Green Rocket Café
Recently, a vegetarian chum newly arrived to Bath asked me to recommend some suitable restaurants, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually tried that many – so I resolved to remedy this immediately with a trip to Green Rocket Café, about which I’ve heard great things. It’s a cosy little space, with rough wooden tables, tea-lights in teacups, and smiley waitresses, and the menu is really rather impressive. Normally, it’s just too easy to predict what will be on the menu when it comes to vegetarian cuisine – risottos galore, giant mushrooms claiming to be burgers, half-hearted pasta dishes – but there’s none of that here. Green Rocket takes inspiration from all sorts of fabulous cuisines, from Iranian to Malaysian, and comes up with a mouth-watering menu with no clichés in sight.
To start, I chose the seared Bath oyster mushrooms (grown in the vaults under Green Park Station – you can’t get much more local than that) with pink peppercorns, walnuts and sauce courchamps. The flavours were huge – I was slightly taken aback by the first mouthful – but I cleaned my plate, because it all worked so beautifully together. The mushrooms were firm and meaty, the sauce was strong and tangy, and the touch of walnut was just right. My dining companion chose Kuku Sabzi, a Persian herb and walnut frittata, which was much more subtle but still nicely balanced, with a gorgeous texture.
For our main course, I picked the Triple Salad – courgette ‘spaghetti’, caponata, and cannellini bean salad, served with focaccia. I love a really good creative salad, but I have to say this was a bit of a mixed result. The caponata was fabulous – rich and juicy – and I did enjoy the flavours of the cannellini bean salad, which came with a lovely walnut sage vinaigrette, although I felt it might have been nicer warm. I’m afraid the courgette ‘spaghetti’ didn’t do anything for me, but then I am a pasta addict so perhaps that shouldn’t have been a surprise!
My dining companion went for the Indonesian Tempeh, with rice croquettes, satay sauce and roasted red pepper puree. The textures were gorgeous and the satay and pepper sauces were both very tasty.
Dessert was probably the standout course for us – several people have recommended the sweets at the Green Rocket so I must admit I was very much looking forward to this bit! We chose a beetroot & chocolate pot, and a raw raspberry cheesecake, both served with vegan soy bean ice cream which was indistinguishable from any full-fat double-cream version. The cheesecake was beautifully light and bursting with proper summery flavours, but my heart belongs to the chocolate pot – dark, rich rather than sweet, perfect with raspberries and ice cream.
Overall, I was definitely impressed with the Green Rocket – a properly good effort at offering something totally different to the usual vegetarian options, and a serious advert for tasty vegan food. The service was quite slow, considering how quiet it was, but the waitresses were cheerful and friendly, and very knowledgeable about the menu. The next time I’m asked to recommend a veggie place in Bath, this will definitely be on my list.
Images Copyright Sal Godfrey / Sal’s Kitchen