Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A celebration at VK Restaurant & Lounge, Chingford.

 VK Restaurant and Lounge

The Green
London, E4 7ES
Tel: 020 8524 8438

Although the name sounds rather like it was inspired by the energy drink, don't be put off! VK is a classy establishment. The Chingford branch is the most recently opened venue and we decided to go there for my parent's 30th Anniversary.

It was a dull and rainy evening and the place was very quiet, in fact we were the only customers!  In some restaurants this would be awkward but not at the VK. We were shown to the best table in the place; a half-moon sofa which was very comfortable. 

The decor is black and red, with pretty black flower patterned chairs and an open-plan kitchen as you enter. We were all very impressed.

The staff were friendly and welcoming. Whilst we decided what to eat, we ordered the bread and olives at 3.00, which brought us a plate of lightly toasted white bread, black olives and good oil and balsamic. 

The drinks were also reasonable, with my Peroni beer only 2.00 a bottle.

There were two choices for the Veggie in both the starters and the mains, which was good. Upon hearing that the soup of the day was Cauliflower she went for that. After craving Mussels since our visit to Zero Degrees in Blackheath, I chose them for a starter and so did my Dad.

My Mum went for the grilled goat's cheese, which looked lovely.  All the starters were between 5.00 and 6.00.

The Mussels arrived with some of the same toasted bread and a bowl for the shells. They were well-cooked and served in a creamy white wine sauce. The portion was just the right size and my Dad enjoyed his too.

The Veggie's soup was also a success, it smelt really good and although the portion was quite small it was enough and also came with bread.

For mains there was plenty of choice; a steak, pork, lamb, fish etc. All the mains were between 8 and 12.50. I thought this was good value.

I chose the Pork Belly as that is one of my favourites. Dad went for the Ribeye steak, Mum the lamb rump and The Veggie the artichoke heart, sundried tomato and mushroom risotto.

The mains were a decent size. My pork belly was lovely, had good crackling and a nice depth of flavour. It came with carrots, broccoli and what was supposed to be apple and potato mash. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any apple in it, none that you could tell anyway. It was shame as the taste of the apple would have cut through the richness of both the mash and the pork belly. The red wine jus was nice, but I just couldn't finish the meal; the combined flavours were too heavy and I felt full even when I wasn't.

My Dad said he steak was just ok, which was unusual as ribeye normally has quite a bit of flavour. Still it was cooked as he liked it and came with a nice potato rosti and the same veg I had. He most have liked something about it as he was the one who managed to finish his meal.

My Mum liked her lamb, which was cooked a bit rarer than she asked for but was fine. Her only quibble was that the goat's cheese had had a similar ratoutille style of veg underneath it as was served with the lamb. That was rather an oversight but never mind, she enjoyed her meat.

The Veggie's risotto was good, although she couldn't quite finish it either. I don't know how much aritchoke was in it I couldn't see much, but she had no complaints.

We all felt fit to burst after the second course, but were given enough of a break that we felt we could share two desserts. The Veggie and I chose the Eton Mess and my parents had the Movenpick ice cream. All desserts, which also included a chocolate fondant, sticky toffee pudding and banoffee pie, were all 5.00.

I was a bit disappointed with the Eton Mess. The cream was thin rather than the thick whipping cream I had been expecting and the portion was rather small. Still we both enjoyed it.

The ice cream was three scoops; chocolate, vanilla and an orange sorbet (an unadvertised bonus!). 

All in all I would probably go back to the VK again, and would feel confident taking a friend there. The standard of food and service was high, not amazing but high, whilst the prices were reasonable. My parent's had a great anniversary meal.

Scores on the Doors: 8 out of 10

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