What we thought of North Bar and Kitchen’s entirely vegan tasting menu
The contemporary British restaurant has created a five-course spectacular – without using any animal products
Situated in a gorgeous heritage building on Hinckley Road, North Bar and Kitchen has gained a loyal following of foodies thanks to their unique taster menus and a huge range of gins (42 at the last count).
And since last year they’ve also been offering a special menu free from any animal products at all – the Vegan Tasting Menu.
So in the spirit of Veganuary, we went along to North Bar to try out the full menu.
Arriving at the restaurant, we decided to try out a few of the many gins on offer in the smart bar area. I ordered a sweet and tangy Rhubarb Fizz – make sure you grab a cocktail beforehand because they’re delicious. My dining partner went for a strawberry G&T, but there are endless twists on the classic cocktail.
When our table was ready, we were taken through to the restaurant to find it set with freshly baked bread, quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar (scoring big points from us – not enough restaurants do it these days).
Our tasty first course of tomato and gin veloute was promptly brought out, offering a punchy taste of things to come.
The vibrant soup was full of flavour, with some interesting textures of parsley and carrot scattered across the top.
Next came dishes like smoked polenta, spiced carrot and beetroot, and Mediterranean vegetable terrine.
They manage to bring out the best of the vegetables, with unconventional texture and flavour combinations leaving you tasting more to figure out the twist.
We particularly enjoyed the smoky polenta, which somehow had the exact flavour of Applewood cheese.
But my favourite of all was the glazed king oyster mushroom – it’s rich, nutty and creamy, served with a teacup of dashi broth to wash it down with, offering a bit of theatrics without being too gimmicky.
Finishing things off in style, I had my second chickpea meringue of the week, this time in a sort of deconstructed Eton mess. It tasted slightly nutty compared to a normal meringue, but other than that you wouldn’t realise that it contained no egg white whatsoever. Served with pops of mango, blueberry and dark chocolate, it’s an impressive pud that helps round off the meal in style.
We left feeling very full and wondering why more restaurants don’t make this kind of effort with their own vegan dishes.
Everything on North Bar’s tasting menu is thoughtfully prepared and carefully considered, making the most of their top-quality ingredients.
Whether you’re a vegan, a vegetarian or a fully-fledged carnivore, this is an innovative gastronomic experience that all foodies should try at least once.
Three courses £28.50/five courses £32.50
Must be booked in advance at www.northbarandkitchen.co.uk