View Full Version : Vegan London, part 1

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Jul 31st, 2006, 10:24 PM
Me and Miss. RachelJune dined at the Mantras in Soho, London. Its a small cosy restaurant on Dean Street. The restaurant boasts of a versatile menu. Although the menu lists some traditional Indian dishes, this place is also known for recipies that are a blend of east and west. The dishes are creative and fully vegetarian.

If you are going to Mantras, opt for the basement (non-smoking). The athmosphere is relaxed with decent decors. A perfect setting for a private party or a romantic evening under dim lights. The basement area is not open until 5. But the staff were very cooperative and granted our request to be seated in the basement at 2.30 PM.

So what did we have? Its got to be heavy with Rachel and myself being fond of eating huge portions and that too quickly. For starters it was 2 mixed bhajias platter, 1 set of samosas. The main course was Chappatis, Allo/Palak Curry, Okra Curry, Jeera Rice.

Website : http://www.mantrasoho.com/

Fully satisfied with service, quality of food and ambience. :) We have decided to go back again when we are in London.

Aug 1st, 2006, 01:08 AM
That place looks very nice. I think we'll have to have a meetup there once the evenings get colder.

Aug 1st, 2006, 04:59 PM
I think I've been to Mantras too... the starter we must have had some sort of platter or something because there was a selection of things, and it was HEAVENLY!! although the mains blew our heads off they were so spicy and in the end we couldn't eat them (but were full up anyway on the starters) and so wasted a load of money. I would definately go again for the starters though! :)

*edited to add: Oh I just looked back in this thread and I did a HUGE post after being at Mantra... so, nevermind! lol :) *

Aug 1st, 2006, 10:22 PM
Walked past Mantra today and noticed it for the first time! Had already filled up on tea and cake with coconut cream at VitaOrganic (and had a take away box of their yummy savoury food for later) so didn't go in this time. So many great places to eat in that area aren't there. :cool:

Aug 8th, 2006, 10:18 AM
we were in London town on Sunday and Monday... started off with a late lunch on Sunday from Chi in St Martins Lane, had dinner at Eat & Two Veg, which was ok, but I always have the burger and I think I might be a little over it. One of the waitresses was nice but the other one serving us was a bit sour. I think I'd rather arrange to travel out to try some of the non-central places now instead of bothering going there again.

Then on Monday, my breakfast was a sos roll and vanilla alpro carton (the little one) from Holland & Barrett down the side of Charing Cross station (we were staying at the thistle), we didn't have enough time to find something proper for b/fast! And by the way, does anyone else find that the vanilla alpro tastes like egg custard??? :(

Anyway, lunch was from a small health food/hot food & sandwiches shop at 11 Warren St, right near Warren St station. Have any of you guys been there? They had quite a few vegan sandwiches, I had a vegan blt, there were also tofu, lentil, and hommus type ones, and some indian style food too, and a little salad bar although I only had a quick look at that and I didn't think it was labeled that well, it was labelled but I don't think the food was in the same order as the list? But there were lots of nice drinks to choose from, and the people running it were really nice. There were just a couple of chairs and tables outside. I'd definately reccomend it if you are up that way and want something other than a hummous sandwich (or than going into a chain coffee shop if you are that way un-inclined!).

Then we walked down to Planet Organic to get a few bits (I always manage to shock myself when I'm at the checkout, how much it all costs!!), then tubed to Covent Garden (it's walkable but my feet were KILLING me!! :( ), went to lush for a few bits, then was dissapointed the massage people weren't at the market (it was bloody antiques! blahh!!), then went home.

I really want to try Pogo sometime, but I need to work out how to get there - it's near a BR station but where do you go from to get to it?? I couldn't work that out on my mini A-Z!! And one day we'll stay over but somewhere near 222 so we can do the Sunday breakfast there! And I want to try Peking Palace sometime too. And someone mentioned cakes in VitaOrganic!! I thought they only had hardcore healthy stuff??!

Aug 8th, 2006, 11:22 AM
wish i could afford to go out for all these meals, havnt even been to the new vegan caf in Bristol yet but am definaetly gonna get there one day soon!!

Aug 8th, 2006, 11:33 AM
So many great places to try!
Mildreds, Mana, Green Note, 222VeggieVegan!
Vita Organics & Beatroot for cheap and nice but healthy food and fab cakes! You'll have to post ahead of your next trip and we can suggest where to try out next!

Pogo is quite a trek if you aren't up that way - I get a bus from Highbury and Islington tube, takes about 20 minutes. Best to check they are open as I went once and found them closed early! It would be good to go when they have an event on as the atmoshpere is great, if you can be flexible about planning your trip around that!

In my opinion the best of the vegan thai 'eat as much as you like' buffets are Sasa at 6 Greek Street in Soho (a few doors along from Tai - pop in or look through the window and see which one you think you will prefer! I like some vegetable and tofu dishes, some have mainly mock meat so that influences my choice of favourites). Also Tai on the Euston Road has a good selection, that is quite close to Planet Organic.
Some are very small with limited choices compared to others - which are bigger but not too far off the beaten track!

Aug 8th, 2006, 11:13 PM
222 was well worth a visit on my last trip to London - took me a treck on the tube and a walk to find it but its a gem of a place - wonderful food:)

I tried Red vege - nice burgers but nothing unusual about it! Ive been to 3 of the Tai places the Greek street one, Camden and one off Oxford street somewhere! Will try Sasa next time if they do more tofu dishes.

Beatroot is cool too their choc cake is great, theres somewhere in Portabello market like Beatroot that was good too.

Id love to get to Pogo but have been put off by the distance, and im often on my own.

Think my next trip to London will be 9th Sept, staying Sat ready for the festival Sun so will no doubt visit Beatroot and Tai......


Aug 9th, 2006, 05:53 PM
oh I've always found the thai buffet places really similar... I think we've been to the greek st one (it's probably the one nearest oxford st), st martins lane, and one that was off of Tottenham Court Road near the American church I think.

I thought Red Veg was ok if you were fancying a take-away burger sort of thing... I've only ever had the burger, the fries, and the nuggets though from memory. I would go again if I had a craving for it :)

Is VitaOrganic really healthy or is it still quite yum? I've been slightly put off going there because it looks a bit ultra healthy/not so tasty..! :o

We haven't tried Mildreds yet, what sort of food do they do?

And I've heard 222 does french toast as part of the sunday breakfast menu - is it the sweet sort or savoury??? Cause I really miss savoury french toast :( Well I don't miss the eggy taste because I never liked eggs much but I liked the rest of it. I don't think I'd like it sweet much though. Or if it was like fried bread I wouldn't like that either.

Aug 9th, 2006, 06:09 PM
I'm going to London tomorrow, and although I'm sooo tempted to go to the vegan thai buffet on greek street (both my vegetarian friend and I have been a number of times, and love it!) I feel I should try something new!
Or should I just stick to experimenting once I've moved to London?
But then I'll be broke then...


We're going to Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and Oxford Street.
Any recommendations near there?

Aug 9th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Midreds do a mixture- see the menu, they also have daily specials and serve alcohol. The service is quick, it gets busy and noisy, the tables are a little too close together but is has a nice atmosphere.

Vita Organic is fab I think, I've moved from the thai buffets to here as my regualr haunt. I find the food very tasty and you can try a scoop of each thing to know what you like next time. I esp love the thai green curry and have a few scoops of that each time!

Troutina as you know you'll be very near Soho where Beatroot, Vita Organics, Mildreds and Red Veg are. Kiran was also saying Mantra on Dean Street was very nice. If you do the thai buffet try a different one for a change! Sasa (my fave) and Tai are a few doors each side of the Bricklayers Arms archway (leading to the side of Foyles & Charing Cross Road).

The ones on St Martins Lane, off Tottenham Court Road (Goodge St end) and in Camden are a bit small compared to the Greek Street ones Jamie. There are a few new ones just off Oxford Street, not sure if you have been to one of those, there is even a small one on Lexington Street, just a few doors up from Mildreds - seem to be springing up all the time! When are they going to spread to Brighton!?!

Aug 10th, 2006, 08:44 AM
yeah it's strange where you find them sometimes - off the beaten track! Although I've often seen some poor soul out on the main road with a sign and handing out little leaflets for them. I think there are at least two off TC Rd, one is about halfwayish, near Goodge St and the Odeon, but I saw another on Warren St, which is at the top (or bottom, whichever way you work!) of TC Rd, opposite end of Warren St from the health food/sandwich shop that does lots of vegan things.

I will definately try out the sasa buffet next time we go for one, and probably Vita Organic - is it like a buffet too then??

Aug 10th, 2006, 10:51 AM
. . . Vita Organic - is it like a buffet too then??
It's more like Beatroot where they have the selection behind the glass counter and you tell them what you'd like.

At Vita Organic it is charged per size according to how many scoops you have (I think you can have 3, 5 or 7 scoops but you don't have to have different things - I usually get the 7 scoop plate and have 3 scoops of the curry with 4 other different things). You can take away or eat in, the place has a good atmosphere. You order hot food or salads at the counter by the door and drinks at the cubbyhole at the back. You pay at the cubbyhole after your meal.

There is also a menu of wonderful juices and smoothies, plus cooked to order stuff if you have time to wait (and if the chef is on duty, might be evenings only). Cakes too, served with coconut cream if you eat in.

The food is tasty but healthy because they don't heat anything above a certain temerature, to retain the goodness. I think there is some raw food dishes on the proper menu too. Everything is vegan.

And it describes the food in terms of its Ayurvedic qualities, with a brief explanation of what it all means - I don't follow or know much about that sort of thing but what a bonus for people who do!

I have no connection with the place, I just like it and I wish they would market themselves better! They never seem too busy when I am in there and I don't want them to close down!!


Aug 10th, 2006, 11:49 AM
Bit off topic, but some of the people over on Vegan fitness forum are organising a london meet up for a meal if anyone is intersted

Aug 10th, 2006, 11:50 AM
I'm going to London tomorrow, and although I'm sooo tempted to go to the vegan thai buffet on greek street (both my vegetarian friend and I have been a number of times, and love it!) I feel I should try something new!
Or should I just stick to experimenting once I've moved to London?
But then I'll be broke then...

You're moving to London? Is it for the food? :D I'd try experimenting, as there so much choice.


We're going to Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and Oxford Street.
Any recommendations near there?

I usually trek into Soho as I haven't found anything around that way yet. It's not too gar away.

Mr Flibble
Aug 10th, 2006, 11:54 AM
Other than John Lewis there really isn't anything on Oxford Street worth visiting (unless you want tourist tack or to visit stores that are in every highstreet). Soho is within a 2 second walk of the east end of Oxford Street :)

Aug 10th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Back to Vitaorganic in London, met up with an old housemate from Coventry, very good food as per usual, and great ginger cake to finish!

Aug 10th, 2006, 07:37 PM
I can see im going to have to get to Vita Organic on my next visit, I usually go for tai buffet and a trip to Beatroot for the cake! But im sure there will be plenty of cake available on Sunday!

Is there a Tai buffet near to Kensington - i could get a take out tub for the train home!


Aug 15th, 2006, 05:46 PM
Thanks for the ideas everyone!
Had a bit of a stressful week so didn't manage to check back here, but no doubt will try all these ideas soon!
I'm moving to Kingston in 5 weeks for university.
Can't wait to try new places!
As much as I adore the haven that is Brighton, I know there are loads of places like it in London!

Lilac Hamster
Aug 15th, 2006, 08:14 PM
We have some local veggie and vegan meet ups in and around Kingston, one of our regular in our little group is also studying at the University, a mature student there and hoping to start up a veggie and vegan group within the Uni. I'll have to make sure you get invited to everything. We live in Hampton, very near Kingston.

The Riverside Vegetaria in Kingston is the best veggie place in the area and very vegan friendly. There are also some veggie cafes in Richmond, Tide Tables on the river and Hollyhocks on Terrace Gardens very close by, there is another one we have not been to yet.

In Kingston there is a good health food shop called Food for Thought, very close to H&B, and a Lush shop too.

Hope we will see you sometime at one of our meet ups, I will invite you to the local Yahoo group we have too.


Aug 23rd, 2006, 11:42 PM
Are there any good places to get some light lunch in Camden?

Aug 24th, 2006, 09:25 AM
Yeah, there's one of those Oriental Vegan buffet places in Camden, come out of the tube and turn left, you can't miss it. It's on the right hand side of the road. There's usually a man with one of those placards standing outside the tube with fliers, pointing you in the right direction! Veg Veg - 6 Kentish Town Road, Camden, London, NW1 9NX. 020 72844004.
Further into the market side of things, there is a man selling vegan burgers, it's by the fancier stalls and proper shops, up on the left, near the juggling shop. He has vegan mayo and vegan cheese, I think. He's on the little cobblestoned alleyway opposite the Lock and by the Stables markets.
And there are lots of little places selling noodles and falafels and stuff, but how strictly vegan they are, I don't know.
There's also a Fresh&Wild store, if you want to buy some snacks - 49 Parkway, London NW1 7PN, 020 74287575.

Aug 24th, 2006, 10:35 AM
there's always Starbucks, beside the river.
They do soya late and usually have a vegan sandwich, the usual one, hummus and veg!!

Aug 24th, 2006, 12:31 PM
Thanks very much. I'm really looking forward to going now :)

Aug 30th, 2006, 04:21 PM
OK - I am going to London next weekend for my friend's birthday. Going out for dinner on Saturday night and I am considering one of the following:-

Tai (but which branch is best - Old Compton Street, Greek Street or Great Chapel Street?)




Which is the best restaurant for a Saturday night out? Ideally the place would sell vegan desserts and vegan wines too and be cheap (not asking for much, am I?!!)