Vantra (Soho)

Vantra describes itself as being "Pioneering Organic Cuisine". Pretty exciting stuff - it'd be disappointing if it was basically just another grotty buffet.

I've walked past but not been in before. I had 10 minutes to grab takeaway in the area recently, so popped in to see what it was like.

£6 for a takeaway box is very reasonable; perhaps a little too reasonable, given the cost of their rent (just off Oxford Street). When the chain of chinese vegan buffets opened they were incredible value for money - you literally could eat £6 worth of ingredients (cashews, peppers, fresh veg etc) and not understand how they made any profit. As the years passed by the use of decent ingredients waned, until what we had today: lukewarm bland mush with an over reliance on fake meat.

First impression of Vanta? Very good. The staff seemed a bit confused and unprepared for the start of lunch service, but overall they've done a great job of the decor and creating a brand:

All their food is vegan; I got a takeaway box and a slice of good looking banana cake, which comes with soya cream.

The food itself? Meh.

No one thing was exceptional and there were a few flavours I really didn't like at all.

It also didn't smell that good - in fact I felt a little embarrassed getting on the tube with it. Quality wise: it is better than a Tai buffet, but not a lot better.

The cake survived about an hour of walking around London / tube journeys without going soggy in the soya cream. This is testament to quite how dry it was - but tasted good if you rationed out the cream effectively.

Vantra has nothing on Tibits, which is similarly priced and nearby. I will return however I hopefully try an evening meal there.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    I ate at Vantra today and found the food exciting and different and the steamed banana cake wasn't dry at all actually it was the best cake I have ever eaten and had three pieces something I have never done in my life before. If I could could cake like that I would be very proud!

    Jo-Ann Brown.
    May 2012

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