Before deciding to just eat plants, this reviewer was a ma-hoo-sive lover of seafood. So, the moment I discovered that not only did Comptoir V offer an extensive menu of international vegan dishes, but they’d also managed to create their own faux shrimp, I knew I had to get my butt over to Kensal Rise as quickly as the overground could take me.
Comptoir V has its own understated coolness, reflecting pretty much everything you’d want from a neighbourhood restaurant. Cookbooks were strewn in the window, a hip-hop playlist was going and staff were quick to ensure we knew what the good stuff was on the menu.
I must admit, the selection of small plates, or starters in our case, were what really got me excited. From caramelised onion and chickpeas to jackfruit nuggets, aidis to sauteed Moroccan spinach, it seemed almost impossible to settle on our final choices. However, one thing was for sure... I was going to get my dynamite shrimp (£6.75).
In the end, we opted for a mouthwatering soft aubergine zaalock (£4.75) slow-cooked with fresh tomatoes and the perfect level of spice, and the hummus trio (£8.95) which included a spicy beetroot, turmeric-infused and sweet onion beiruty hummus, served with ‘ghife’ flatbread. Then it was time to tuck into the shrimp. Created with non-GMO soya, sea kelp, potato starch and paprika, the shrimp's succulent texture made it taste just as good, if not, better, when compared to the real thing. Served tempura-style with delicate seasoning, these things could've been free-flowing all night and I wouldn’t have stopped eating them.
Of course, there were mains to be had. I was feeling indecisive, and a little greedy, so we chose two and split them. The return of the mac (£11.95) recreated a classic sticky rib dish, with Southern-style battered mushroom smothered in bbq sauce and a side of house mac n cheese, which gave off proper soul food vibes. Meanwhile, the life of pistella (£11.95) was a surprisingly light filo pastry, filled with a rainbow of vegetables and accompanied by sweet potato and green chilli mash, with a smooth Moroccan salsa for a little extra kick.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Comptoir V is a friendly, local internationally-inspired restaurant with a secret talent for creating the most lip-smacking faux shrimp any vegan could ask for. To sweeten the deal even more, their plethora of veggie comfort food will not only leave you spoilt for choice but make you wish you could sample every darn dish, and trust me, we tried.
Comptoir V can be found at Comptoir V, 1 Keslake Mansions, 12 Station Terrace, NW10 5RU London. The opening hours are 12pm- 10pm on Monday to Thursday, 12pm - 11pm Friday and Saturday and 12pm - 10pm Sunday.