45 Lexington St, London W1F 9AN
Established in 1988, Mildreds is part of the fabric of vegetarian London, and one of my favourite restaurants in the city. The first time I went to Mildreds was the day I handed in my masters dissertation, longer ago than I care to admit. I saw Simon Amstell at the next table, and had some of the best sweet potato fries I had ever eaten.
I have been to Mildreds many times since, and it is consistently excellent. The menu changes regularly, and contains many vegan and gluten-free options. All of the wine on their wine list is organic, mostly vegetarian or vegan, and with biodynamic options. They also serve organic soft drinks.
Mildreds doesn’t accept bookings, and I recognise that some people can find that annoying. Personally, I love no-bookings policies. I love the egalitarian-ness of them. Everyone gets a table, and everyone has to wait. I have never had to wait very long for a table, and waiting with one of their excellent cocktails is no hardship (their elderflower martini packs a great punch).
The last time I went was with my cousin S, a foodie from NYC with an expense account. We had an excellent meal. For starters I ordered the chargrilled Roman Style Artichoke Heart Crostini with Lemon Aioli. Their artichoke crostini is quite possibly one of the best dishes known to man. There just aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe how delicious it is. And by ‘Roman style’, they basically mean ‘Jewish style’.
For main course I had the Sri Lankan Sweet Potato and Cashew Nut Curry with Yellow Basmati Rice with Peas and Coconut Tomato Sambal. The curry was rich and well balanced, with a great kick from the sambal. For dessert, S and I shared the lemon, almond and pistachio polenta cake with pomegranate syrup and yoghurt. The cake was moist and delicious, and not too sweet.
For three courses with a shared dessert, cocktails and service, you can expect to pay around £30 per/head, completely reasonable for a central London restaurant of such quality.
Mildreds will be publishing a cookbook, which will be available in summer 2015.
Review by Miri Lewis whose blog is full of fantastic vegetarian and vegan recipes.