Roux at the Landau — Mayfair, London
Review by Claudia Cahalane
So often vegetarians get used to reading a menu with only one non-meat option on a list of 12 dishes. Call me an activist, but surely at least half or even most of the options should be vegetarian? Most people can eat veggie. Let’s not get started on vegan options either. Although I did discover, while doing a bit of research a few years ago, that some posh restaurants – notably London’s OXO Tower – appear to have a secret veggie/vegan menu that they don’t seem to advertise. I was perplexed to say the least.
Anyway, back to Roux at the Landau in Mayfair, which is now serving a seasonal Vegetables Tasting Menu. We were brought seven mini vegetarian (most were vegan) courses in succession. Each was delicate and flavoursome; a small blast of flavours on the plate. If you like the sound of light roast chestnut broth with wilted chanterelle and thyme gnocchi or roast salsify, toasted hazelnuts and verjus-soaked cherries, you will be happy here. Perhaps the £70 (each) bill might take the edge off the joy, but you’ll feel like a king by the end of your dinner.
A medley of staff attend to your every whim without being annoying. They leave exactly the right amount of time between each dish and pay attention to detail. I felt a little like I’d stepped back in time to a classic Agatha Christie novel, in a good way. The Landau’s decor doesn’t try in any way to be cutting edge, but it was classic and charming.
I have to say that nothing has yet surpassed Brighton’s Terre à Terre for sheer tastebud-dancing veggie happiness. But full marks to the Landau for taking vegetarian food seriously. I was pleased to find out that the Landau works with seasonal farms and suppliers in Essex, Lincolnshire and Hereford where possible.