Plant, W1F 7NB
- (020) 7734 7528
- 47 Poland Street (map of this place)
- W1F 7NB
I walked past here last Friday, 14 Jan 2005, and there was a sign on the door saying that Plant is closed until further notice. --Kake
Opened in early 2002, and totally vegetarian, Plant began as a lunch takeaway/cafe place but recently (early 2003) opened a restaurant in a back room.
First note that they're not licensed! Though they do have a few non-alcoholic wines. We had one of the whites (£10.50 a bottle) which wasn't bad at all, though sweeter than we really wanted.
Starters are around £4–5, and include things like French Onion Soup (disappointing, needed a lot more body), Asparagus and Pepper Salad (very small), Pittas with Dips (very large). We noted quite an impressive variation in substantiality among the starters we chose; good job we were sharing about.
Mains are around a tenner. The Asparagus Pancakes were overly greasy and were served with a very salty but nice tomato sauce, yet more grease in the form of new potatoes tossed in oil, and some very welcome lightly-steamed broccoli. The Tofu Nicoise was very good. I only had a little of it because it was really Juliet's dinner, but the olives were nice, and the tofu was well-marinaded and full-flavoured.
So, not bad in general. The really lovely thing was that there's a huge choice for vegans — everything mentioned above was vegan. We paid £20 per head, which was OK. We'd have spent a fair bit more if they'd had real wine. I'll come back here if I'm in the area, but if I'm travelling I'd sooner go to Manna.
[Prices as of April 2003]
Soup, pre-packed sandwiches (some vegan, also wheat free/yeast free in a few cases), fruit and crisps are available, as are breakfast specials such as egg or tofu scramble with toast (£3.95), but the main attraction is the “Plant tray”, a three-section box containing a main dish, a mixed salad and a starch, for £4.95. [Prices at 2002-03-28]
Main dishes include the rich and tasty Eggplant Parmesan (actually vegan — the usual ricotta is replaced with seasoned mashed tofu, and no actual Parmesan cheese is used), Cauliflower and Broccoli in Pimento Sauce (also vegan, I think), and Goats Cheese Tart. The mixed salad contains radish slices, sunflower seeds, mixed leaves and a few sprouted seeds, and comes with a choice of four dressings, all vegan, including vinaigrette, pimento dressing and spinach dressing. The starch choice is between spicy potatoes and mixed wild and white rice with pine nuts (both vegan).
The vegan choices at least are surprisingly rich for vegan food, but very tasty and reasonably filling.
The food took a little while longer to arrive than we expected, despite us being essentially the only customers, but this isn't at all a complaint, just a warning that you might have to wait a minute or so longer than you might do at McDonalds.
There is minimal seating — 10 or so tall stools at a counter running around two edges of the room. There are toilets out the back through the restaurant but I don't know whether cafe users are discouraged from using them.