As a vegetarian of eight years moving onto a vegan lifestyle of four years, I had the great pleasure of attending ‘Etc’s’ first ever Vegan night, housed in Penarth, the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan, to taste five courses of their unique vegan food and cocktails. The demand for vegan food and drink has in no doubt sky rocketed within recent years and as someone as passionate as I am, to see it grow, I was more than delighted to attend their exclusive taste test vegan event.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the fabulous owner ’Konsa’ a bubbly and charismatic host that showed us to our table and provided us with their specially crafted Laurent Perrier cocktail created by the Etc team.
Our first course was ‘Chilled wild garlic velouté, dehydrated black olive, foraged flowers’. The presentation of this dish alone was a winner in my eyes. Vibrant green, and presented in an elegant martini glass. The dish had an incredibly smooth finish and to no surprise, was packed with rich enhancing unique flavours with every taste.
Followed by ‘Charred wye valley asparagus, dashi, wasabi and coconut mousse and soy meringue’ served on Welsh slate. The blend of earthy and crunchy asparagus, mixed with the sweet and smooth flavours of the meringue and coconut, really hit every tastebud to satisfaction.
The ‘Chai tea smoked baby aubergine, pine nut puree, tomato fondue, dukkah rose’, I believe overall was the crowd pleaser. In my eyes, the most simplistic yet most desirable dish of the night. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to try a meat free dish, as the smokey aubergine and tomato and pine combo, really complimented each other so well, that those used to a omnivorous diet really didn’t feel there was meat missing from this course.
The next dish was ‘Confit crapadine beetroot, pistachio crumble, caraway carrots, crispy skins and black garlic’, it was like sweetness meeting sophistication, as the sweet taste of beetroot and carrots met the syrupy and decadent black garlic, coated with the crispy skins.
The final dish was, ‘Compressed sumac strawberries, yuzu textures’, which was a true indulgence to any sweet tooth. The sweet sugary glazed globe, surfaced a caramel like taste and when cracked open oozed a sharp lemon mouse texture, that really complimented the fresh juicy strawberries and was executed to perfection. In my opinion the best dish of the night and really ended the night with a bang.
Overall my time at ‘Etc’ Penarth was a wonderful dining experience. The restaurant is tastefully decorated with a relaxed and comfortable fine dining atmosphere and I would have no hesitation in recommending this venue, as the staff are friendly and attentive and the management really have created something special, that provides more than just great food and drink, but a memorable dining experience to share with friends or loved ones.