Tuesday, December 11

Food: Vanilla Black Click for more info

Some restaurants are more about the experience than the food. Some may describe this as pretentious, but I think it's fair enough provided you know what you enjoy about eating out.

Take Vanilla Black for instance. Even the name oozes class. The fact that it's a fancy vegetarian restaurant adds to the certain sense of elitism that hangs about the place. And fancy it definitely is - I have to admit I was a little amused when the first thing I was asked was what name the booking I didn't make was under, particularly since the place was empty when we got there.

My other eyebrow was raised when presented with the menu. Perhaps my understanding of a la carte is wrong (very possible) but a fixed price for 2-3 courses is anything but. That's okay though - I don't actually mind set menus when they're genuine options, but what was weird was how there was no other choice of how to order. What was even cheekier was how they gave the dessert menu as a possible course after we had picked our starters and mains.

But apart from these "logistical" issues I thought Vanilla Black was pretty good. The food was decent enough - although I do think I may have picked the wrong things for myself on the whole there were some weird and wonderful tastes and textures hitting our taste buds. The place was clean cut and roomy and decorated in a classic but sophisticated style, more state homely than otherwise and the service was top notch.

Which brings us to the damage. At thirty quid per head for the two courses (we stuck to tap water), I thought it was way too expensive for what it was, and I've eaten better vegetarian for much less in many other places. Essentially, it really wasn't worth it.

So yes, a really nice place and one I would recommend for a very special occasion purely for the experience; and yet not somewhere I see myself going back to any time soon.