Last week I caught up with my friend Suzie of It’s a Stitch Up for a well overdue catch-up in London. After another failed attempt to get a table at the very popular Mildred’s we dodged the rain to Vantra in the heart of the West End, a stone’s throw from Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Vantra is on 5 Wardour street which runs right through China Town.
I stumbled upon Vantra Loungevity in my search for healthy vegan food in London. I am completely over Seitan burgers and processed mock meats, they taste ok but I never feel good after eating them. I’ve been studying nutrition and have become more interested in raw food but that leaves me wondering how I can drop favourite dishes from my diet (basically I’m panicking about life without white potato). Vantra uses a slow water cooking technique alongside raw food to create an amazing collection of dishes.
“The first restaurant in the UK to serve gourmet live-food, we have mastered the art of preserving maximum amount of enzymes, vitamins and life force by not heating anything above 48C … Our pioneering and exclusive use of water-based cooking where temperatures do not exceed 100C means that food is broken down gently to ensure nutrient bioavailability is maintained while avoiding harmful carcinogens formed by frying baking or roasting”
The restaurant has tons of character, every nook and cranny was filled with something interesting, it is one very photogenic place. It’s hard to believe it only opened at this location last year.
There was a great selection of salads, stews, curries and raw sauces ginger oil, fermented chilli, and the fermented soybean paste. The food is self-serve and you pay-by-weight which means you can try a bit of everything.
I filled my plate and held my breath for the weigh-in: £5.80! Bargain, I was definitely having dessert.. and a tea and after hearing Suzie order a juice with lots of fresh ginger, one of those too.
The Jackfruit Curry and the Buddha’s Delight Stew were the standout savoury dishes for me and do they ever know how to cook a potato! I took advice on dessert and had the refined sugar-free,Raw Cacao Ganache. They didn’t lie when they said it was melt-in-the-mouth, I actually can’t stop thinking about it. Heavenly.
I’m going to get all emotional on you now but I have to say this was the first time I’ve eaten out and have been really aware of the time love and effort that had gone into the food and me stop and think about slowing my pace down. I’m feeling inspired! The restaurant holds lots of events including weekly gigs plus there is a fundraiser on 18th March for New Hope Animal Sanctuary.
I was very happy to be able to catch the Chef before we left, passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated to nutrition and well-being.
Finally, I can’t go without showing you some of the most impressive Kombucha scoby’s I have ever seen:
The next time you’re in London and want some vegan food therapy Vantra Loungevity is a perfect, almost-hidden sanctuary.