Who’s doing Veganuary? I haven’t been moved to do it this year, BUT who knows, maybe next year. I did however notice how many more vegetarian dishes I was choosing from menus towards the end of last year. One of these occasions was at Otro, a lovely bistro/brasserie type place at Haymarket. I went along with my friend who isn’t a huge meat eater.
We started off with some delicious bread with a vibrant green dip. This pleases me – firstly I LOVE getting some well made bread at the beginning of my meal, I feel it adds so much value. Secondly, I love it even more when it’s served with some kind of dip, it almost becomes an amuse bouche.
We decided to choose our own starters, my friend chose Breaded Camembert which was served with beetroot. A dish that felt Christmassy and perfectly in season. It was a lot of cheese though so potential for sharing here.
I had the Pan Seared King Sallops with a Coconut Curry Sauce and a fresh salad of papaya and wild rice. I had wondered if the curry flavours would be too much for the sweet scallops, but the spiciness was well balanced and they worked really well together – a combination I need to try at home!
We went all out on the vegetarian dishes for mains. First up Parmesan Gnocchi, Butternut Squash, Sage & Pine Nuts. These were bigger gnocchi than I’ve had before, but still really light – the sage gave it a really wintery feel which worked well with the squash. Our second dish was Chickpea Falafels, Beetroot Hummus, Haloumi & Tahini Yoghurt Dressing. I wondered as I was ordering this how it would come together as a dish as it sounded like just a collection of really nice things – and that’s pretty much what it was, what brought the whole thing together was the unmentioned pickled pink onion which cut through what was actually quite a rich dish. Otro are well known for their Halloumi Fries so we ordered an extra portion – the pomegranate garnish is delicious – a pop of freshness between fries!
Surprisingly, having forgone the meat, we were pretty full so opted to share just one dessert, Chocolate Fondant, Cherry Custard & Pistachio Ice Cream. Cherry and pistachio are two of my favourite flavours and they worked well together alongside the chocolate fondant, it was a rich dessert but we managed it between the two of us.
Otro has a lovely vibe and the service is really good too. It’s slightly outwith the hustle and bustle of the busier parts of town so feels a bit more relaxed. Well worth a visit, and I’ve heard the Sunday Roasts are epic.