Celebrate World Vegan Month with a carefully curated tasting menu at Bokan –
Veganism is very much in vogue at the moment with dedicated street food markets popping up as well as restaurants offering dedicated vegan menus for the health and ethically-conscious diners. One of the best vegan tasting menus, you will discover this month is at the incredibly popular Bokan in Canary Wharf. People are flocking to the Novotel hotel to catch a glimpse of the latest rooftop bar and restaurant to hit London and now vegans are also clamouring to visit Bokan because of Aurelie Altemaire's meticulously curated vegan tasting menu.
The inventive plant-based menu started off with an amuse-bouche course of chilled carrot soup with carrot crisps to give added texture. It was served in a dainty teacup and from a Hendrick's gin bottle and certainly added some theatre to the evening along with the fireworks we could see in the distance.
Aubergine and piquillo peppers with roquette coulis and black olives were served a little too quick for us to think it was made to order. Nevertheless, it was visually appealing with the sharp contrast between the vibrant red of the peppers and the concentric circles of the green roquette coulis. The dish also felt relatively more substantial than other similar vegan dishes you might have encountered.
The next dish was another visual masterpiece in the form of roast celeriac, organic apples, toasted hazelnuts with sage from their very own garden. The dish was slightly too sweet for a starter/main course dish but it had a pleasing mixture of textures from the crunch of the hazelnuts and apples to the smooth velvety texture of the cooked celeriac.
This was followed by a filling course of pumpkin risotto with chives, truffle and wild mushrooms. It shows that vegan cooking isn't as difficult as it sounds, as you can substitute items like olive oil for butter, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and the fact you are not using cheese, just makes it an additional health bonus for choosing a vegan risotto.
We finished off with a light, refreshing course of pineapple carpaccio with raspberry, passion fruit, candied cashew and piña colada sorbet. This was the ideal dessert to follow the relatively heavier course of pumpkin risotto, although it wouldn't be a typical wintery dessert you would order in November. The piña colada sorbet was particularly invigorating for the palate after the savoury courses.
Making these ingredients the starring act instead of their typical supporting roles, really shows a chef like Aurelie Altemaire to be at the top of her game and definitely one to watch in the coming months and years.