Dine,

Alexandrie, Kensington

Anyone who listens to my podcast (if you don’t, why not? It’s right here) would know I did a 30 day vegan challenge recently. During that time I was invited to review Alexandrie. One of the hardest things about the 30 day vegan challenge was finding suitable restaurants. Not places where they could take the cheese off or you just have to order sides, but restaurants that actually cater to vegans. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Alexandrie has an entire vegan menu! I was sold.

Alexandrie claims to offer ‘inspired Egyptian cuisine with influences from France, Italy and Greece’, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. The introductory spread of crispbreads with houmous, pickled aubergine and baba ganoush is reminiscent of Middle Eastern food, but the menu also features speciality dishes such as Molokheya – Egypt’s renowned herb soup.

My taking to the pickled aubergine was surprising as I’m not a big fan of aubergine’s texture. Something about the tart contrast to the slime in tiny pieces was right up my street.

Our starters were simple and could have used a little more flare on the presentation; tempura king prawns and red lentil velouté.

The menu lists this as ‘traditional over-baked okra (bamia)’ and is a dish you can find across the Middle East and north Africa – I’ve always known it as being Greek. For the omnivores, bamia also comes with lamb and is served with saffron basmati rice.

I, however, was on a date with a carnivore who made the best decision ordering this beauty!

Slow-roasted tender shank of lamb served with smooth mashed potatoes.

It was at this point, in all 30 days, that I most regretted my veganism choice.

FALLING. OFF. THE. BONE.

Comments were made that the flavour wasn’t as intense as it could have been, or as it looked, but I couldn’t resist but dip my pitta bread in that gravy! Gravy is vegan, I don’t care what you say.

Other vegan options include a Mediterranean ratatouille, palm heart salad and Mahashi courgettes. There’s even a vegan dessert option of Baklava which I thoroughly enjoyed! Pastry without butter may just be a thing.

The full menu offers a selection of desserts including the chocolate délice with raspberry sorbet and peanut tuile and Mehalabeya – mastic-based milk pudding with candied pistachios.

Overall, the decor is clean, simple and fits in with the area of Kensington. I checked out the toilets too (as always) and was happy to find no wooden toilet seats and great mirror too!

Thank you Alexandrie for having us. Make a reservation and check it out for yourself!

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