Vegan Tapas And Cocktails Deliver The Goods At The Brook
Being a vegan restaurant is no longer enough of a hook in London. It can't be — the city has too many brilliant vegan options for a restauranteur to just go plant-based and hope for the best.
So when we take a look at The Brook's menu, we worry something is amiss. There are simply too many styles of food here for this to work — the only thing connecting the dishes together is their lack of meat and dairy. We're delighted to say we needn't have worried. What connects everything at The Brook is just how tasty it is.
Before we get onto the food we grab drinks, looking for something that will cool us off on a sweltering day in June. We end up with a Spring Fling and a St Lilly, both servings are generous — that's a positive, to clarify — both of which turn out to be good choices.
Then it's onto the food where we order a selection from the tapas menu. The Jackfruit Quesadillas — which we hear are the most popular item — the Sesame Skewers and the Sweet & Sour Cauliflower all immediately stand out. Our first impression was so wrong, the variety on the menu here isn't something to fear, it's to be celebrated.
The beer battered guac balls are tasty, but can't quite live up to how good we thought they'd be when we spotted them on the menu. Unbelievably realistic 'seafood' cakes round out the meal, leaving us stuffed. Be aware there's a slight over-reliance on deep fried foods, although maybe those are just the dishes our eyes and stomachs are drawn to.
The desserts are also top-notch. The brownie is awash with chocolatey goodness, while the cheesecake amazes. Honestly, we've no idea how they get something made from cashews and coconuts to taste so realistically like cheesecake. Added to that, there's a raspberry coulis that's simply to die for.
Finally there's the vibe of The Brook. Despite it being pretty quiet when we visit, it doesn't detract from the atmosphere. From the hanging lights to the plants lining a shelf above our seats, the whole place brimmed with character, and we're already looking forward to our next visit.
The Brook, 171 Mare Street, E8 3RH, Wednesday-Sunday. It's open at its current site until the end of 2018, but is looking for a permanent site for the future.
Last Updated 26 June 2018