Have you heard about the vegan offerings in the restaurant with one of the best views in London?
My buddy K just sent me the following two photos. One shows the vegan options available at the OXO Tower Brasserie while the other shows the stunning view from the terrace.
Check them out below.
Here is what K had to say about dining in the venue:
“The food at the OXO Tower Brasserie was really tasty but expensive. It is definitely a special occasion place, but it was fab they had a separate vegan/veggie menu.
There was one vegan option available for each of the three courses and I was pleasantly surprised there was chocolate cake for dessert. The drinks were great, including five non-alcoholic cocktails and they had the Luscombe drinks as well.”
Thanks for the heads up, K. Sounds interesting, if a little pricey. I am more inclined to head on over to check it out based on the killer view.
How about you? Have you been? Would the high prices keep you away or would you take a chance for the sake of the view?
Check out the OXO Tower Brasserie online
Given that parmesan isn’t vegetarian, the chargrilled English asparagus dish shouldn’t appear on that menu at all. The same could be said for the pumpkin gnocchi dish – if their pesto contains either gran padano or parmesan, then it’s not vegetarian. It would be interesting to find out cos if they took those off and put them back on the main menu, you could probably convince them to have a completely vegan separate menu!
burrata is also pretty much never vegetarian. Fancy giving them an email about it emsr2d2? I’ll be doing the same.
Here’s the email that I’ve just sent to them:
I’m getting in touch to let you know that several of the items on your vegetarian and vegan menu actually contain meat. I’m sure no harm was intended and that you’ve done it purely through lack of awareness, but it’s a serious matter, claiming that something is vegetarian when it is not is a criminal offence under both the food labelling and trade descriptions act.
The source of the meat on your menu is a thing called animal rennet, which is an ingredient in some (but not all) cheeses. It consists of a calf’s stomach, chopped up with vinegar, and stirred into the cheese.
Cheese containing animal rennet is forbidden from being referred to as vegetarian under both the Food Standards Agency’s definition and the EU definition of the term vegetarian.
Parmesan must always contain animal rennet, it’s part of its PDO designation, so vegetarian parmesan does not exist. Pesto is usually made with parmesan in it, in which case it is also cannot be referred to as vegetarian. Burrata is also very rarely vegetarian.
Can you please confirm which of your dishes are in fact vegetarian, and for any others, either remove them from the menu or amend them to contain only vegetarian ingredients?
It’s very simple to find out, just ask your cheese suppliers, they will be able to tell you which of their cheeses contain vegetable rennet and which of them contain animal (sometimes referred to as natural) rennet.
Thanks Ian. Yes, I plan to email them with similar queries. I agree with the later comment too that if they can’t get their head around parmesan not being veggie, what are the chances of the vegan dishes being genuinely vegan?
Whilst it is great there is a separate menu, It always worries when I see parmesan listed as vegetarian. If there is such a lack of understanding about 1) the ingredients in parmesan and 2) what vegetarian means, then I hold little hope that they understand the requirements of a vegan diet!
I’d go directly to the chocolate dessert & eat it staring out the window :))
You don’t need to eat at the place to enjoy the fantastic views – there’s a free public viewing gallery up there that needs to be used or it will be lost. Currently the restaurant is encroaching on it with tables and ashtrays and calling it their designated smoking area, making it thoroughly unpleasant and unhealthy for anyone attempting to use it, quite apart from blocking access and generally making people feel it’s not a public place. We’re getting that dealt with, but please everyone do go up and make your way to the public viewing gallery, enjoy the view and ignore any restaurant staff getting in your way. If we don’t keep using it despite the smoke and boozy hoorays the restaurant will claim that it’s not used by the public and try to annex it altogether. Many thanks.
I’ve had a reply back from the restaurant, it is indeed all vegetarian, they’ve just for some bemusing reason decided to refer to their twineham grange cheese as parmesan. Not only is that incorrectly telling people that there is meat on the menu, it is also illegal, as the name ‘parmesan’ (like ‘champagne’) is product of designated origin, meaning within the EU it can only ever be used to refer to meaty parmigianno-reggiano. So hopefully they’ll change the menu to be more descriptive.
So it’s just a case of terminology, they do already understand properly what to do to call something vegetarian, so I’d assume that they have a good understanding of vegan too.
Aha. Well, that’s good to know as far as actual ingredients is concerned. I’m sure there are countless places that don’t know that parmesan can’t be called parmesan if it’s not. I can see why people do it though – everyone recognises the name and knows what they’re getting (flavour-wise at least). Thanks for the info.
One of our directors was taken up the Oxo Tower for her fiftieth birthday last year.
Not a place I’d usually go (aside from the free public viewing gallery) but they coped wonderfully with my vegan choices. Pics here:
Am I the only person who thinks “being taken up the Oxo Tower” has to be euphemism?! 😉
Yes indeedy, it is! There used to be many a review of the establishment on-line where they’d fitted in as many double entendres as possible. I had to secretly chuckle last year when the work arrangements were being made, as I couldn’t let on…
I always remind my staff to make sure they call an ingredient almond ‘parmesan’ (which is of course vegan) with inverted commas!