What: Breaking news – Waterloo-based steakhouse, Gillray’s, has gone vegan! Well not entirely, but they do now have a three-course vegan set menu which is a first for the restaurant and therefore a big deal. They have a fair amount of vegetarian options on their a la carte menu but have now gone the whole hog (excuse the pun) with the new vegan dishes.
New? New year, new menu. Head chef, Jamie Welch, created the vegan menu just in time for Veganuary and will as such only be available throughout January 2018.
Where? London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB www.gillrays-steakhouse-bar.com
On the menu: The menu is fairly simple with 2 options in the starters, mains and dessert category, all of which are fairly interesting – no risotto or fruit salad in sight. Dishes include butternut squash and chilli salad with pumpkin seed praline, and aubergine and lentil dahl with orange and coriander salad.
The Look: Located by the river, Gillray’s is a floor up from the busy walkway parallel to the Thames and is slightly tricky to access. You can see it from ground level but it takes a little sleuthing to find the hidden alley-like door to the stairs which take you up to the entrance, being a Miss Marple in the making it took me no time though (more like a good minute of pondering). Gillray’s is inside the London County Hall and feel of the restaurant reflects that with wooden panels everywhere and high ceilings. Your gaze should be focused on the window view though as Gillray’s has relatively clear sights of the river and parliament with Big Ben which looks even better on a clear day.
What We Ate: I loved the cauliflower fritters with hollandaise and truffle sauce although the sauce had more of a mild curry flavour which was pleasant but not what was expected. The fritters themselves were delicious on their own, each in a bitesize portion, they looked as though they had been fried but didn’t have an oily residue. The aubergine and lentil dahl with orange and coriander salad was hearty with a little kick while the baked red onions with pearl barley and kale stew in vegetable broth lacked any real punch and unfortunately came off a little watery. For pudding my caramelised apple crumble was superbly sweet and had a great chewy top that you’d never guess was lacking butter. The dark chocolate mousse with pretty seasonal berries was very firm but relatively creamy.
What We Drank: Gillray’s is offering a vegan red wine that complements the set menu but if you’re doing Dry January they also offer a mocktail.
Go With: A vegan preferably. Vegan restaurants are rising in number but still hardly considered commonplace so when restaurants offer vegan dishes it’s a welcome addition.
Final Word: There has to be something said on a steakhouse serving vegans, normally a vegetarian would struggle eating at such an establishment so to cater a vegan diet is a refreshing change. Although the menu is limited, it is a good start and I thoroughly enjoyed all of my dishes.
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Gillray’s: London County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB www.gillrays-steakhouse-bar.com