25-27 Oxford Street, London W1D 2DW [Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road.]
It is a very exciting time for Lenny Phong and his team, as after opening his first restaurant just 12 years ago, Lenny has now launched one of the UK’s healthiest eateries on one of London’s busiest shopping streets.
Vantra and Vitao have teamed up and in their new, larger premises are serving delicious, quality, organic, raw and steamed cuisine. They pride themselves on being at the cutting edge in health and nutrition, never serving carcinogenic fried foods, refined sugar, refined white flour, animal products, wheat or gluten.
Upon arrival we were greeted by very friendly staff who led us in to the small but perfectly formed restaurant, complete with tree stump seats and handwoven upholstery. My friend ordered a fresh smoothie, which was made on the spot, and was bursting with flavour: apple, ginger and lime. With such a large selection of teas, organic spirits, wines, beers, and smoothies, cocktails and mocktails made from freshly pressed juices and superfoods, it was quite hard to pick just one! I opted for a passionflower tea, which was lovely.
We had yet another hard choice to make: between a buffet of more than 15 hot and cold dishes or selecting dishes from a very appetising and extensive à la carte menu.
In the end we were won over by the tempting aromas wafting towards us from the bountiful buffet. We filled our plates with Exotic Sprouted Chickpea Coconut Curry, Creamy Vegan Stroganoff with Shiitake Mushrooms, Spicy Kimchi Stew with Tofu and Peppers, Vegetable Biryani, Raw Seaweed Noodles in Sesame Dressing, grains and pulses and an array of vibrant salads. At Vantra buffet plates are weighed, and our two plates came to £16.00. If your arrive before 6pm you can take advantage of a special offer of £5 for a box filled with items from the buffet. We really enjoyed the flavours and the variety of the buffet.
Branded as ‘guilt-free’, we knew we had to try their desserts, which are also full of super foods. We ordered one slice of mango cheesecake and one slice of chocolate ganache to share. They looked like works of art and tasted absolutely sensational. Both desserts were very light, the mango was subtle in flavour, whilst the chocolate one was rich and creamy. The chocolate ganache was one of the best desserts I have ever tasted – you’d never guess it was vegan.
Dinner for two with non-alcoholic drinks at this inviting and intimate restaurant came to £35.
Review by Lara Smallman