ECO EATERY: Mildred’s, Soho

Nudged into action by the launch of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, the Londonist embarks on an eco eating crawl.

After misleading hints at spring, it was a bitterly cold night with winds of ice whipping round the streets of Soho. We were inappropriately dressed and in need of something hot and hearty. Mildred’s cheerful turquoise shop front boded well, as did the smells and hum of contentment that greeted us as we slipped through the door.

It was around 7.30pm on a Thursday and the restaurant, which doesn’t take bookings, was almost full. In fact downstairs was full, so we were offered a place upstairs, in a small, cosy, low lit and high ceilinged townhouse dining room, with walls decorated with framed vintage porn.

We ordered a bottle of the house red (organic and under £15) and perused a menu that was exclusively vegetarian and featured all kinds of things from risotto cakes, stews and curries to pie and chips, and bangers and mash, as well as less stodgy items like salads and oriental broths. There were no culinary allegiances, no country or cuisine favoured over another, the only rule was that everything was meat free.

Freezing and in need of food of the comfort variety we opted for mixed mushroom, porcini and ale pie with fries and mushy peas, and sundried tomato and bean sausages with horseradish mash, spring greens and red wine gravy. Both looked good and were generous in size. The verdict on the pie, from a meat eater, was that it was good as long as you were a big fan of mushrooms. The bangers were yummy, the mash and greens light and tasty, and the mustard eye watering. The wine was good.

We were fed and watered well for about £15 each including tip, which felt like a bargain. Service was swift and coolly friendly. Organic wine, tap water and veggie fare meant it was definitely a meal that was quietly eco as well as tasty.

Mildred’s, 45 Lexington Street, W1F 9AN, www.mildreds.co.uk

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