Mildred’s (Camden), LONDON

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I-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan desserts: apple crumble and chocolate peanut butter brownie.

An infamous restaurant in the heart of Soho, Mildred’s vegetarian fare boasts flavours from international inspirations and bold combinations.  Having never step foot in their Soho branch, I finally took on the establishment one Friday evening, the day after they opened their doors of their new Camden hub.

My sister and I sat down at the latest opening on Jamestown Road just after 10 pm.  It was dreadfully difficult to spot, with the likes and lights of Wagamama and Byron decorating the streets, too.

First: cocktails.  A flute of their prosecco-based concotion, French 75, and a refreshing tumbler of the Bombay Cooler for my sister.  Both were refreshing and zingy.  I secretly preferred the latter, however, as I am a sucker for anything that vaguely resembles a Mojito.

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As well as having an à la carte menu, there are also specials on offer at Mildred’s daily; there were a few that caught my eye, including a mock duck cassoulet.  After much deliberation, my sister picked the fragrant potato massaman curry off the special menu as a main dish, whilst I opted for a small plate of flatbread with hummus and baba ganoush.

The massaman curry was heavenly; flavourful and rich with an added crunch provided by the crushed peanuts.  The roti on the side was the perfect scoop.  At the time, I would have preferred a rice dish on the side, but the roti worked well as the curry itself was quite heavy on its own; a side of rice would have made it a challenging feat to finish.

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Fragrant massaman curry: a Friday night special.

As for my mini mezze: the flatbread was gorgeous.  The baba ganoush was well-seasoned, where the sweetness of the aubergines was contrasted delicately with savoury spices.  As for the hummus… it was tasty, but nothing medal-worthy.

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The portion sizes were definitely adequate, but also gave my sister and I plenty of room for a dessert (or two).  Though we silently pondered over the menu for a couple of minutes, our first glance of it earlier had our minds made up: apple and Black Forest berries crumble with custard (special) and a chocolate peanut butter brownie with vanilla ice cream.

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The classic crumble and custard combo.

The crumble was a hug in a dish.  The custard was vanilla, for sure.  Its flavour may have been tainted by the sweetness of both desserts, but it was not a component that stood out very much.

I loved how the crumble pieces were crunchy on the first bite, but it slowly disintegrated in your mouth.  Its texture reminded me a little of sand, which is spot-on in the crumble world.

The brownie was rich and decadent without being overly sweet.  Actually, neither desserts were very sweet; many vegan sweets I have tried previously were overly saccharine that my teeth may have been decayed there and then.  The chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream worked harmoniously to complement the familiar texture of gooey fudge brownies.  The vanilla ice cream was amazing – as in, I-can’t-believe-it’s-vegan amazing!

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Brownies and ice cream. All vegan. Life made sense again.

The peanut butter flavour came through nicely, however, it was not as powerful as I’d like it to be.   But then, I am someone who will happily dip a whole brownie into a PB jar.

The Friday night atmosphere was a little meagre than I expected, with a few couples slobbily perched on the seats with drinks and groups of friends catching up over some excellent veggie nosh.   The service was quick and reliable, as mused by my sister: “as if they only opened yesterday.  They run so smoothly!”

FYI: it is 50% off all food until 30 November 2015.  Head over to Mildred’s Camden real quick.

Mildred’s, 9 Jamestown Road, NW1 7BW.  Nearest tube: Camden Town.

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