The chef demonstrates insight into vegan wants and frustrations, through which he has choreographed a really excellent menu.
My husband and two friends went to Apothecary one Friday night to celebrate my and my friend’s new jobs..My friend is also gluten free, so we gave them a fair challenge, especially as we wanted to do the 6 course tasting menu!
Now, can I just say, that my friend and I were prepared to feel hungry AFTER we’d eaten. It’s always the case. The kitchen serves the same portion size to vegans as they do the meat eaters, but the calorific value of plants is NOT the same as meat and dairy.
NO SUCH PROBLEM AT APOTHECARY!
I apologise in advance for the dwindling quality and detail of my reviews the further into the six courses I write about, but I was so full I could hardly take notes, SUCH a refreshing change!
Starter – Olives & Gluten Free Bread
The olives were OK. It’s the bread that impressed us. It was light and super tasty. I don’t normally eat a tonne of carbs and if I do, bread is my last choice (I’m a pasta person), but this was good bread. I actually wanted more. Dipped in the robust flavoured olive oil they provided, it was the perfect starter, although nothing could have prepared my stomach for what was to come…
Course 1 – Chickpeas with chickpea flower, fried olives, thyme & salt
Oh no. This is good and I need to eat all of it. I secretly prayed that my friends would hate it so that I could demolish the whole thing myself although, not surprisingly, they too bloody loved it. Shit.
It was like popcorn chicken. I think it was the texture that actually made this so moreish, but the fact it is, it WAS moreish. May this dish forever remain on their menu.
Also, how is it that the olives and bread not Course 1? Well it wasn’t. Ok, there’s a good amount of food happening here.
Course 2 – Waldorf Salad
Ok, not boring!
Good actually and a massive departure from the fast food vibe that was the chickpea situation. And the yummy, warm zucchini … clever!
I noticed two things of note at this point. 1. I was starting to feel full. Oh no. 2. The salt situation. I love salt, it’s freaking ace. But, wherever I go, I always have to add more. Again, NO SUCH PROBLEM AT APOTHECARY! The salad was perfectly seasoned, like perfect, like actual perfect. Totes perfect, yeh. It won’t last.
Course 3 – Green Bean, Pea & Oyster Mushroom Salad
Ok, here we go. All aboard the salad train because that’s all vegans eat! Actually, does anyone have any rabbit food, or a fruit salad maybe? No? Oh well THAT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE THIS WAS AMAZING!
I don’t even like green beans or peas for heaven’s sake. But I did in this. Ok, full honesty, the green beans were maybe slightly undercooked, but I’m being picky with that.
And the parsley! Parsley being THE most tasteless herb known to planet earth (soz Parsley, but you are and you know it). But Mr Parsley actually added something here, other than the obligatory topping. The hero though was the subtle but still definitely there, mustard flavour, perfectly balanced with the acidity that ran through it from whatever other genius salad sauciness was going on. Salt – still perfect.
Course 4 – Broccoli with Radish, Apple and Tahini
Doesn’t sound like it should taste of a beautiful, fragrant and light thai curry, does it? But it did. Whaaaaa. What’s going on here, kitchen? This is great. Mainly because it’s great, but also because it’s intriguing me, it’s SO interesting. Plus, the broccoli was perfectly cooked, just to retain a little bite.
Also, what’s the crack with this salting ability? Stop it now, it’s scary. How are you DOING this?
Ok, Christ, I just realised I am about to explode.
It was at this point we HAD to ask the wait staff to slow down. The food was amazing but it had been coming out at a fair pace; the table wasn’t massive and struggling to accommodate it all but, more importantly, I had a genuine fear that unless I took a break now, I would not make it to dessert. And I. Wanted. Dessert.
Course 5 – Eggplant with, I want to say, mint & pesto & also quinoa…?
Hold on, it’s not dessert yet?
I struggle to remember the details of this dish, it may have been because I was drifting in and out of a food coma or because I had actually died of over ingestion at this point. No, the first is correct, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. But whatevs, LOOK AT IT!
I’m going to go with it was good. Yeh, get it in ya.
Course 6 – Coconut Ice Cream
Oh thank holy basil, we have arrived. Dessert.
I woke up from my food coma for just long enough to tell my stomach there was more and consume the ice cream.
Look it was good. My friend was LOVING it, but I recall thinking it was a little too coconutty, which is unusual for me because I love coconut (my favourite chocolate bar as a kid was Bounty, especially the dark chocolate one…)
That being said it was NOT a fruit salad or a cheese board. So good effort and I would definitely eat it again!