There’s nothing blandly ‘vanilla’ about Vanilla Black – London most haute vegetarian restaurant. The interior may look as if it’s ‘yearning for some aesthetic love’, but chef/proprietor Andrew Dargue’s ‘extravagant menu’ is a world away from the usual bean-heavy veggie clichés: ash-baked celeriac with foraged sea asters is closer to his innovative style. There are ‘sparks of brilliance’ everywhere: Brie ice cream with pickled plums and mulled custard is an intriguing starter in sweet disguise, double-baked Ribblesdale pudding is ‘gorgeously rich’, and you could round off with a liquorice and goats’ cheese macaron with sour cherries. Not everything is perfectly executed (‘from the sublime to the ridiculous’, quips one reader), but Vanilla Black is an ‘innovative’ option if you’re prepared to shell out a pretty penny. Match your food with one of the reasonably priced Old World wines.
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