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Food

Taking Orders: Tendril

by Abigail Spooner
Taking Orders: Tendril
Image: Scaitboard

Abigail Spooner dines on an inventive plant-based tasting menu that would satisfy even the most passionate of carnivores

Where is it?

Tucked away at one end of Soho pub The Sun & 13 Cantons, where Tendril is currently in residency – but with ambitions of securing a permanent restaurant of their own.

What's all the fuss about?

Founder and chef Rishim Sachdeva, who has previously worked at The Fat Duck and Chiltern Firehouse, is a self-confessed ‘mostly vegan’ and has put the same stamp on his restaurant. However, the seasonal ‘Discovery Menu’ is proudly plant-based for Veganuary 2022 and offers seven tasting courses, perfect for both veg-worshippers and those dipping their toes into the vegan lifestyle.

Smoked aubergine, tahini, chilli cucumber, puff pastry
Smoked aubergine, tahini, chilli cucumber, puff pastry

What’s the place like?

Set in an emerald-green-tiled dining room with large mirrors and black and white photographs lining the walls, the space feels warm and inviting. The atmosphere is lively and bustling, as you’d expect from a Soho pub on a Friday night, but in a relaxed and laid-back sense. Importantly, the tables are far enough from the bar that you needn’t worry about shouting to make yourself heard.

Tostada, muhamarra, winter squash, chard kimchi
Tostada, muhamarra, winter squash, chard kimchi

What did you eat and drink?

Alongside glasses of a particularly drinkable house white, we begin our tasting menu with daintily presented textures of Jerusalem artichoke with hints of wakame (an edible seaweed) and chive. Next, smoked aubergine sits atop a puff pastry throne, with chilli cucumber and pomegranate seeds adding pops of freshness. Our favourite of the first three courses is a black corn tostada piled high with seasonal squash, a delicious muhammara red pepper dip and chard kimchi. It may span the world in terms of flavours, but the eclectic combination goes down a treat.

As we eagerly continue, so does chef Rishim’s creativity and flair. Cauliflower with an Indian spiced coconut sauce contrasts with black rice and pickled lime, while an oh-so crispy celeriac terrine with celeriac remoulade is moreishly good. For the main event, chipotle grilled mushrooms showcase just how versatile a vegetable can be. They’re savoury, meaty and intricately spiced, with salted peanuts adding crunch. If any dish was going to convert an omnivore, I’d put my money on this one.

To finish, a rich, creamy and bittersweet chocolate ganache with vegan vanilla ice cream hits the sweet spot with lick-your-lips satisfaction.

Chipotle grilled mushroom, bbq kale, salted peanut
Chipotle grilled mushroom, bbq kale, salted peanut

Your verdict?

An imaginative abundance of textures and flavours, and reasonably priced too at £36 per person. The a la carte menu looks just as tempting if you’d prefer to pick and choose.

Lasting memory?

The umami-packed mushrooms, which stole the show.

 

How to book

Visit tendrilkitchen.co.uk for more information.

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