Our night at Park Chinois
The explosion of veganism has meant that restaurants are at last having to re-calibrate how they view their vegan offerings. Patrons are rightly no longer satisfied with unimaginative and frankly bland alternatives to meat and dairy.
Park Chinois was no exception. I'd be wanting to go for a while and had high hopes, having already scoped out the menu before booking.
To say I was impressed was an understatement. Sadly and all too frequently a vegan who chooses to dine in a non-vegan restaurant has the tedious task of quizzing and often bartering with the servers to produce something off the menu when there is nothing suitable. This shouldn't be as arduous as it usually is. Chefs are supposed to be creative and how hard can it be, but often it is embarrassing and a complete let down when a limp salad with some avocado garnish apologetically appears.
No such case at Park Chinois. From the get-go, the waiters were not only knowledgeable about the vegan options, as opposed to staring blankly into the middle distance, but they were also actively engaged in helping me NARROW DOWN my choices. You heard it-there was a plethora of exquisite sounding vegan concoctions to choose from.
When I finally settled on chilli and agave glazed tofu, I was not disappointed. It was vegan heaven-imaginative, beautifully creative and tasted divine. It was so good I kept thinking about it for days after!
Park Chinois is a fantastic place if you fancy a super glam night in decadent surroundings-think 1930's Shanghai with copious amounts of flowers, chandeliers and marble fireplaces. I kept expecting Indiana Jones to appear. The atmosphere is buzzy and the staff super attentive. The cocktails are pretty awesome too. I can't wait to go back.
A nice change from the laid back chill of the vegan cafes if you fancy getting dressed up xx
Blakes Hotel, Chelsea
Isn't it nice to have somewhere close to home where you can dress up or down and know you're guaranteed exceptional service and even more exceptional food?
Blakes is one of my favourites. My third time here it never fails to impress with its sultry, nonchalant elegance and best of all, it's beautifully imaginative when it comes to vegan dishes.
We had the saffron infused coconut curry with black quinoa and asparagus. It was decadent and light at the same time. The wild mushroom truffle, grilled avocado and edamame sides were ridiculously good as was the artichoke and bean salad.
The real delight and surprise were discovering the vegan tiramisu a mouthwatering concoction as inventively created as it was presented.
I cannot speak highly enough of the time and attentiveness of the hosts who put the veritable cherry on the cake by seducing us with complementary and rather extraordinary vegan truffle chocolates and petit fours.
The menu was well equipped vegetarian-wise so after a chat with the amiable manager I look forward to coming back and finding more dishes veganised!