Vantra, Soho

14th November 2011

I have been a bit slow in getting round to Vantra. I have to say the whole Vitaorganic/Vitao/Vantra caper has been a bit confusing for me. It is my understanding that the creators of Vitao (previously Vitaorganic, which I loved) had created Vantra. I had so many questions: Would Vitao still be operating and still be as good? Why had they moved? Oooh more raw? More space? A la carte menu and dim sum???

Sash was the first to try it out and it sounded very promising. However she has been there since and the grand food plans during inception do not appear to have materialised.

My first impressions were of a nice open space suitable for live music/events etc, Vitao in comparison is quite cramped but I actually find it cosy. But then hang on a minute, aren’t those Vitao pots filled with Vitao looking currries salads and other dishes everywhere?

Then I became really confused. I could not for the life of me find a menu other than the one up behind the bar, they have a sign outside advertising shepherd’s pie, lasagne  and raw pizza on the website and yet what possible could have been these items behind the counter were not labelled.

I had gone in prepared to peruse the delights stirred up in my imagination on the website and actually was presented with a buffet. Just to clarify Vitao (the last time I went) operated a pay by scoop system for items at the counter and also had a buffet section where you could fill your own plate up.
Still my dining partner and I soldiered on, after spending much time trying to fathom out how it all worked and then trying to decipher the plate size pricing (prices go up in the evening) we got stuck in.

Large plate with free soup £12

There is a huge selection of dishes to choose from, but now I was in Vitto mode and was disappopinted there was no stroganoff and an imposter green godess broccoli.
The vast array of items to choose from was a bit overwhelming, not wanted to miss out on anything I did try to get a bit of everything on my plate. This however meant that when you came accross something particularly tasty on your plate you had no idea what it was as everything is mooshed together. Oh and cold, everything that was meant to be hot wasn’t including the soup.
Again there were plenty of desserts to chose from. We went for a steamed chocolate cake. I didn’t like it, it had a very earthy flavour to it, was dry and not moist as I would imagine a steamed cake to be. The cream that accompanied it however was ah-mazing I am wondering if it’s something they make in-house?

It’s unlikely I will go back, although my dining partner really enjoyed it and seemed to be contemplating returning. I am intrigued to see whether Vitao is still serving up the same quality of food prior to the change of management. I have to agree with Steven here and suggest you go to Tibits, 222 Veggie Vegan Rest or Beatroot if you want a buffet service.

Vantra on Urbanspoon

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