I feel like I am in constant conflict between two opposite things. On one hand I want to get rid of all the millions of things I own, keep only what I need, and live a simpler, minimalistic life. Yet on the other hand I love cute stationary, having a bunch of nice smelling candles and I have this uncontrollable urge to buy all of the gym clothes aways (like girl you have like 6 pairs of nike pro’s, you don’t need a 7th pair because it’s a slightly darker shade of grey YES YES I DO). Similarly for restaurants, I love a nice, cosy, homemade-style, vegan restaurant serving simple wholesome dishes, yet there’s something so nice about getting dressed up and going to some fancy-pants gastronomic restaurant where the dishes are really just a list of like 6 different ingredients that must have picked out of a hat or something cuz like who the hell comes up with: radish, coconut, lentil and seaweed baked in lemon zest topped with an avocado and cherry dressing like WHAT IS THAT (I obviously made that up but that would totally be on some gastro menu). The problem is that most of the time these gastronomic restaurants include such a strange mix of a million things that if you ask for it to be made vegan, you can be sure that the angry French chef on the other side will spit in your food. Enter: Vanilla Black! A michelin recommended, fully vegetarian gastronomic restaurant with a fully vegan menu as well. Like woah hello, combination of my favourite things? Perfect. So in order to celebrate my best friend Chloe’s birthday when I was visiting her in London (let’s ignore the fact that the celebration was 4 months late), we treated ourselves to a beautiful 3-coursed dinner at this little London gem.
The vibe of this place was cosy and comfortable yet classy and refined. The type of place you would feel fine in a fancy dress and killer heels yet get away with leggings and pair of kicks. Those are my favourite kind of places cuz I only have 2 moods: dressed like I think I’m one of the Kardashians or gym gear. There is no in between (is this post is starting to make me sound hella bipolar?!?!). In any case, after choosing from the vegan menu, they brought us a little amuse-bouche (I love it when they bring free food you didn’t even order). It was a delicious little cup of cranberry puree with ginger foam.
Speaking of free things you didn’t order, they also brought along a basket of amazing fresh, warm bread with some olive oil for me to dip and some lemon butter for Chloe. First course was watermelon, red pepper and tomato with shallot cream. It was pretty much like a watermelon tartar which sounds weird but the combination actually really worked.
My main dish (recommended by the waitress) was cornmeal, beetroot and horseradish with black garlic oil, artichokes in hay, caramelized chicory and hazelnut milk. Yup there goes that random combo of all these things where you’re like what the hell could this dish even be but aight let’s do it, bring it to me. And it was delicious. The mix just worked so well and taking a little bite with all the different parts to the dish made a whole new flavour.
Chloe’s main was seared seaweed with cabbage and pickled potatoes (and other things but if I start listing the full course name this blog post will turn into a novel and a half). Since we didn’t really know what was vegan and what wasn’t, I just tried a bite of the seared seaweed and omg yuuuum so good.
So then it was time for dessert, always the best part, especially when they have yummy vegan ones to chose from. And even more so when one of them include the heavenly combination of chocolate, peanut butter and banana (for real I have a problem. I drink a banana, chocolate, peanut butter protein shake every single day and I just cannot seem to get sick of this winner combo). This dessert came in the form of a peanut butter “cheesecake” with banana puree and cocoa bean. It was heaven for real. Only problem was that there wasn’t a full bucket of it that I could eat with a shovel. That would have been even better.
All in all, it was so nice to be able to sit down at a fancy restaurant and enjoy a long meal with my best friend, and even more so that there were actually things I could eat and that they were absolutely delicious. If you’re in looking for a nice place to go have dinner for a special occasion, no question, go Vanilla Black.