LDNReview

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image
8.2

Tendril

WebsiteDirections

Fusion

Mayfair

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysDate NightCatching Up With MatesDinner with the ParentsVegans
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At Tendril in Mayfair, small details—an unexpected but welcome swirl of chilli oil, the staff bantering with you about your dessert order, the flattering lighting—are treated like big things. On paper the Asian and Middle Eastern menu sounds quite basic, but these dishes have become regular fixtures in our food dreams. This isn't just one of the best places to eat this close to the human washing machine that is Oxford Circus station, it's one of the best places to eat vegetable dishes in London.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image
Tendril image
Tendril image

Don’t let the townhouse exterior or the red Lamborghini that may or may not be parked outside fool you. Mayfair postcode or not, Tendril is a place where all are welcome. Your friend who has been vowing to cut down on meat will love it. So will any parent who refuses to download Citymapper and must be within two minutes of a station or else they’ll be lost forever. 

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tendril image
Tendril image
Tendril image

Towards the front, the dining room is calm and a little sedate, so book the back section if you like your music a little louder, colour palette more seductive, and seating on the intimate side. For groups, there’s a toffee-coloured booth back here that’s easily the best seat in the house. Overlooking the tables of two and beside the bar, it’s a see and be seen kind of seat, made for sipping cocktails and laughing harder than necessary at your friend’s disaster date story. The bookshelves, lined with genteel titles like Little Dorrit and An English Hymnal, make it seem like you’ve stumbled across the private home of a home counties art director—but this buzzy spot requires booking, especially for a prime table towards the end of the week.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Really, our love of Tendril all goes back to our first scoop of white bean spread that made us question our long-term commitment to hummus. The set menu is plentiful, and if you go à la carte, you'll be having such a charming time that it just makes sense to stay for dessert. With every creamy, chocolatey (dairy-free) mouthful of tiramisu, consider the transformation of any plant-based sceptics at your table complete.

Food Rundown

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

White Bean Spread

When your teacher told you not to judge a book by its cover they probably weren’t thinking of white bean spread, but it still applies. It’s hard to make a white, smooth paste look appetising—so ignore its appearance and dunk, swirl, and dunk some more. We love the addition of fiery chilli oil which punches up the subtle, nutty flavour of the spread.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Crispy Potato & Fennel Remoulade

Tendril’s remoulade is served with an artful smear of aioli that’ll weed out vampires. We want this ferocity from every garlicky mayonnaise. The creamy, crunchy fennel pairs well with the deep-fried, layered potatoes. A mouthful of all these things is our dream snack.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Baked Feta

A rare miss on the menu. Unless you’re a real feta-head, this is quite monotonous to eat. We like the addition of crispy rice and the drizzle of sesame-speckled honey, but even that isn’t enough to make this feel like we’re not trudging through a block of cheese.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

‘Chinatown’ Purple Potatoes

These vibrant, slightly spicy, purple potatoes are cut into tiny crispy cubes and doused in a sticky, sweet sesame glaze. The addition of the sesame cracker shard adds a nice crunch.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Baked Brie & Truffle Toast

A much more successful take on baked cheese than the feta, this is a small square of excellent cheese toastie. It’s gooey and oozing, the truffle is decadent, and we can totally see why you’d keep cheese on the otherwise vegan menu just for this dish.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Chipotle Mushrooms

We know that people who describe mushrooms as ‘meaty’ are a walking ick, but these mushrooms are in fact meaty. They come on a skewer, have a charred taste, and pull apart pleasingly. They’re not a must-order, but they’ll satisfy anyone who comes to this mostly plant-based spot begrudgingly.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Stuffed Courgette With Pilaf Rice & Feta

We weren’t a fan of these courgettes which were cut too thickly for our liking and weren’t very flavoursome. The filling was also forgettable. There are so many other great things on the menu, so swerve these.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Roasted Carrots, Orange, Crispy Rice

Remember when people used to eat boiled carrots—sad times. These are burnished and golden, with crispy, craggy edges and a nice citrus hit of orange juice to keep things from feeling heavy or oily.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Celeriac Terrine & Remoulade

One of the best celeriac dishes we’ve ever had. What’s not to like about a fried, crispy coating, soft pieces of celeriac which melt in the mouth, and a smoky harissa sauce to mop up every bite? Nothing. Naysayers will say deep-fried vegetables are a cop out. We disagree.

Tendril image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Tiramisu

A vegan tiramisu is always going to be compared to a dairy version. But this isn’t just good for a vegan tiramisu. It’s a tiramisu you should seek out even if lactose is your one true love. We like the balance of coffee and the whole thing is light. Like other dishes, portions veer to the generous side so we'd suggest sharing if you’re already feeling pretty full but don’t want to miss out.

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FOOD RUNDOWN