It’s so exciting to see just how many restaurants are getting on board with veganism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to a bowl of green salad and a bowl of chips (standard country pub fare). But I’m thrilled and determined to make my way round as many eateries as I can offering interesting foodie fare for us meat and dairy-free types. I’d seen French restaurant Aubaine popping up on my Instagram stories. And rather than forcing another all-vegan dining experience on Mr D, I thought it only fare we go half and half.
Aubaine have several restaurants throughout London. We opted for Broadgate Circle just behind Liverpool Street, easy for us to get to and get home from. I can’t honestly say I associate French cuisine with veganism but there’s a first time for everything isn’t there? They put together a separate menu for Veganuary and thank goodness are continuing it for February too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed they keep going after that.
The restaurant itself is lovely, part industrial, part French shabby chic. It looks super pretty from outside too at this time of year with twinkly lights and a great location to sit outside in warmer weather. But what of the menu? It may be small but it’s very mighty and a starter and main course costs just £12.50 which for London especially is a total bargain.
There are two starter options of Beetroot and Green Apple Tartare with avocado and orange dressing, or Roasted Cauliflower with turmeric, smoked paprika, pine nuts, pomegranate and lemon oil. I went for the Roasted Cauliflower and it absolutely packs a punch. The flavours work beautifully and for me with my probably smaller appetite, this is a very generous starter. I haven’t tried cauliflower ‘steaks’ before but it’s certainly a worthy and substantial vegetable to use for the purpose.
Main course choices are Mushroom Bourguignon with mashed potato and carrot bacon, Butternut Squash Risotto with fried sage and walnut crumble, and Portobello & Black Bean Burger with french fries. Risotto strikes me as something easy to find elsewhere. And I’ve missed mash a whole lot since turning vegan so it was Mushroom Bourguignon all the way. Basically after all that food I needed Pete to roll me home. The mushroom dish was rich and full of flavour and I’m even sold on the idea of carrot bacon.
Unfortunately there was no room for dessert but if I was feeling very greedy I could have chosen from Polenta & Poached Plum Cake with mandarin sorbet or Raw 70% Dark Peruvian Organic Chocolate & Raspberry Brownie with raspberry sorbet. Perhaps next time just a main course and pudding then!
Finally I should give a little mention to the vegan wine, just one option but it was perfect. Heralding from the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France, this may sound crazy but it tastes so clean. I’m now wondering whether I’d get a lesser hangover if I drank more of it… answers on a postcard.
As it looks as the moment, Aubaine’s vegan menu won’t be around forever so do head over before the end of February and lets see if the popular vote can get them to keep it for good.
This isn’t a review or collaboration of any sort, I just want to share my favourite restaurants and London haunts.