I'm a freelance writer currently living in L.A. Home is where the heart is and my heart is in London. I'm a massive music, travel and Arsenal fan.
Published August 23rd 2012
A London Vegetarian institution
Along the cobbled road of Lexington Street in the Soho district is London's finest vegetarian restaurant, Mildred's.
Opening its doors in 1998, Mildred's serves internationally inspired vegetarian food made daily on the premises. While the outside of Mildred's has changed colours numerous times over the years (red, blue, aqua), Mildred's is recognizable by its cute and charming façade.
Most of the menu is vegan or vegan-optional and of that a large selection are also available gluten-free. Mildred's use organic ingredients where possible and endeavour to source small businesses for their supplies. What makes Mildred's so unique is that their menu is far from the clichéd vegetarian choices you find in other restaurants and pubs. In fact, you will find a lot of Mildred's menu choices are indeed quite gourmet.
The dining room itself is deceptively small. Thanks to the mirrors lining the left, right and back walls, which you notice immediately upon entering the dining room, you are given the illusion that the room holds twice as many people as it actually does (it would comfortably hold approx 30 people). There are also two sets of tables and chairs located outside in front of the restaurant, to the left and right of the entrance. Be warned, during dinner and lunch time Mildred's gets packed.
Unfortunately, they don't take reservations but you can purchase a drink and sit at the bench alongside the window located at the front of the restaurant and watch Soho while you wait for a table. Most evenings are busy so be prepared to wait for a table or come after 9:30pm. Mildred's also offer take-away and you are welcome to sit at the bench while you wait for your food.
During the day the large skylight in the ceiling of the main room combined with the white walls provides adequate amounts of light, giving a casual and welcoming vibe. While always bustling, Mildred's is perfect for lunch whether you plan to eat and run or spend a couple of hours.
In the evening, the entire vibe is transformed. While the décor of course remains the same, the neutral tones combined with the dimmed lights and candles create an atmospheric and even romantic setting. Because of this, Mildred's can be ideal place for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.
There are close to a dozen entrée options including: Soup of the Day with homemade bread, bread and dips, Tostada with grilled courgette with aubergine, lettuce, pico de gallo and guacamole, a Chargrilled roman style artichoke crostini with lemon aioli, or a roast fig and blue cheese salad with rocket, walnuts, black olives and red onion.
One of the highlights on the menu is their unique vegetarian take on a British classic; mixed mushroom, porcini and ale pie served with chips and mushy peas. Other mains include:
Middle Eastern meze with beetroot yoghurt dip, chilli feta dip, tabouleh, pepper stuffed baby aubergine, rice and mint filled vine leaf and flat bread
• Malaysian-style Laksa, coconut, lemongrass and lime leaf, served with organic tofu, peppers, carrot, sugar snaps, bean shoots, and black rice noodles,
• Baby aubergine, chickpea and olive tagine served with pomegranate yoghurt, apricot and pistachio cous cous and flat bread, or a
• Burrito filled with spicy black turtle beans, corn, red pepper and green tomatillo rice topped with spicy sauce and cheddar served with iceberg, sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo.
• Or choose the Burger of the Day with relish, red onion, rocket and tomato, with fries and basil mayo plus Monterey jack cheese
For dessert there are more than half a dozen options including a raspberry and dark chocolate truffle, mango tofu cheesecake with mango compote, vanilla cherry and amaretto trifle, coconut panacotta with Malibu soaked pineapple, and a white chocolate and pistachio cheesecake.