So, I was invited to attend a vegan tasting menu in London, what would be my reasons for wanting to go? Well, it was not a hard decision! It is in London, it is a Spanish restaurant and menu, (always a winner) so making me feel home from home and it is vegan and I am doing Veganuary - all my favourite things.
As I said, I am doing Veganuary so the timing could not have been more perfect. The evening spent at Brindisa (Rupert Street) was with great friends and foodies alike. We could not have been more in our element! So when it comes to reviewing my evening what do I want to say? There was no need to pretend, (as sometimes you often do after a slightly disappointing meal) for me the food, service and company (of course) made for one perfect evening. Right from the word GO, our waiter Miguel and his team were at our table making sure we were satisfied. I mean, how could we not be when we had all that food and wine flowing? The evening started with the main event, Calçots, the inspiration behind the Calçotada menu. It was a good job the company was among friends, as the food definitely was not "date" friendly. Napkins on standby as we really got stuck in, prising the onions from their charred exterior. The table afterwards looked like hooligans had been dining, but apparently a compliment to the appreciation of the food.
After the Calçots came the tapas dishes. Whole globe artichokes, (again messy food but you didn’t mind getting bits stuck in your teeth as it was so yummy!) Catalan white bean and wild mushroom stew. You’d think okay beans, how boring and bland but in fact the total opposite. Smooth, creamy and full of flavour. A vegan delight made just to the tee. Different tastes with each mouthful, be it the mushroom or the delicate seasoning running throughout. Also on the table were mini baked potatoes in a delightful tomato sauce, accompanied by the flamed grilled veggies and light salad of spinach, onion and raisin. You’d think food overload and it was, certainly considering these dishes were by no way a "pinchos" serving as with most tapas, but generous portions- however no complaints.. (I think our clear plates and messy table proved that one!) But given this, I felt satisfied and comfortable rather than bloated and uncomfortable. A dining delight, moreish generous and wholesome food I would want to eat again. A vegan menu thinking outside the box. Not leaving people feeling hungry and like the "weirdo" who only eats salads, but an inventive menu even a meat eater would happily love and enjoy!
After cleaning our very messy table it was time to make way for dessert, Creme Catalan. Something I enjoyed a lot when living in Spain and before becoming a vegan. Light and creamy but bloody delicious! How could you recreate the wobble and this delicate dish using almond milk I wondered? You’d think, impossible, I wasn’t sure what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed. It somehow just worked, so credits to the chef for allowing me to enjoy one of my favourite Spanish desserts! A crunchy topping hiding the treasure underneath. More pale in colour than normal, but still a perfectly wobbly dessert. I quite enjoyed the nutty flavour running through it, the smooth texture making it a rather refreshing and palatable end to our tapas feast.
Thank you Brindisa for a great foodies experience, I already loved Spanish cuisine, but when you are offered something that is not so traditional like Jamon, Tortilla or Seafood and can still be transported to the memories of Spain it’s a real great moment. When I lived in Spain my Spanish friends and family always wanted to convert me to the meat and seafood, saying I had to enjoy the traditional dishes..”you can’t live in Spain and never eat Jamón or a Paella!” But after this experience I definitely do not feel I have been missing out.
A place I would definitely recommend and WILL be revisting soon!