Today’s review is another restaurant outside of Leicester, but it’s only about 20 min away so I thought it was worth a visit. I promise to get back to city-based reviews soon.
My experience with 34 Windsor St began well before arriving at the restaurant thanks to a swift and friendly email exchange about vegan options. I thought the dishes sounded lovely so booked a table for two on a Saturday evening. Then, the day of the booking the restaurant got in touch via Twitter to ask if we’d be interested in a vegan tasting menu. If I wasn’t excited before, I certainly was at this point.
Burbage is only about 20 minutes west of Leicester, so really not hard to get to at all. The restaurant looks like any regular old pub from the outside, but once inside it is really beautiful, with lovely hardwood floors and high-backed chairs. It’s a big restaurant but is broken up in different rooms so it still feels intimate.
The vegan tasting menu was made especially for us that day, and sounded incredibly intriguing, with dishes like “water” and beetroot cake catching my eye. After we had ordered our drinks, we even had a quick visit from the chef to wish us an enjoyable meal.
The first thing to arrive at our table were tasty little sourdough bread muffins served in a paper basket with vegan, soy-based butter. To accompany this, we were served zingy gazpacho in cute little glass jars.
The first dish was called “water” and the server explained it was because the food used in the dish were all heavily water-based fruits and vegetables including melon, cucumber, grapes and watermelon. The fruits were frozen and sprinkled with little edible flowers on top. In addition to being quite possibly the most colorful dish I’ve ever eaten, it was also incredibly tasty. The fruit was really sweet and juicy, and the fact that it was frozen was a lovely surprise – it was a perfect summertime starter. I quite easily could have eaten several bowls.
The second course was miso soup with tofu and seaweed. Again, this was a very simple, very light dish but was bursting with flavor without being too salty, which can often be difficult to achieve with miso soup.
The third course was broccoli with apple and pinenuts. The broccoli was fried to perfection with just the right amount of seasoning. The dish also incorporated different components of the broccoli, including the spiralized stem and broccoli puree. Another really lovely dish all around.
The fourth course was the main showstopper of the meal: beetroot cake with mushrooms. The dish was so beautifully presented that I felt bad for eating it! The beetroot cake is actually polenta and beetroot with a light, crispy outer layer. The cake itself was incredibly flavorful, and with the addition of the wild mushrooms, crunchy samphire, peas and sauces, it completely blew us away. It was one of the best dishes I’ve ever had at a restaurant, vegan or otherwise.
The final two courses were desserts – the first was a chocolate orange torte which came out by mistake (we learned afterwards), but we didn’t mind. Even my husband, who absolutely hates orange mixed with chocolate, cleaned his entire plate. They still brought out the other two desserts as well: knickerbocker glory and lemon posset with berries. Both dishes were nice, but weren’t anything spectacular. I guess after the chocolate nothing else would taste quite as sweet.
We had all of this for only £35 per person. Absolutely incredible to get so much good food for such a good price. Head Chef Sam Owens’ ethos is simple ‘British food done well’ – and he has achieved this to the highest standard. The food combines the best, local ingredients with truly innovative cooking techniques to create a delightful dining experience.
My only complaint is that this restaurant is in Burbage and not Leicester. I would absolutely recommend this place to fellow Leicester vegans and vegetarians. I know I’ll be going back soon!