Isn’t it lovely to take a break from cooking and have a meal out; whether it’s for a special occasion or an unplanned weekend escape from routine I always look forward to eating a meal that I haven’t had to slave over. The fact that a highly skilled chef has expertly whipped me up a treat certainly wins against my children occasionally surprising me with cold baked beans or dry cereal to eat with a fork, although it is an adorable gesture.
The Akeman is a stunning modern restaurant situated on the historic Tring high street and just a stones throw from my house. One of the main things that I love about this space is its expansive use of natural wood and its large open-plan kitchen that fills the glass-walled restaurant with delicious aromas and a cosy yet stylish atmosphere. Being vegan there’s nothing specifically on the menu for me but the waiting staff kindly advised the vegetarian options could be amended to disclude egg, fish and dairy at my request which was very hospitable and so we took a seat for an evening meal. To start with I liked the sound of the soup of the day which was red pepper and corn but unfortunately it contained butter so I couldn’t have it; you come to expect choosing two or three possible options for each course when you have such niche dietary requirements so I went for my second choice instead of sourdough bruschetta.
The Bruschetta Pomodorini costing £4.95 comes with sliced Josper-grilled sourdough rubbed with garlic and topped with cherry tomatoes. The balance of texture with the juicy ripe tomatoes and crunchy charred sourdough is a match made in heaven, with rich olive oil and basil leaves it went down a treat with a kick of salt and pepper. Sourdough is a very quick and easy bread made from just water and flour and has such a thick and filling density to it that I often make from home with a splash of olive oil for dipping in balsamic vinegar and it toasts beautifully.
For my mains I had the Superfood Salad costing £9.95 which consists of baby spinach, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, avocado, pomegranate seeds, broccoli and asparagus spears, cherry tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, fresh herbs and house dressing. The superfood salad was surprisingly filling with a wonderful balance of textures, I’m a huge fan of avocado’s and their creamy mild taste which teamed with baby spinach, broccoli and asparagus gave a rich green punch that was lifted by the succulent cherry tomatoes and the sweet-meets-sour mix of the pomegrante seeds. A wonderful light and uplifting meal that left me feeling content instead of bloated.
I finished my meal with a dessert of Grilled Pineapple costing £5.95 which features sugared pecans and Jude’s salted caramel ice cream. Being vegan and rather boring I had it without the salted caramel ice cream so the pineapple looks rather plain on its own in comparison to a big scoop of ice cream in its centre and a drizzle of caramel around the edge. However the sugared pecans were delightful and I could have easily eaten a whole bowl of them if they were on the menu as a nibble. The warm grilled pineapple was juicy, sweet and even richer in intensity and flavour than when it’s raw and it was the perfect sized portion to finish off my three courses. It just goes to show that visiting a quality restaurant with an attentive chef that can meet your dietary requirements means you can still enjoy the experience of eating out and for that The Akeman is one of my all time favourites!
9 Akeman Street, Tring, HP23 6AA