Vantra - Leicester Square
Long standing Central London Vegan restaurant 'Vantra' has been serving up vegan food since the 90s. It still has an old school feel about it, the kind of vibe that vegan restaurants had before veganism became popular and it's quite refreshing to see so much home cooked, non processed vegan food.
This kind of place is rare now in the UK, which makes it certainly quite unique and special.
The restaurant is in a basement so there isn't any natural light. It's simple and unfussy, they've made some effort with plants scattered about, but in general this isn't a restaurant that prides itself on appearance, it most definitely is more about the food. Food is served buffet style and then paid for by weight. I've done this type of dining before and it has always been a pretty expensive way of eating. However, in Vantra, I had a big plate of food and it cost £7.50 which was incredibly reasonable.
Food on the buffet is presented in cauldrons, and has a wholesome feel about it.
The options change so I can't list them on here but they are all vegan, and information on each dish is listed, including whether each dish is gluten free.
This is my super wholesome, healthy looking plate. I was really aware that it was full of nutrients and not full of the processed, and I'm sure my body thanked me for it.
The jackfruit curry (bottom left) was amazing, not very spicy but highly flavoured, and with a perfectly soft texture. The chickpea curry (bottom right) was also amazing with a subtle spiced tomato flavour. The satay sauce was also pure bliss, it was tangy, creamy and went with everything! The salads were fresh and complimented the main dishes.
In total contrast I found some of the dishes really plain, the sweet potato (centre) was just mashed sweet potato and I couldn't taste any seasoning, and I felt the same about the spinach. I realise that some people will like plain but it wasn't for me.
They serve desserts and cakes but I was too full to try any, on the day we went they only had doughnuts available, but they looked delicious!
The guy that runs it was friendly, and chatty. I had a good experience here and would come back. I would just pick my dishes more carefully next time now I know what to expect from the buffet.
Taste: 5/5 for some dishes; 2/5 for others
Food Presentation: 3/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Address: 5 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6PB
Opening Hours: Monday: 1300 - 2000; Tuesday - Thursday 1200 - 2200; Friday - Saturday 1200 - 2300; Sunday 1300 - 2000
As always, these posts are based on places I've visited on www.myveganradar.com - the London Vegan Food Map, based on tube stop, and are my own opinion.