Mildreds is a must if you want to discover the healthy side of the City. They have international vegetarian cuisine with local produce –80% is actually organic– all made with a special touch, and they even have options for people with allergies and intolerances. All this in very fresh, current surroundings where everyone can go to relax.
Katie, the owner and founder of the restaurant, explained that the project began in 1988, when she had the idea to normalise vegetarian food as back then only Indian or very hippy restaurants had vegetarian options. She wanted to create everyday, varied and delicious food that did not contain meat or fish. The result was Mildreds, a vegetarian restaurant. You probably wouldn’t realise it’s vegetarian even if you eat meat; the good atmosphere and the quality of the food dispel any prejudices you may have.
It is open from 12 noon to 11 at night and you can’t book a table as they like to have a constant flow of people coming in. We would advise you to go there early at noon or after 9:30 in the evening if you want to get a spot. If not, you’ll probably get there and there’s no space as it’s so popular, just what happened to us. However, don’t worry: you can wait at the bar near the entrance until a table is free and have one of their delicious shakes, freshly-squeezed juices or organic cocktails, which they make there and then. They’re really proud of them.
The big central skylight is a focus point of the dining room, filling it with natural light and making it seem spacious despite the number of people inside. The staff –attentive, friendly and warm– are mainly young, another virtue which doesn’t go unnoticed. When we’re settled, we notice that we’re the only tourists inside and everyone around us is local and they’ve decided to choose the healthy option in the London neighbourhood of Soho. We’re happy with the place, and think it’s just the type of authentic recommendation we were seeking out for our Bonnísim Europa guide.
The menu has eight starters and a dozen main dishes, plus specials they have made that day, which are shown on a large board at the back of the room. We were happily surprised to see that out of all the dishes, practically half are gluten-free, some are vegan and there are also some wheat-free options. What’s more, all of this information is clearly shown on the menu. We observed the locals sitting at the other tables and did as they did: they ordered a main dish, as the portions are big, with a small side dish, finished off with dessert. The dishes aren’t at all complicated, but they are made with very high-quality produce, and are executed and presented beautifully.
We went for the energising detox salad with beetroot, carrots, fennel, sprouting beans, coriander and toasted seeds with apple, lime and ginger dressing; and the sweet potato and cashew nut curry with yellow basmati rice, peas and coconut tomato sambal. The side dish, a green salad, was varied with lots of mixed leaves, very fresh and top quality. For dessert we had wild rice with coconut milk and a mango and almond sauce, a really exquisite surprise. We recommend our choices highly!
In short, this great recommendation surprised us a lot and completely thrashes the idea that the British don’t eat well. If you go to the English capital looking for healthy, good, surprising options that are easy on your wallet, Mildreds will have to be on your list.