I was so excited to visit Comptoir V as one of my places to eat blogs, I was following them already on instagram and the food looks stunning plus all I ever saw was great reviews so I had to go find out myself what all the fuss was about.
Directly outside Kensal Rise station is this beautiful vegan heaven, the sign was very simple but elegant, and my favourite colour (green). From I spotted the shop my excitement began I could not wait to experience Comptoir V.
I met Sa’eed Kazmi who is one of the founders of Comptoir V. He told me is vegan journey and what inspired the opening of Comptoir V. I came to learn that they have another restaurant in Kensal Rise called Le Comptoir, which is a grill and meze bar, Sa’eed was inspired to open up a vegan version of that when his diet had changed. His story was interesting and we talked for ages, I couldn’t fit it all in the vlog but by what I have included you can pick up on his warm, friendly personality and his passion for Comptoir V.
He talked me through the menu, which is full of choices. I will list them all after my review of what I tried on the day which was:
This is described as a tempura battered vegan shrimp lightly tossed in a sriracha aioli. You get 7 pieces in a portion.
From it arrived I was intrigued, the idea of vegan shrimp was not very appealing to me, I was sceptical. I had seen so many posts about this previously and heard nothing but great reviews yet how could this work? I mean the shape already reminds me of shrimp instantly. The smell was delicious which is a great start, and from my first mouthful I was blown away. wow. what an experience.
The bite was explosive with a pleasant chew leaving you with so many questions. I instantly had to take a look inside as the texture was way to familiar like shrimp. I kept double guessing, Did I eat shrimp? upon closer look I was reassured I didn’t. The spice is not too overpowering but enough to give it a kick and leave you wanting so much more. After trying the shrimp I understood why it got so many great reviews as a vegan this is something you must try! even non vegans, dynamite shrimp is a real experience.
Middle-eastern croquettes of chickpea and broadbean with traditional herbs and spices.
The portion was epic, I am used to small portions of falafel. When I broke in to the falafel it had such a crunch to it, this made me happy as it shows it was freshly made. Falafels can be disappointing when it comes to the crunch factor, this did not lack and I can not believe it is gluten free.
The flavour was mild and plain as a falafel should be, the bite alone was dry (which I personally find all falafels to be) but when you mix the falafel with the beetroot hummus or aubergine zaalock it is so moreish.
SPICY BEETROOT HUMMUS
Smooth rich chickpea purée blended with tahini, beetroot and fresh red chilli peppers.
This hummus was full of flavour, fresh, creamy and smooth. I loved the look of it the beetroot gives it a pleasant colour. I tried this with wholemeal pitta and on the falafel. It was great on both.
If your a fan of hummus this is definitely one to try.
Gently cooked with fresh tomatoes and moroccan herbs and spices.
yes! I am Iranian so I love aubergine and eat lots of it, alot of Iranian dishes are aubergine based and we have a dish quite similar to this.
When I saw this it looked as if it might be oily and filling but completely the opposite when I tried it. Full of flavour, very light and fresh with an explosion of morrocan spice and zesty aftertaste that leaves you wanting more. I tried yet again with the wholemeal pitta and falafel. Great on both and even on its own. It has an Iranian aubergine experts thumbs up.
MOROCCAN BUDDHA BOWL
Aubergine zaalock, sauteed spinach, curried chickpeas and spiced quinoa.
I love me a buddha bowl and this is what buddha bowl dreams are made of. Instantly mouth watering and eye catchingly stunning.
Each mouthful was a flavour combo made for the gods. so light yet full of flavour. I was surprised at how light each element of the dish was. The sautéed spinach turned out to be kale with was made so nice, I don’t usually enjoy kale cooked so this was surprising. The onions was so surreal as I was expecting a sweet onion taste that I am used to but being greeted with that sweetness with a unexpected hit of spice making a sweet spice combo that is so unique, combine that zesty smooth aubergine zaalock and OMG I was in love. The fluffy lightness of the quinoa, crunch of the sunflower seeds, fresh burst of the juicy fresh cherry tomatoes and a perfectly balance curried chickpea which was so well cooked. It was such a dreamy flavour combination and it changed depending on what you coupled your spoonful up with, leaving you with a gamble of flavours with each mouthful but everytime you would hit the jackpot.
RETURN OF THE MAC
Southern style battered mushroom ribs, Comptoir V’s house cashew mac ‘n’ cheese, steamed garlic kale with a herbed carrot and squash purée.
What can I say???…. mind blown will best describe this experience.
who would have thought mushroom would substitute ribs and it would work so well. The mushroom gives a chew that your used to with meat but completely plant based the sticky sweet ribs sauce works so well on it and heavenly with the mouthful of garlic kale. The mac ‘n’ cheese had a crunchy breaded top and a smooth creamy center. I still can’t believe that is spelt pasta, The meal is Gluten free as well as a lot of the menu. This meal is comfort food at it’s finest. Return of the mac makes me happy as it brings back flavours and textures that I gave up on as a vegan.
LET THE BEAT DROP
Comptoir V offers a variety of fresh juices, I tried let the beat drop which consists of pineapple, apple, beetroot, cucumber, banana and hemp protein.
This is a combination I would have not thought up but wow it really works and you know it is packed with goodness.
BANANA AND DATE CRUMBLE
Bananas, dates and pecan nuts encased in a light crumble with a banana caramel custard
This is also gluten free
this is another experience you do not want to miss out on
I love date and this delivers a journey that you want to take while having a dessert. Unexpectedly light and sweet, but the perfect balance of sweet without getting sickly. The custard is so smooth and light balancing out the dense chew of the crumble, the banana is baked perfectly leaving a caramelised sticky taste combined with the date natural sticky sweetness, the pecan crunch binds it all together. What was really nice was getting bursts of freshness from the blueberries and the coconut hint from the dessicated coconut garnish.
Overall this was such a great food experience, lovely place to sit and eat with a unique book corner with books to browse. Such a relaxing, clean, friendly restaurant decorated to give you a feel of morocco with the vibrant colours and patterns. Great service and friendly staff which is a big bonus to my comptoir V experience.
I really enjoyed my visit and will definitely be heading back asap to try the rest of that tempting menu
This is vegan goals at it’s finest a definite must try!
Check out my Vlog of the experience!
Long live Comptoir V
For more info
1 keslake Mansions, 12 Station Terrace, London NW10 5RU
Sunday-Thursday:Midday til 10pm . Friday and Saturday: Midday til 11pm.
peace and love