. The textures and flavours are memorably challenging, but do so with the charm that makes you happy, that makes you smile and compliment.
Each flavour works singularly and together, each mouthful better than the previous. By the end you get it, the dish and the ethos.
Vanilla Black do clever things with veg, elegant cooking. It’s the colours, the shapes on the plate, the construction of the dish.
Vanilla Black is for veggies, but not for veggies alone. It’s for everyone.
London and the Uk is most certainly a better place for it.
17-18 Took’s Court
Near chancery lane tube
EC 4a 1LB
020 7242 2622
e: info@ vanillablack.co.uk
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