"Delightful, highly inspiring vegetarian menu"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
My vegetarian friends have clearly influenced my eating habits. Years of tailoring my cooking for them and dining out together have meant that I will frequently choose the veggie option, if only because I have learnt that wonderful concoctions can be created with vegetables alone, and I don’t mean attempting to re-create the taste or look of meat.
Mildreds is a fine example of the endless options available to vegetarians and vegans, and I would recommend a quick peruse of the menu for ideas to anyone stuck in a veggie-mince rut.
This cute little restaurant sits comfortably on Lexington Street where it manages to draw in the crowds of an evening. The décor is grown up and elegant and the waiters are helpful and chatty. Despite how busy they were on this particularly balmy Friday night, within five minutes we were avidly reading the menu which helpfully points out the vegan, wheat free and gluten free dishes.
We shared three starters (all £5.50 each) between the four of us: moreish gyoza dumplings with mirin sauce, hummus and babaganoush with chilli oil and chargrilled flatbread, and unusually large chargrilled marinated artichoke hearts with a delicious lemon aioli. The latter in particular was divine, the lemon aioli a treat for the palate.
The mains were equally interesting. The burger of the day (£7.90) was made with carrots and beans, accompanied by fruit relish and basil mayo, and served with rocket salad and the option of regular or sweet potato fries, which I would highly recommend if you’re a fan of this variety. The mixed mushroom, porcini and ale pie (£9.25) was extremely rich, perhaps a little less mushroom would have been better as the focus seemed to be on trying to get the taste as similar to a regular pie as possible rather than highlighting the delicate flavours of the porcini mushrooms within the pastry.
The triumphant dish however consisted of sausages made with sundried tomato, tarragon and kidney beans, with a side of celeriac mash, red cabbage and a red wine gravy (£9.25). These are possibly the best vegetarian sausages I have ever tried. Rather than emulate standard meat sausages they’ve given them a flavour of their own which fuses perfectly with the mash, cabbage and gravy. It was also a very filling – albeit healthy – meal, as heart-warming as traditional sausages and mash, but brought bang up to date.
The pudding menu was so appealing we made the mistake of ordering a dessert each despite already feeling abundantly fed, something I deeply regretted on my way home when I thought I would burst out of my skirt. What’s a girl to do however when you’re presented with delights such as orange panacotta with prunes, Armagnac and madeleines (£4.95). I find that quite often panacotta is served with a taste akin to milk curd or yoghurt, but Mildreds was rich without being overbearing, with just a little sweetness so as to blend in well with the accompanying fruit.
The fruit crumble with rhubarb (£4.95) was pleasant enough but average in comparison to the panacotta; however the tofu coconut cheesecake (£4.95) fared better. Tasting as good if not better than the real thing, the caramelised banana added a delicious touch to this adventurous dessert. The vegan chocolate and raspberry truffle torte (£4.95) was also very tasty; those sceptical of veganism would leave their prejudice behind after the first mouthful.
Delightful, so much in fact that the exquisiteness of certain dishes made others (despite also being very good) pale in comparison. Mildreds also has a takeaway operation and eat-in café a few doors down called Mrs Marengo’s which is next on my list of things to do.
Leila reviewed Mildred's on Tue 02 Jun 2009