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Plant-based Restaurant No.12 Cook Fresh and Local

15 January 20 words: Eve Smallman

After two years spent building a strong reputation and scooping up numerous awards, plant-based restaurant No. 12 have dropped the Houndsgate, expanded to bigger premises and crafted a new, more varied menu...

photo: Pammy Alexander

No longer just somewhere for brunch, No.12 now provide a fine dining experience in the evenings, for veggies and vegans looking for something more high brow. For those who sampled the delicious food in their old premises, this should be a welcome change – with their elegant presentation and exciting flavours, that magic was too good to waste. 

“The reaction has been incredible – our neighbours have been amazing, and the independent scene has been so helpful with advertising,” co-owner Lauren Nally says. “All of our loyal customers have come over here and we've seen so many new faces. We've also had lots of meat eaters who fancied something a bit different and have tried it, rather than turning their noses up.”

When creating their recipes, they don’t rely on meat substitutes – instead, they focus on fresh ingredients. “Developing recipes with vegan and vegetarian cooking can be difficult, as you feel like you have to earn flavour out of vegetables,” co-owner and chef Ritchie Stainsby says. “We'll start with a base recipe and try to get as much out of the dish as possible in terms of flavour, texture and how it will visually appear on the plate.” 

No. 12 don’t just put a lot of effort into their flavours – they are also big on using local products and adopting an ethical attitude. Ritchie says: “We have an ethos of fresh, local and beautiful. I think it's really important to support the people who are growing produce around you.” They also have a focus on producing as little waste as possible. Their brunch potato and parsnip stack was born from over-ordering parsnips, and their new no-waste pesto on the evening menu is made from tops of vegetables that they'd normally throw away. 

The owners of No.12 also grow their own fruit and vegetables, and are trying to make their tasting courses self-sufficient, which they are set to re-launch in the new year. They plan to pit Ritchie and sous-chef Lee Simpson against each other in a Hell’s Kitchen-esque fashion, with a ten-course menu. “It will be a really interesting concept, and we'll be doing stuff like finishing off food at the table,” Ritchie continues.

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, meat-eater or anything in between, No. 12’s new menu is a must-try. Ritchie says: “Being an independent restaurant, we have the freedom to play around with different ingredients you might not have tried before. Ethically, from farm to plate we look after the dish, and for that reason you should come and give us a go.”

Eldon Chambers, Wheeler Gate, NG1 2NS

No. 12 website

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