It was a joy to be invited to the launch of the exotic vegan restaurant Vantra Vitao located on Oxford Street. Before we (myself, Michelle and Emily) entered the restaurant, we were welcomed by a golden glow of light, great music and an animated atmosphere. Inside, the restaurant was decorated like a tropical paradise with a generous choice of freshly cooked dishes surrounding the entrance to form an exciting buffet, and on the opposite side an equally colourful bar serving beautiful non-alcoholic cocktails.
It was a full house but we were all seated by the friendly and hospitable manager who was remarkably welcoming, informative and genuinely passionate about the vegan lifestyle, as he informed us of the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of eating a healthy vegan diet. We all ordered irresistible tasting cock-tails that offered a different sensual experience. Michelle had the Aromance cocktail which enhances romantic feelings, Emily had the Root Power cocktail which increases strength, stamina and fights stress and I had the Go and Glow which lightens up your life.
Our thoughts and verdicts:
As a pescatarian, slowly transitioning to vegetarianism, I was very open to trying a diet free from animal by-products. Initially, my main concern on becoming a vegan was the decreased variety in food, meeting my dietary requirement and missing the foods I enjoy such as cheese and chocolate. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how each meal was deliciously flavoursome and very filling. It was delicately & beautifully presented and thoughtfully prepared.
I was also very impressed by their attention to adjusting their catering to suit those who may have allergies, with the option to request gluten and wheat free meals. My favourite meals were the tasty lasagne and an exquisite trio of fruity and creamy cheesecakes that were simply divine!
My highlight of the evening was when the chairs and tables were cleared away to create a dance floor. I was astounded by how well all the dancers were, bringing energy, excitement and entertainment to the launch party. I didn’t join in fortunately but I enjoyed watching how in sync they were with the brilliant playlist. I also liked the absence of alcohol on the premises which kept everyone was in a cheerful and relaxed mood.
This is one restaurant that offers an ambient and chilled out environment to eat wholesome tasty food and dance the night away after. I highly recommend visiting Vantra Vitao.
As a meat eater I was rather cynical about all the hype surrounding veganism, prior to visiting the restaurant I felt that vegans couldn’t easily get a balanced diet. On visiting Vantra Vitao my thoughts have changed. After seeing the wide selection of food on offer and tasting the creamy and exotic tastes of vegan lasagna and the smooth, succulent and fruity flavours of three varieties of vegan cake, I am now truly sold by the fact that vegans do indeed have a varied and balanced diet.
I must admit that I am rather surprised at how creative the team at Vantra Vitao are. Their menu offered an amazing selection of scrumptious tasties, all of which I wanted to try! I was going to go for the simple apple juice as a drink, but the Chinese owner appealed to my risk taking side and encouraged me to try something new. That was what I did and the Aromance cocktail was amazing and oozed with fruity tastes that melted in my mouth.
I also learnt much about the vegan lifestyle from the lovely owner who ensured me that being a vegan is not just about eating good food but is also about the mind and body.
Although some of the foods were a little too spicy for my sensitive palate and the cost of the dishes works out a little high, I’d still go back and dine there for a special occasion.
My highlights of the evening were learning all about how the food was prepared, tasting lots of scrumptious vegan food and malt wine and watching the other diners dance their socks off after eating. All in all I had an amazing time and I would recommend that everybody gives vegan food a chance before judging – it might surprise you with just how good it tastes!
Being a vegan can, at times, be difficult. It is especially difficult when going out for lunch or dinner. So when there are places to go where you can eat everything on the menu, it’s somewhere you definitely want to try out. So when I was given the opportunity to go to Vantra Vitao, I was very excited.
I was not disappointed, so many aspects of the eventful night made it worth going again. I’ll start with the obvious, the food. I have many people ask me “what do vegans eat?” and “do they only eat vegetables” The answer to the second, is no. This place shows a perfect example of how much variety of foods there can be without using meat, fish, dairy or eggs.
Honestly I found some of the food too spicy for my liking but the majority of it, had amazing flavours and a gorgeous selection of different things to try out in their buffet. Being on Oxford Street, next to Tottenham court road station, it is easily accessible. However despite its beauty and wonderful tasting foods, I cannot ignore the simple fact that it is expensive. The buffet costs depending on the weight of the food you put on your plate. It is easy to lose sight at how much you will be paying.
The evening menu is set meals rather than their lunch time buffet style, but again, can be costly. However if you’re careful on the quantity and focus more on the quality, I do recommend going there at least once to make up your own mind.
Words by Cardine Martin, Emily May and Michelle Stannard
Photography by Michelle Stannard and Cardine Martin