Mildreds (Soho): marvellous mushrooms 

My week in London has been split half-and-half between fun time and work; Friday and Saturday were spent in St Albans celebrating the bday of one of the sweetest girls I know (with a wee jaunt to Ministry of Sound in a stretch Hummer!), and since I arrived back in the city it’s been a melange of site visits and shows with my boss. As he is a vegan as well, we’ve been having business lunches sampling some of the finest London has to offer in meat-free delights.

Today we decided to try Mildreds (45 Lexington Street, Soho), a veggie/vegan restaurant not too far from where I’m staying. I’ve heard about this place before and was pretty much dying to try it out; I am an unabashed menu stalker and theirs had me almost drooling in anticipation.  This place is a bit of an urban herbivore institution around these parts, so I’ve been told.


  

My green smoothie of kale, cucumber, apple and lemon was such a pretty shade of leprechaunous green.

I went with the Vietnamese summer rolls with mango and mint and a peanut sauce, as I can rarely resist a roll or dumpling of any kind. Spring rolls in all its incarnations, pierogies, gyozas. If you can wrap it, I’ll most likely eat it.  I am a the fan of the canapé.  These summer rolls did not disappoint.  First of all, they were so fresh. I had my first taste of a “nem” in Paris as a teenager, with their dainty rice paper wrappers bursting with the crunch of summery vegetables and prawns. These wee guys were filled with the usual suspects of shredded carrots and cucumber, but also sweet mango and strips of tofu. The peanut sauce was spicy and perfect, and I’m not ashamed to admit I scraped every last drop out with my knife.

I stole a couple of my boss’s vegan gyozas with sweet chilli sauce; not your typical bottled luminous orange sauce, but a tangy-sticky-sweet soy dressing. My heart usually sinks when I see something served with “sweet chilli sauce” on a menu. The yasai gyoza were perfect and authentic, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and gently pan fried. Crispy around the edges, not overly greasy, and delicate enough I could have devoured a whole plate if he hadn’t noticed my sneaky thievery.

We both went with the vegan portobello, wild mushroom and ale pie with minted mushy peas and chips.

I am so picky about mushrooms. When I ate meat, I was never a fan of mushrooms in a pie, because I like there to still be some texture, some bite, something that reminds me I’m eating a damned mushroom and not just a lumpy part of the sauce. I don’t want my shroom to be an afterthought.

Visiting places that offer such interesting, tasty, wholesome vegan food always puts a smile on my face.  I’ve been taking full advantage of what London has to offer, and I expect I will be going home on Thursday fat and happy!

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