It is sad to see something that is unwanted.
Such was the seat next to us that we had at Plants.
In our time here, it had no less than five visitors who all promptly asked to be moved elsewhere. Granted, it was next to me which probably didn’t help matters but in my defence, perhaps it was because it was shoved up against the wall. In an otherwise not full dining room with far more enjoyable locations, it just didn’t seem to be the first choice in seating arrangements for anyone who came in.
I felt much sympathy for the seat as in my younger days, I was often picked last for a team. No matter whether the game at stake rewarded physical prowess, intellectual capabilities or comeliness, I was not one to win any popularity contest. Although events continue to conspire against me as these things still happen with me now. Then again, there is the saying that there are no ugly men, just lazy ones and so maybe that is a hint that I should spend more time in the bathroom in the morning. Putting such nattering aside, let us move on to the food. Plant is – as the more astute among you may have guessed – a vegetarian restaurant.
48-hour sourdough flatbread. It is run by the heavily marketed personality of Deliciously Ella.
Homemade cultured butter made from Macedonian nuts. This bread was rather delicious, especially with the nut-based butter. As I hoped that it should be as cost a pretty penny.
Crispy fried okra, spicy peanut sauce, sourdough breadcrumbs and zesty baby watercress. Crispy, nutty, morish and leafy. Excellence on a plate.
Polenta fries, jalapeno aioli. In another dip to doing things right, this was crispy and excellent with salt crystals on top, it had a bit of a strange lemon flavour though. From my lazy days washing dishes, I am well acquainted with the taste of lemon dishwasher liquid, so sadly this citrus flavour brought me back to my less fortunate days.
Maple glazed cauliflower with spicy butterbean puree and hazelnut and mint pesto. Dressed up in a way that it was meaty, filling and nutty. This was the best dish of the day. I almost couldn’t believe it wasn’t meat as it was rich in umami. After ploughing through at least half of this dish in delight, unfortunately, I also had to make sure that I had had enough water though as this was exceedingly salty.
Spring risotto with white and green asparagus, truffle oil and marjoram. Pretty to look at. Sadly, rather boring. However, the risotto lacked spark and left me wanting more. Look great, delivered less, similar to many media personalities I have met in person. In the flesh, it is harder to please.
Cacio e peppe with macadamia parmesan, kampot black pepper and pistachio. With generous pistachio and parmesan, it’s rich flavour was particularly welcome. It was nice but as I have learnt from my own failures of cooking, if you put enough salt in most things, they end up tasting rather fine.
If this is how plants are supposed to taste, I will be back. Although probably not that soon as I think my kidneys need to recover from the over zealous salting and my wallet from the rather full prices. Yet, it is a popular place so maybe the crowds know something that I do not – and – that is maybe why people don’t like me that much.
A quiet eating 8/10.
Lunch (2 courses) was GBP40 per person excluding drinks and service.
18-20 Weighhouse Street
London W1K 5LU