Soho restaurant Bob Bob Ricard has introduced a handful of new vegan dishes. It’s added them to its existing menu so as to better provide for plant-based customers without ‘creating a complicated divide’.
Executive head chef Eric Chavot insists his plates – devoid of prime rib, veal stock and French butter – maintain indulgent standards at the venue. Indeed, it would look odd running a restaurant serving caviar and with a ‘press for champagne’ button while serving quorn burgers and falafel.
So Chavot has tried to emulate the opulence and excess of steak tartare and lobster macaroni with dishes such as truffled potato and mushroom vareniki (traditional Russian dumplings), and a Waldorf salad, which combines classic ingredients alongside candied nuts and – somehow – a “creamy” vegan dressing.
Two further vegan main courses are offered: there’s pearl barley kasha with pickled forest mushrooms; and ‘tolma a la Tolstoy’, which is stuffed vine tomatoes full of spiced chickpeas, bulgar wheat, zhug and a tomato coulis.
Can vegan dining be luxurious?
Puddings are lemon sorbot bobbing about in Russian Standard Platinum vodka, and rum and raisin rice pudding (coconut milk is used) with Panama rum and caramelised banana.
Whatever next. Buttons saying “Press for tofu”?
Vegans – no, anyone, as that’s the point – let us know what you think.