As a committed carnivore, I must say that I have never felt much need to try out a vegetarian restaurant before. However, on such a gorgeous sunny day as today, I could not focus on writing my novel and decided to pack up my laptop and head to the riverside with a couple friends. Wanting a healthy option for a drink, we decided on Riverside Vegetaria, which serves - among other things - fresh fruit smoothies and lassi (a traditional Indian yoghurt-based drink).
With a surprising range of options, none of us were disappointed. I settled on mango lassi, whilst my friends opted for organic potato balls, houmous and garlic bread. All three of us enjoy meat and spent a good portion of time discussing which kind we could live without (I could do without pork and beef, whilst my friends both admitted they couldn't live without bacon). Despite not adopting the vegetarian lifestyle for ourselves, we were all very pleased with our food. In fact, I wouldn't have even noticed it was all vegetarian had I ordered it at a regular restaurant.
The houmous was fresh and tangy, served with an ample amount of brown bread. While I'm used to having it on pitta, it made a nice change to try it with something new. The garlic bread was delicious, with melt-in-your mouth butter topping and fresh minced garlic. The potato balls, however, were works of art. Packed with fantastic spices and served with a brilliant chilli spread, they were the highlight of our meal.
Atmospherically, this little place has it made. Situated right on the edge of the Thames, it was the perfect spot to spend a spring afternoon, soaking up the rare British sunshine and enjoying good food. The only criticism I have is that the service could have been faster in taking our order, but once we got our food I really forgot all about it.
No wonder this place was voted the best vegetarian restaurant in Britain by the Vegetarian Society. I can't wait to go back and try something new.