But Blah Blah Blah provides a mixed experience
Vegetarian restaurants may conjure up images of sandal-wearing, bearded hippies eating lentils, but Blah, Blah, Blah in Goldhawk Road brings a bit of glamour to the veggie world.
Step in from the insalubrious Shepherd's Bush street, and you are greeted with dark red walls, mirrors and fine cuisine.
My friend Sunita and I visited the restaurant on Friday at 7.45pm.When we came in, only one table was filled with two women, which made me wonder if veggie dining was a female-only frontier. However, the place soon filled up with couples of both sexes, which put my mind at rest.
Blah Blah Blah is unlicensed, so you save money on wine. We opened our bottle of Rioja (£1.50 corkage) and ordered two starters, halloumi tikka and plantain fritters - a mixture of Indian and Caribbean food. These dishes arrived promptly and beautifully presented. The halloumi tikka was tasty, the salty white cheese marinated in Indian spices. We both enjoyed this dish and the savoury plantain fritters, which came with curried vegetables and chilli creme fraiche .
However, we found the main courses slightly disappointing. Sunita's potato and lentil wrap lacked flavour, and the filo pastry surrounding it was dry and unappetising. She also did not like the red wine sauce.
My Kashmiri curry was lovely, made with almonds, mixed vegetables and fluffy basmati rice flavoured with cumin seeds. However, about halfway through my dish, I discovered a long hair, presumably the chef's, which slightly dampened my enthusiasm.
We did not finish either main course, and on nipping outside so Sunita could have a cigarette, found ourselves in a bizarre conversation with a very vocal woman who was stumbling up Goldhawk Road. We returned to the restaurant and started our desserts. The puddings were absolutely gorgeous - and I don't normally like restaurant puddings.
The plum crumble, which was flavoured with crushed almonds, was a big hit with Sunita. It came surrounded by homemade custard, decorated with a lattice pattern similar to a Bakewell tart. I loved the banana and walnut tarte tatin, a stunning combination of sweet caramelised bananas and crunchy walnuts. These puddings were the best I've eaten for months.
Our bill came to £50 - not bad for two people eating three courses each. Basically, I left with mixed feelings about Blah Blah Blah. While the starters and puddings were delicious, the main courses left a little to be desired.
Our waiter was also over attentive, leaning over us in a flirtatious manner which left Sunita feeling slightly nervous. And the restaurant's location on Goldhawk Road means you see Shepherd's Bush at its most colourful on a Friday night. But Blah Blah Blah is a fun and funky night out, and Sunita and I left the restaurant with smiles on our faces.
November 16, 2007