With its pastel blue exterior, cute pavement cafe style outdoor seating area, Mildreds, in the heart of London’s Soho, is as far removed from its original use as a seedy sex club, (complete with S&M padded cell in the basement) as you can get! Mildreds has been serving beautiful vegetarian and vegan food since the 80’s, and has grown so much in popularity, that it is now its own little chain of four branches. I hadn’t planned on blogging about Mildred’s as I was just catching up with a friend, but it was so good I wanted to share. I hadn’t taken my camera out with me, so I hope you can forgive the phone snap photos!
One Monday, my friend and I had planned to go to another Vegan restaurant I had recently discovered, (you can read about it in this post Kalifornia Kitchen – Vegan Utopia in London) but at the last minute, discovered that it was shut on Mondays. A quick google, and a quick cry for help on trusty Twitter, it seemed that Mildreds was favoured for its amazing food. We decided to go to the Soho one, as it was the original and had a great back story. If only the walls could talk eh?? Although, they migt tell stories that would put you off your grilled aubergine…. If you pop across to the Mildred’s site, (just here) you can read abut how the rent used to be collected…
As you are unable to book a table at Mildred’s, (we found that with a few of the Vegan restaurants we looked at, is that a thing now??) we got there for 12.30, hoping this would sneak us in before the lunchtime rush. It is worth noting that at busy times, you may have to queue for a little while. There was just the two of us so we were seated straight away, but the restaurant was already heaving, and by 1 o clock, was full. It did clear out a lot by about 3 o clock though, so a late lunch after shopping could be a good call. They do offer a great selection of vegan wine and cocktails though, so you could enjoy a little glass of something and do a bit of people watching at the front part of the restaurant while your waiting…
The interior of Mildred’s Soho is light, simple and open plan. The restaurant isn’t huge, so the tables are quite close together. If I have one tiny criticism, it would be that when the restaurant is full, its noisy! My friend Corrine and I struggled to hear each other sometimes. Now, we were not planning on having a discussion that we wanted to keep secret, so it was not a huge problem for us. I probably wouldn’t recommend it if you wanted a romantic, quiet dinner for two though! I love the pale green and white decor, very airy and bright with plants adding to the prettiness and feel.
So, what did we eat? Well, Corrine is also a fully fledged vegan, but hadn’t had a vegan burger! Say Whaaatttttt!!? I am beginning to feel that I am a conosoir of vegan burgers, so I of course told her the joys of them. We both ended up with the exact same starters and mains. Now, I need to tell you hear that the starter, is a dish I am going to dream about forever. It was so simple, yet they had managed to get the most amazing flavours in it. It was artichokes, chargrilled on toasted crostini, with a smoked garlic, fluffy aioli. It was beautiful! I would love to make it at home (or have one of the Mildreds chef’s come to my home to make it for me..)
Our waiter however, did inform us that there are two cookbooks available, created by Mildreds. I am excited by this! I have popped the details below should you too want a little professional vegetarian or vegan cooking in your life!
Mildreds Vegan Cookbook – Click Here
Mildreds Vegetarian Cookbook – Click Here
Now, the burgers we chose came in a brioche bun a little different to your standard buns… They were charcoal buns, so therefore black in colour. They tasted delicious, but it was a little weird. We chose the Bourbon buffalo “chicken” burger, which came with onions, gherkins, lettuce, ranch dressing and we added a slice of vegan cheese to it. Why not eh! They were absolutely delicious. A side of sweet potato fries accompanied them, along with vegan garlic mayo. Corrine chose a good time to try a vegan burger, they certainly did not disappoint.
After our two courses, I should probably confess that we were very full up. However….we had by this point enjoyed a bottle of the vegan rose wine on offer, so in our tipsy minds, and my eyes bigger than my belly head, dessert was a good idea. Like the rest of the menu, there are a lot of desserts on offer, and its hard to choose one. In the end, I opted for the chocolate hazlenut truffle pudding, (with a molton chocolate centre, amazing) and Corrine had the Before I Leave after dinner cocktail. Both were amazing, but we literally could not fit another morsel in after!
Despite not being able to book at Mildred’s, and it being so busy, we were never made to feel rushed or that we had to evacuate our table. We were chatting a lot, so time between courses was more than a pause, yet no one tried to hurry us along. We had a beautiful meal, no complaints about the food at all. In fact, I would like to try the other branches of Mildred’s, just to see how they compare as I believe they are all a bit bigger. Oh well, any excuse………..
Im actually going to go back to Mildreds with my meat eating husband, as I know he will enjoy the food. The dishes on offer were all about taste and flavour, and they had that in abundance. Would you try a vegan restaurant, even if not veggie or vegan? Have you ever doe so? If you know any other London vegan restaurants that I should try, let me know