No. 12 has recently relocated from Hounds Gate to the former Le Mistral building in Eldon Chambers. The ethos is the same; locally sourced ingredients used to create stunning vegan and veggie dishes, beautifully served in a super cute venue. No. 12 has won multiple awards over the last couple of years including ‘Best vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the Midlands’ and ‘best contemporary cafe in the UK’.
The new venue is larger, cuter and greener. The dining area is split into two rooms, my favourite being the room to the right (coincidentally where the bar is).
The decor is simple but beautiful and the main focal point is the piano. A canopy of greenery sits atop it, a nod to the plant based menu. There’s also a gorgeous lamp with a peacock base that I really want to steal! I have nowhere to put it but it is a masterpiece. The building is a converted 18th Century mill and has exposed brickwork, fireplaces and a basement.
One thing I will say is that seating is still limited. Please book so you aren’t disappointed. Both times I have been I have watched many MANY people turned away as there just isn’t a spare seat. This place is so loved by so many people that in an ideal world you want to make a reservation. When we turned up for our table at 1pm, walk ins were being told the next available table wasn’t until 2.30pm. Book to avoid a long wait!
The bar serves only vegan wine which is fab. While doing Veganuary the most frustrating part for me is standing googling ‘is this wine vegan’ while trying to order at a bar or buy in a supermarket. This makes it super simple to order a drink. There are also homemade sodas, soft drinks, beer and spirits on offer, so if you are taking part in Dry January (or not) there will be something to drink.
On both occasions I have chosen the same bottle of wine called Escapade. It was lovely and fruity and I would highly recommend a glass… or bottle!
I have been twice over the last 7 days, once to try their brunch menu and once for their Sunday lunch menu. Below are my thoughts on both of the visits.
The brunch menu is served Tuesday to Saturday and dishes range from £7 to £9. One dish will certainly fill you up but if you fancy a little extra then sides will cost you between £3 and £4.
We opted to share two dishes between us, and first up was the Truffle Mushroom Crostini. Sourdough bread, topped with wild mushrooms tossed through chilli & thyme truffle cream. This was so beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. As I don’t eat dairy, I don’t opt for creamy sauces so this was the first I have had in a long time. Big meaty chunks of mushroom encased in a mouthwatering earthy, creamy sauce. I couldn’t really taste the chilli, which is a good think as I am not a fan of heat. A stunning dish and one I would have again.
Next up was the ‘Chicken’ & Chips. Spiced fried ‘chicken’ tossed through an orange & parsley gremolata, served with a fresh slaw & herby chips. Oh wow! I wouldn’t have guessed this wasn’t chicken. It is made with marinated soy protein with a breadcrumb coating. Crispy deep fried balls of joy, served with a lovely herby sauce. If I was being picky I would have preferred more of the gremolata as it was so fresh and flavourful. Big chunky crispy wedges (almost like roast potatoes) accompanied it, along with a small salad. Another winner.
Also because we were being fat b*stards (and needed to soak up the bottle of wine that we shared) we also ordered the pesto chips. We did not need them on reflection, but still ate them. The vegan green pesto was delicious and so fresh, I guess it is made daily. Again the chips were chunky and super crispy.
Today I headed out again with a friend to sample Sunday lunch. This time we both went for the same dish, a mustard & pink peppercorn glazed ‘Beef-style’ Roast. it is served with clementine and chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal veg and the most delicious red wine gravy. It is all 100% plant based! The ‘meat’ was deliciously flavoured and the Yorkshires were to die for. Fluffy and so close to the non vegan variety I don’t think I could have tasted the difference. The carrots and parsnip were al dente and the tenderstem was perfectly cooked. The stuffing ball could have been a little bigger (because I bloody love stuffing) and the roast potatoes were the crispiest I have had in a restaurant. The gravy was the stand out part of the dish though. It was so good I asked for extra and then also finished off my friends extra pot. I could have drunk it, it was so good!
I also added the pigs in blankets, a vegan sausage wrapped in No. 12’s signature rice paper bacon, for an additional £4. Again it was superb. They looked so cute on the little dish that I almost didn’t want to eat them. Next time I am just going to order 10 bowls of these little parcels of joy. The ‘bacon’ was super crispy and the ‘sausage meat’ was bloody gorgeous.
GET A TABLE BOOKED IMMEDIATELY and go and experience incredibly tasty, totally fresh, plant based goodness! Even if you are not vegan or veggie I will eat my hat if you walk out dissatisfied. Both meals were absolutely delicious and I can’t wait to visit again as soon as possible. No.12 also run an evening menu and 7 course tasting events so check out their social media to keep up to date.