The words “fun,” “sensual” and “vegetarian” aren’t always found in the same sentence, but this vegetable-centric restaurant shows what can happen if preconceptions and piousness are left at the front door. This isn’t about abstaining from anything—it’s about savoring. The first clue is the cocktails—not many such restaurants put this sort of thought and effort into their list. At lunch there are even “modestly alcoholic” choices like the very perky plum with Lillet Blanc. At this point you should be nibbling on something from their “first order” part of the menu, such as polenta fries or tandoor bread. The main section is divided between “lighter” and “bolder” dishes, complete with an asterisk highlighting those preparations that can be made vegan. Chef owner John Fraser uses influences from around the world to bring out the individual flavors of his market produce—like sweet hoisin sauce and spicy Thai chili to liven up the shiitake mushrooms, or nori breadcrumbs for the seaweed Caesar. Bright, healthy, fresh, perky and clean are just some of the words that apply here—to the look of the room, the food and indeed most of the customers.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors
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