Restaurant Review – Mildreds Vegetarian Restaurant, Soho, London

Dinner at Mildreds Vegetarian Restaurant in Soho, London was an experience to say the least. Unfortunately Mildreds do not take bookings and suffice to say they are full with line-ups every Saturday night. Not sure about the rest of the evenings…. We got there around 6:45pm amongst at least another 20-30 people hanging outside & inside around the bar area, waiting for a table. Mildreds is narrow and long, so you can imagine how tight and squashed the waiting was. We were told waiting time for 4 people was up to 1 hour. We were not allowed to leave the premises and find a pub nearby to return at an appointed time. We had to stay in or just outside the premises. At a crisp 2 degrees outside, we opted inside with the loud crowd. A better solution would have been to take bookings and if the party didn’t turn up within 5 minutes then the tables should be given away. Not a rosy start to the evening…..

In any case, we waited for approximately 45minutes, where we were shown to a room upstairs with one long table. We occupied one end and another party occupied the other. It was nice and most of all quiet! The room had tall ceilings and was obviously a bedroom or lounge room converted to a dining room. Quirky and cosy. We loved it!

Service was nice and friendly as one can be with such a bustling establishment.

Food was worth the wait.

For starters we shared 2 starters ‘tostada with grilled courgette and aubergine, lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole’ for £5.90 and a plate of ‘hummous and babaganoush with chilli oil and chargrilled flat bread’ for £5.90.

For the main i had ‘sri lankan sweet potato and cashew nut curry served with yellow basmati rice with peas and tomato sambal’ for £9.95, absolutely delicious! And the others in my party had ‘burrito filled with black turtle beans, corn and red pepper topped with tomato lime salsa, guacamole, smoked cheddar and sour cream served with leaf salad’ for £10.25 and ‘burger of the day (which was halloumi) with relish, red onion, rocket and tomato, with fries and basil mayo plus monterey jack cheese with sweet potato fries for £9.10. The 4th in our party had the the same dish as i had. All pictures are below.

Would i recommend Mildreds. The answer is a most a definite yes. But my advice is to go either go for a late lunch or an early dinner. That way you can avoid the mad waiting around.

http://www.mildreds.co.uk

Excuse the pictures, they were taken with my iphone and it was pretty dark in the room.

hummous and babaganoush with chilli oil and chargrilled flat bread

tostada with grilled courgette and aubergine, lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole

sri lankan sweet potato and cashew nut curry served with yellow basmati rice with peas and tomato sambal

burrito filled with black turtle beans, corn and red pepper topped with tomato lime salsa, guacamole, smoked cheddar and sour cream served with leaf salad

burger of the day (which was halloumi) with relish, red onion, rocket and tomato, with fries and basil mayo plus monterey jack cheese with sweet potato fries

Thick & creamy, spicy chilli pumpkin soup – GF, Vegan

Thick & Creamy, spicy chilli pumpkin soup – GF, Vegan
 
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A lovely thick and creamy pumpkin soup with a mild spicy kick. You can swap the non-diary yogurt to non-diary milk.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 3 Carrots – diced into 1cm slices
  • 2 red Peppers – cut into 1cm square pieces
  • 1 Spanish onion – diced finely
  • 6 Garlic cloves – diced finely
  • 1 Leek – sliced thinely
  • 1 med-hot red chilli pepper – sliced and diced
  • 350g Butternut squash – peeled and cubed into 1cm square pieces
  • 1 Sweet potato – cubed into 1cm square pieces
  • 1kg Crown Prince pumpkin – peeled and cubed into 1cm square pieces
  • 4 Cups Vegetables stock
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp Hungarian hot paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4-6 Tbs unsweetened homemade non-diary yogurt

Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan cook the onion and leek in enough filtered water to just cover for approx 10min on low to med heat.
  2. Add the garlic and red chilli pepper, cook for a further 5 min
  3. Add the stock, the rest of the vegetables and the spices
  4. Stir to combine all
  5. Bring to boil, then simmer for 45 min on the lowest heat setting or until the pumpkin is completely soft
  6. Blend in two or more batches in a food processor, add ½ the yogurt per batch (if doing two batches)
  7. Delicious!
  8. Enjoy.

This post was submitted to ‘Sunday Night Soup Night! 1/29/2012′ @ http://easynaturalfood.com and to ‘Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; 1/31/12 ‘ @ http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com and to ‘Whole Food Wednesday’s’ @ http://www.beyondthepeel.net

Restaurant Review – Roka, Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, London W1

I’ve been unemployed ever since I sold my cafe/restaurant over a year ago. I’ve been looking for employment for the past few months and finally after what seems like years, I’ve finally been offered one! So as a celebration, my partner and I went to Roka in Charlotte Street, London. Roka offers a Japanese Robatayaki cuisine. Probably the best Japanese restaurant I’ve ever been too. The food there never disappoints. Mouth watering and delicious. Presentation is nothing but the best.

http://www.rokarestaurant.com/roka/roka.html?roka_london

We were sitting on a table that surrounds the chef area within the restaurant. This way you can watch as their cooking. The restaurant is always full no matter which day of the week you turn up. If you don’t have a reservation you sit on these tables, which to be honest I prefer to the normal seating arrangements. Our waiter was a really lovely French guy.

Suffice to say, we spoiled ourselves rotten. Take a look at what we ate!

Edemame with red miso soup with a scallop on the bottom… mmm yum!

Napa cabbage in a hot chilli dressing

Yellow fin tuna tataki with apple, mustard dressing

Sticky Teriyaki Chicken skewers

I would most definitely give ROKA a 5 star rating.

 

Coconut, Hazelnut & Chocolate balls – GF, Vegan

Coconut, Hazelnut & Chocolate balls – GF, Vegan
 
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If you like the combination of coconut, cocoa and hazelnuts, then you can’t go wrong with these yummy balls! You can substitute carob for the cocoa.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 25

Ingredients
  • 100g Almond flour
  • 150g Coconut flour
  • 10 Dates – pitted and chopped
  • 4 dried Figs – chopped
  • 15g dried Cranberries
  • 40g Hazelnuts – lightly toasted (approx 10min in the oven @ 180 degree Celsius)
  • 1 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbs Coconut palm sugar
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Spice ( see my recipe for this on my site under ‘condiments’)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla powder or seeds from one vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil
  • 3 Tbs Cocoa powder

Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients in a food processor, and process until combined into one large doughy ball
  2. Approx 1-2 minutes
  3. Using your hands, roll into small balls.
  4. If the mixture sticks to your palms, flick your palms with some filtered water
  5. Roll balls in coconut to coat if so desired
  6. These will last in the fridge in an air tight container for well over 1 month
  7. I placed mine within layers of baking paper in an air tight plastic container so they don’t stick to each other
  8. Makes between 20-30 balls, depending on how large or small you make them
  9. Enjoy!

This post was submitted to ‘ Allergy Friendly Friday 1/27/12′ @ http://www.cybelepascal.com/?p=4048 and to ‘Fat Tuesday: January 31, 2012′ @ http://realfoodforager.com and to ‘Traditional Tuesdays – Nutritious and Delicious! ~ January 31, 2011′ @ http://wholenewmom.com and to ‘

Warm Vegetable Salad with Rainbow Chard, Borlotti Beans & Currants with a Cashew, miso dressing – GF & Vegan

Warm Vegetable Salad with Rainbow Chard, Borlotti Beans & Currants with a Cashew, miso dressing – GF & Vegan
 
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Sorry i have no picture with the actual dressing on the vegetables. I was looking forward to eating it so much that i forgot.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables, salad
Serves: 6

Ingredients
  • 1 Broccoli – cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Cauliflower – cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 Large Spanish onion – Stems seperated from the leaves – sliced & diced into two different bowls
  • 1 bunch of Rainbow Swiss Chard – chopped
  • 25g Currants
  • ½ can Borlotti beans – washed thoroughly
  • 2 Tbs toasted Hemp Seeds – preferably on a skillet
  • 4 – 5 stalks Spring onions – finely sliced
  • 10g Vegetable stock
  • Rock salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger – diced very finely
  • 3 garlic cloves – diced very finely
  • 75g cashew nuts – soaked for 2 hours in filtered water
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs white Miso
  • 2 Tbs Agave or Maple Syrup or Yacon Syrup
  • 2 Tbs Soy sauce
  • 1 Cup filtered water

Instructions
  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil
  2. Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower in batches, 3 minutes for each batch should be sufficient. Make sure the water is at boiling point before adding the next batch.
  3. The cauliflower and broccoli is ready to be removed when firm.
  4. Using a large slotted spoon, remove and submerge in either cold water or ice cold water to stop from further cooking
  5. Place in a large bowl
  6. Meanwhile cook the onion in enough water to just cover the onions
  7. Cook on low to med heat for approx 5min -
  8. Add the Chard stems to the onions, cook for a further 5-10min – until soft
  9. Add the Chard leaves and cook for a further 3-5 min or until chard has wilted (lid on_
  10. Combine all the vegetable ingredients in the large bowl which contains the broccoli and cauliflower
  11. Combine all the dressing ingredients in another bowl and mix well or blend
  12. Pour dressing over vegetables
  13. You’ll have to use your hands to evenly coat
  14. Taste to see if you need any seasoning – use rock salt and cracked pepper

This post was submitted to ‘Traditional Tuesdays – Nutritious and Delicious ~ January 24, 2012′ @ wholenewmom.com and to ‘Pennywise Platter Thursday 1/26′ @ http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup – GF & Vegan

Cauliflower and Spinach Soup – GF & Vegan
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
  • 1 Leek, chopped
  • 1 Lrge Spanish onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 5-8 garlic, chopped
  • 2 Cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 5 Cups of Vegetable stock OR 25g Vegetable stock powder mixed into 5 cups of water
  • 1 Tbs curry powder
  • 200g spinach leaves
  • unsweetened non-diary yogurt – optional
  • Chives chopped – garnish
  • Rock salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Instructions
  1. Fry Leek, onion and garlic in enough filtered water to evenly cover in a large saucepan. Cook on med to low heat for 5-10min or until all are translucent and limp.
  2. Add cauliflower florets, cinnamon, curry powder and vegetable stock.
  3. Bring to boil.
  4. Turn down heat to the lowest.
  5. Simmer with lid on for 40 min.
  6. Add spinach leaves and simmer for a further 5min.
  7. When cooled blend in a food processor in two or three batches.
  8. Return to saucepan, bring to boil. Turn off heat.
  9. Taste and season.
  10. Serve with chopped chives as a garnish and a dollop of non-diary yogurt

.

This post was submitted to ‘Sunday Night Soup Night! 1/22/2012′ @ http://easynaturalfood.com and to ‘Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; 1/24/12 ‘ @ http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com

DUBLIN – January 2012 – Restaurant & Cafe Reviews – KC Peaches Cafe, Farm Restaurant, Cornucopia Vegan Restaurant, Bewley’s Oriental Cafe, Fire Restaurant.

DUBLIN

Well what can i say, Dublin is definitely a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. The River Liffey divides the city into two regions of very different character. The North side being the poorest and less developed than the Southside. The distinction is quiet obvious when your there. We came across quite a few feral people on the North side. I wouldn’t want to be walking alone on the North side at night. We were staying on the South side where there were allot of beautiful shop fronts, cafes and restaurants.

The River Liffey

Lovely shop front with stained glass windows

An Irish bank, note the green post box versus the red ones we have here in the UK

We visited the Dublin Castle, expecting to see some majestic building. Unfortunately this is what we saw….  what a disappointment…

I have no idea why they painted these buildings withing the castle’s structure different colours… does look quiet tacky…

We had coffee and cake at KC Peaches, wholefoods shop and cafe. They had amazing cakes in their counter as well as food for lunch. High ceilings, wood flooring, great food! www.kcpeaches.com

We had a really yummy lunch at The Farm Restaurant. This was an organic restaurant which served deliciously tasty food.  If you visit Dublin, i definitely recommend lunch here. www.thefarmrestaurant.ie

I had a Potato & leek soup with a sweet spelt grain bread and a tomato & herb soft bread roll.

My partner had thick cut chips and spicy chicken wings. He said they were the best chicken wings he’s ever had. Succulent and tasty!

Below are some pictures of the Temple bar area, a poplular tourist area for drinking, eating and having a good time. Great little pubs littered all over the place.

This was one of the bars advertising signs sitting out front. Its literally an old door done up. Quiet creative.

Cafe en Seine has to be the most majestic bar Ive ever been in. It was so exquisitely decorated inside. A work of art that was outstanding. Below is a picture of the inside, but it doesn’t even capture 1/2 of what it’s like inside nor how big. A truly amazing piece of art, creative on so many levels. Found on Dawson Street. They also serve food. I highly recommend a visit.

We had coffee at Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street. Great service, great atmosphere. Over three stories high. Always full as you’d expect being on one of the busiest streets in Dublin city centre. I especially loved the stained glass at the back of the restaurant including all the original oil paintings littered around the walls. Opened till midnight 7 days.

When i spotted Cornucopia Restaurant, i couldnt believe my eyes! We just had to have lunch there. For those of you who dont know anything about Cornucopia, well just check out their cookbook. Full of amazing and innovative vegetarian recipes.

Amazon’s description of the cookbook:- ‘Cornucopia at Home’ contains a selection of the most popular and enduring recipes from the Cornucopia Vegetarian Wholefood Restaurant in Dublin.

At Cornucopia you go up to the counter and order, pay and pick up your food.  You can choose one of the hot dishes accompanies by two of their salads. The pack the plates. All for 12,50eu.

I had leek, squash and potato gratin with cashew cream sauce, along with a barley salad and a carrot, celeriac salad.

Pete had s vegetarian lasagne with couscous and lettuce leaves as his two salads.

Tasty and delicious!

I love my Art, and Dublin has allot to offer in this area. Dublin is littered with museums, most if not all are free entry. Below are pictures I took of ceramics, sculptures and mosaics that took my interest.

superb glazing technique and colours by ‘Rossa Potter’ from Tipperary Ireland.

What an interesting sculpture…. i can sit an look it for hours. What made the artist choose this pose out of all the others!

This mosaic mural was hidden in a car park. Spectacular colours. A range of different types of art techniques were used, casting, mosaics, ceramics, carving. I loved the mosaic sign…. made us giggle

On our last night in Dublin we decided to try a restaurant called ‘Fire’ on Dawson street. We were pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was. It was more of a fine dining restaurant. Service was immaculate, friendly but not pretentious. When I advised them of my dietary requirements, the food came out accordingly. I had no stomach cramps or anything associated with having diary allergies.

Sorry about the poor picture quality, we only had our iphones with us….. and it was quiet dark in the restaurant.

The food was perfectly presented. Except for the picture just above. I’d already moved everything around so its not as beautifully presented as the first picture.

We both had the lemon sole, me with asparagus and Pete with mash and a cream sauce.

A delicious meal.

Another winner restaurant. One I’d highly recommend.

Overall, the culinary experience we had in Dublin was excellent. That may have been because we were lucky in choosing the right places. In any case, i felt Dublin was a health conscious city.

Gingersnap cookies – GF, Vegan

Gingersnap cookies – GF, Vegan
 
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I’ve never actually made gingersnap biscuits, so I decided to slightly adapt one from one of my favourite blogs. www.glutenfreegoddess.com called ‘Gluten-Free Gingersnaps’ I made these for Christmas, and they went down light a treat. I loved them. I made them thick and thin. The thicker ones came out chewier and the thinner ones crunchier. It’s all down to preference. I made these for Christmas and they went down really well for breakfast…. cheeky i know…
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 36

Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Sorghum flour – also called Jowar flour from Indian stores
  • 1 Cup tapioca starch
  • ½ Cup almond flour
  • 1 Cup Rapadura Sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1¼ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2-3 Tbs Cup Vegan butter
  • ¼ Cup maple syrup / and or dark agave nectar
  • 4 Tbs almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

Instructions
  1. Pre heat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius
  2. In a food processor, place all the dry ingredients (You can use a mixer for this, but I don’t own one)
  3. Blend then add the butter and syrup, then add the milk one tablespoon at a time
  4. Consistency should be doughy and semi wet. Mixture should stick together. You’ll only blend for a minute or two. You may need to add more milk if necessary.
  5. Take mixture out of food processor and cut in half. Cover the non used half with a tea towel.
  6. Sprinkle some almond flour on your work bench and roll out the mixture with a rolling pin.
  7. Use your cookie cutters to cut out the shapes, and gently with a scraper pick up the cookies and place on a non stick baking tray or on baking paper.
  8. Repeat this until mixture has all been rolled out and cut.
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye as these can cook and burn pretty quickly.
  10. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling wire rack. The thinner cookies will bake quicker than the thicker ones.
  11. After these cookies have cooled you can decorate them. I didnt get time. I was making 4 desserts in one night.
  12. These cookies can be frozen or placed in an air tight container.
  13. Depending on how large your cookie cutters are, this can make 2 – 4 dozen cookies. I had large cookie cutters and managed to make 2-3 dozen.
  14. These cookies are quiet moorish. I ended up having them for breakfast right thru Christmas.
  15. Enjoy!

This post was submitted to ‘Pennywise Platter Thursday 1/19′ @ http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com and to ‘ Allergy Friendly Friday 1/20/12 @ http://www.cybelepascal.com

Moist Coconut, Pecan & Banana muffins – GF

Moist Coconut, Pecan & Banana muffins – GF
 
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This recipe was adapted by one of Elana’s recipes, called ‘Banana Walnut Muffin’ @ www.elanaspatry.com. It’s a lovely moist muffin tasting strongly of coconut. Yum! One of the few desserts i made for Christmas…..
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 18

Ingredients
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1.5 Tbs Coconut oil
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 5 dates, pitted
  • 20 drops stevia
  • 140g or 1¼ Cups Coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 25g pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 Tbs Lecithin – Optional

Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a food processor, place eggs, oil, bananas, dates and stevia. Blend until combined.
  3. Add the coconut flour, salt & baking soda. Blend.
  4. Fold in the toasted pecans
  5. Spoon mixture in muffin trays. I used the smaller size muffin trays, so my muffins where half the size of normal muffins. More like bite size pieces.
  6. At this point you can sprinkle the tops of the muffins with palm sugar to give it that extra crunch and caramelised flavour.
  7. Bake muffins for approx 20min (if full size muffins), otherwise approx 15min (if mini size muffins)
  8. Keep a close eye when baking these muffins as they cook quiet quickly.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
  10. Makes approx 18 mini muffins
  11. You can individually wrap in cling film and freeze.

This post was submitted to ‘Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; 01/17/12 ‘ @ http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com and  to ‘Fat Tuesday: January 24, 2012′ @ http://realfoodforager.com and to ‘Allergy-Free Wednesdays Blog Hop Week 1′ @ http://www.thetastyalternative.com/ and to ‘Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love #18 Friday 27th, Jan’ @ http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com and to ‘Make-ahead Monday #5 – Raising Isabella’ @ http://naturalparentingunnaturalworld.blogspot.com

Roast Cherry tomato, Chestnut, Chorizo & Cannellini Bean Salad – GF

I must apologise for missing a few days posts on my Christmas recipes…. my partner and i ended up going away to Dublin for his birthday. There’s Dublin posts to be written up… they’ll be published right after the Christmas dessert ones have been posted… so much to do… not enough time!!

Roast Cherry tomato, Chestnut, Chorizo & Cannellini Bean Salad – GF
 
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A yummy salad. Don’t be put off by the many techniques this salad requires. The end result is well worth it. You don’t have to add in the chorizo. The flavour will not be compromised because of it. I had some chorizo on hand, and thought it would suit it to a tea, which it did. I also added Parmesan cheese shavings on top. I couldn’t have any myself, but that doesn’t mean my partner couldn’t enjoy it.
Author:
Recipe type: Salads, legumes, vegetables
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 1 Red onion – chopped
  • 1 Tbs Red wine
  • 1 Tbs Apple cider
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g vacuumed packed Chestnuts – chopped
  • 3 Sundried tomatoes – finely chopped
  • 1 Courgette – sliced into ½cm pieces
  • 1.5 Chorizo (approx 20cm long sticks) – sliced
  • 1 Can cannellini beans – washed thoroughly
  • 1 bunch Parsley – chopped finely
  • 2 Sprigs Spring onions – finely chopped
  • 20 Cherry tomatoes – cut in half
  • Rock salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Dried Oregano
  • Olive oil spray
  • Parmesan shavings to garnish – Optional

Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them face up on a non-stick baking tray. Spray with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Oregano. Bake for 20 minutes then remove to cool.
  3. Meanwhile in a non-stick fry pan, fry the chorizo until crispy. Then drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
  4. In a non-stick skillet, fry the courgettes turning once.
  5. In a non-stick saucepan, fry the onions and garlic in some filtered water on med heat for 5 minutes, then add the red wine and cider vinegar and reduce to half. Add the cinnamon and chestnuts and sundried tomato. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, place the cannellini beans, parsley and spring onions. Combine well. Add the onion mixture. Combine well. Add the Chorizo, courgettes and combine. Place a serving dish, and place the tomatoes on top.
  7. You can garnish with Parmesan shavings if you wish.

This post was submitted to ‘Fat Tuesday: January 17, 2012′ @ http://realfoodforager.com and to ‘Traditional Tuesdays – Nutritious and Delicious! ~ January 17, 2011′ @ http://wholenewmom.com