If you have been following my blog, you will know that for the New Year I have resolved to go back to eating the best diet possible (without being completely restrictive) and as part of that I have been eating mostly vegan during the week. Just to be clear, I am NOT vegan, but MY diet is probably around 75% plant based. For January I have cut out dairy, which was previously a huge part of my diet and I have cut way back on alcohol to pre-Christmas levels which means no alcohol during the week (and only a couple of drinks on the weekend). So with my resolutions firmly in mind, I planned a girls night out with a good friend at Redemption Bar, Covent Garden, which is both a vegan restaurant and alcohol free cocktail bar. Situated at the back of Neal’s Yard in Seven Dials, I found it a bit hard to find, but in a way that made it extra special as it meant it had a ‘hidden gem’ feel.
The restaurant front is neutral painted wood panelling, somewhat reminiscent of barn cladding, painted with an angel wing with #redemptionbar scrawled in a pretty handwriting font above. You can see into the restaurant through the large bi-fold doors at the front and I could immediately see my friend inside waving to me. I noticed that there were some small white tables and chairs outside the restaurant which I can imagine would be lovely to sit at on a warm summer evening, with all the buzz of after work meet ups happening around you.
Upon entering the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was the décor – I loved it! White and grey marble tables with beautiful jewel toned teal velvety chairs were situated around the perimeter and a long high table with high chairs in the same materials ran down the middle. The table accessories (i.e. the salt and pepper grinders and the sugar bowls) on the table were a pretty rose gold colour and gave the restaurant a luxurious feel. Each table featured a small succulent plant and a candle, which was at once charming and minimalistic. The restaurant is definitely on the small side and quite narrow but had a feeling of more roominess than there actually was due to the light colours, reflective surfaces, well placed mirrors and good use of the space available. We didn’t have any problem booking a table for two the night before for our Thursday dinner date, but I would recommend booking in advance for the weekend as there is limited space.
The drinks menu (which was entirely alcohol free) included non-alcoholic beers, sparkling wines and a fairly extensive mocktail list, as well as kombucha, various teas and other hot drinks. Water was already on the table when I arrived and after a few minutes of perusing the menu I ordered the Pious Pina Colada and my friend ordered the Crantini along with our shared starter and our mains. As we were deep in conversation, we didn’t notice straight away, but after ten minutes our starter had arrived and our drinks hadn’t. In fact, we didn’t get our mocktails until after our main had been served. I was beginning to feel a bit annoyed about this when the bartender came over and explained that she had made a mistake on a previous order for a large party and had to re-do all their drinks before she could move onto anyone else’s. She took full blame and apologised which was honest and endearing and any mild annoyance I had felt instantly dissipated. Both mocktails were pretty and delicious and I am a huge fan of coconut so my Pious Pina Colada was worth the wait.
The menu had plenty of options but wasn’t so long as to be overwhelming and it was quite varied, with everything from burgers to salads to pasta. We ordered the corn chips, turmeric hummus & guacamole as a shared starter for £7.95. I am a big guacamole aficionado (if that’s really a thing!) so was prepared to be underwhelmed, but theirs was fresh, vibrant and delicious. The turmeric hummus was really tasty too. For our mains, I chose the pulled barbecued jack and my friend ordered the buff burger, both for £12.95. The dishes were served on very pretty, rustic, dark-coloured plates. The burgers came on gluten free sourdough buns and were accompanied by winter super slaw and chunky sweet potato fries. My friend’s burger was full of shitake mushrooms, black beans, nuts and beetroot which gave it a great flavour and a similar colour and texture to a beef burger. My pulled jackfruit had quite a sweet and tangy flavour which was nice, although I probably wouldn’t order it again as the sweet flavour became a bit cloying for my palate towards the end (if you like sweet things then do give it a try!). I enjoyed the slaw which was crunchy and well dressed and the sweet potato chips, which had been dusted with smoked paprika, were also nice. In hindsight I wish I had ordered the marinara & brown rice penne pasta which looked delicious, completely smothered in a dark sun dried tomato sauce and covered with olives, rocket and roasted pecans.
My friend and I were both too full for dessert after our mains, but we decided to go for the turmeric lattes made with coconut milk which were creamy, comforting and perfectly spiced! I was feeling a bit sad about my resolution to cut back on sugar as our drinks came with a pretty rose gold sugar bowl filled with sugar that looked like dark brown very fine sand. I really wanted to try it but resisted and the latte was smooth enough that didn’t really need the extra sweetness anyway.
I visited the toilets before we left and was pleasantly surprised. To reach them you had to walk towards the back of the restaurant and down the stairs. The washroom area was very clean and chic. Each cubicle was decorated with different wallpaper and art and the colours used were very in keeping with the décor upstairs. It was clear that every detail in this stylish restaurant had been well thought through.
All in all, I would give Redemption bar an 8/10. I would definitely go back and would recommend it to anyone living a vegan lifestyle or looking for something a little different. Oh, and if Covent Garden isn’t in your area of town, Redemption Bar also has restaurants in Shoreditch and Notting Hill.
Have you been? If so, tell me about your experience!