There’s barely a non-meat-eater in London who hasn’t graced a branch of this iconic vegetarian restaurant at some point. The Soho original has built up an enviable rep since opening in 1988, offering vegetarians and vegans interesting, varied food at a time when veggies were still sneered at and veganism may as well have been shamanism. This large, airy Camden instalment is a comfortable, convivial space, relaxed and buzzy (heads-up – expect to queue at weekends).
Two excellent starters kicked things off: perfectly roasted squash and spinach – given crunch by hazelnuts – came coated in a dukkah and tahini combo. Roasted miso aubergine was also great: cooked to tender, not soggy, with a satisfying level of miso.
Things were going fabulously, thanks, and I was ready to give Mildred a big hug when two underwhelming mains gatecrashed the party.
Mildreds veterans will tell you just how banging the burgers are; sadly, the ‘Polish’ (beetroot, white bean and dill in a vegan brioche) only hit ‘fine’ and there was little hint of beetroot or white bean in the patty.
Similarly, four potentially big flavours in a posh, vegan take on sausage and mash (smoked tofu, fennel, apple and white bean sausages) were hard to detect. Accompaniments proved better: fried hispi cabbage was crisp and moreish, and a cider jus was nicely sharp. A peanut butter chocolate mousse cake also fell a bit flat.
Let’s be clear: everything I ate was good, but not enough of it was headline-worthy, particularly considering the promising starters and the golden rep. Would I go back? Absolutely. I’d just order differently and cross my fingers.