Friday, 27 March 2009

David Bann

It has long been a running joke in my relationship with T that just as he will never get me to go McDonalds, he will never eat at David Bann's.

Last night T and I ventured to David Bann's for a vegetarian dinner.

I am still not going to McDonalds though.

Unlike many vegetarian restaurants, David Bann looks pretty classy. There are no ethnic knick-knacks or waitresses wearing clogs and some knitted trousers from Thailand. While I am partial to the odd bout of hippyness, I am also partial to going to fancy restaurants.

I started off with the Thai fritters, while T had leek and tomato tartlet. The Thai fritters had smoked tofu in, and I wanted to see if a vegetarian chef could make tofu taste good! They were nicely crispy, but the spicyness of them overwhelmed the peas and ginger. The mango chutney was also a bit less flavourful than I would have hoped. These were minor criticisms though, and T enjoyed the forkful I sent his way. T seemed to enjoy the tartlet too, leaving only a few crumbs on the plate.

Next up T had mushroom and cashew curry, with rice fritters. Generally it lived up to his high curry standards, but he was a little disappointed that it had more of a focus on the cashew than the mushroom. I had the chilli with smoked cheese and chocolate coriander sauce, served in a wrap. The chilli was very rich, and I didn't make it through the whole dish. The smoked cheese was dotted throughout the wrap, which meant every other mouthful had a delicious creamy element to it. The chocolate and coriander was not that discernable, and on the whole I think I could recreate this pretty well at home. However, the real star of this dish was the guacamole. It had just the right amount of lime and chilli, so the flavour was deliciously bright and zingy. Even though I couldn't finish some of the bean chilli, I made sure every scrap of guacamole was devoured!

We finished our meal with coffee and desserts. I had the cinnamon apple fritter with ginger ice cream. The spicing was a little strong, although the soft apple worked nicely with the crispy batter, and the hot fritters were contrasted against the ice cream. T's ice cream was served on tiny wafers, and the range of flavours to choose from was very varied.

I think we were both pleasantly surprised about how the menu was designed so that meat was not obviously missing. I don't mind vegetarian food, although T is a hardened carnivore, so it was a very unusual experience for him. Although the final bill was fairly expensive once wine and service had been added in, if the restaurant had served meat I think you would looking at £17-20 for a main course instead of £10-12. In this respect, we got a quality of cooking and service that you would normally expect to pay much more for.

If T ever recovers from eating vegetarian food (and even, dare I say, enjoying it) then we'll definitely be back one day.

David Bann's Vegetarian on Urbanspoon