A couple of weeks ago my friend and I went to Vantra Organic in Soho and we were not very impressed by our experience. This post is not to tell you not to go there, but to tell you why we won’t ever again.
I have avoided writing this post for so long because negativity is not really my bag, but here we are. Let’s do this.
Don’t believe the prices on the sandwich board. They are for, like, a tiny take-away portion at lunchtime.
My friend Sara had just arrived into London from Canada. I am vegan and she is quite a local/organic eater. What restaurant would cater to both of us? We searched around and decided that Vantra fit the bill.
Upon entering the restaurant I gave them a courtesy heads up that I would be taking pictures for my blog and they starting giving all these conditions. Not taking pictures of staff is cool, I try to avoid that anyway. But no, that wasn’t one of their rules. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of their menu board. What? Seriously? Whatever. I left the flash off to be as unobtrusive as possible, so get ready for some low-lighting pictures, folks.
They explained how their system works. You can do an all-you-can-eat buffet for an overpriced sum of money, or a one-plate buffet run for a slightly lower overpriced sum of money. We decided to go for the one-shot deal. We also ordered drinks. I had a vegan milkshake and Sara had…something. I don’t have any effing pictures of the menu to refer back to, please forgive me.
We grabbed our plates and hit the buffet. Half of the items didn’t have ID cards on them, letting us know what dish was in the pan. The other half didn’t have spoons for scooping.
WHAT ARE YOU?!
Since we only had one shot at the buffet, I loaded my plate up with mysterious, unlabelled dishes and hoped for the best.
I’m going to try my best to be fair here. We went for this meal on my Friday, at the end of my week and after a full day of work. It may have just been that I was tired and therefore went in with an exhausted, negative mindset. Maybe.
I believe I’ve given my stance on raw food before. I get the concept of raw food diets. I support their reasoning and agree with all of it. However, I like a hot meal. Especially when I am paying someone else to cook it for me. The majority of food on this buffet was facking raw. Spare me.
Or if I’m going to eat raw it had better be delicious and flavourful. Most of this food was neither.
A lesson I think all chefs need to learn is that cilantro (or as they call it here, “coriander”) is a very polarising ingredient to work with. People either love it or they hate it. And when they hate it? They facking HATE IT. Just because you, as the chef, loooOOooOooOooove coriander doesn’t mean that the customers eating your food will. So don’t put it in ALL OF YOUR DISHES.
Breeeeathe. Breathe. What I will give them is that the banana-cinnamon (I think? Again, no menu to refer back to) soy milk shake that I had was flipping amazing. Great consistency and the flavour was beautiful.
I think I would have been okay with disappointing food if I hadn’t paid so much for it. You can get some pretty average food in London for a low price, and when you do the fact that it wasn’t expensive makes it taste better. I think the reverse happened here.
Go there, don’t go there. I don’t care. I just won’t be joining you. What’s making me most angry about this whole fandango is what a negative space I’m in whilst thinking about it. Bastards. The next post I do is going to be happy and upbeat and positive and I will be smiling while I write it. And it won’t be about this restaurant.