Since opening in the mid 80’s, Mildred’s consistently rates as a London vegetarian institution. But for some reason, I’d never been. When I wrote up a list of my top London Vegetarian haunts, I decided it was time to rectify that.
Somewhat annoyingly, this is one of those no reservation affairs. Luckily they’ll serve you up a cocktail while you wait for a table. Like the pornstar Martini pictured above. Steeped in passion fruit, with a side of prosecco. Lush.
There is no doubt this place is still doing well, 30 years on. At 7pm on a Friday we had a 45 minute wait. But the cocktails helped. Once seated, the service was super slick. The dining space is bright, bustling, bistro feel.
I always find it a lovely experience when the menu arrives at a Vegetarian restaurant, so many choices without having to even think about whether meat might be lurking, or that you’ll end up with goats cheese tart, again. The menu is great: inventive, vibrant. There’s a middle eastern, north African influence, but then East Asian and veg takes on Anglo too. It’s truly international.
We were tempted by the sharing plates for starters, but instead opted for two individual dishes to share.
The Gyoza was slightly underwhelming, it might have been my recent Italian artichoke experimentation, but I found the Artichoke Crostini quite delicious. The lemon aioli stunning.
I found rumours of unfriendly staff unfounded. We were more than indulged by the staff who rushed out hot plates with smiles, maintaining the right level of attentiveness, despite the the hectic crowd.
Our mains arrived.
The Aubergine Tagine was well balanced. The juicy, massive green olives enlivened the Tagine itself, which otherwise was fairly simple. I was hoping for a touch of cinnamon, which if present I couldn’t detect. The cous cous was fab, peppered with apricot, pickled lemon and flaked almonds, it turned the dish around.
The star of the show. This rich, nutty curry was bountiful. A creamy, soupy sauce, chunks of sweet potato perfectly al dente, and plenty of nutty garnish. Top marks.
We were pretty full after that lot. But a scan of the desert menu revealed a treat that couldn’t be missed.
We paid £45 each for 2.5 courses, wine and cocktails. It may have been overdue, but certainly worth braving the queue.
Mildred’s Soho, More than worth the wait
45 Lexington Street, Soho, London W1F 9AN
Phone: 020 7494 1634
Reviewer: Jared April 26, 2014