Bangkok: Vegan Paradise

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Travel | 0 comments

I’ve been in meetings almost constantly since I arrived in Bangkok and most of my meals have been at my hotel.  However,  I have made it to two of the city’s many vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

On Saturday evening after a long day of meetings a group of us went to May Kaidee’s Vegetarian Restaurant on Samsen Road for dinner.  The small restaurant was packed when we arrived, but they managed to squeeze our group of five in.  The menu consisted of traditional Thai dishes and the selection was not huge, but it was exactly what I was hoping for.  We shared a green papaya salad, pumpkin hummus, green curry, panang curry, and thai sausage with rice. Then we topped it all off with my favorite Thai dessert: mango with black sticky rice. I didn’t take photos because we were all so hungry after an extremely long day of meetings that the food disappeared within minutes of hitting the table.  

And we enjoyed everything, thoroughly. So much so my colleagues went back the next day for lunch and I decided to sign up for one of May Kaidee’s cooking classes. I can’t wait!

The thing I love about Thai food is the combination of flavors.  The green papaya salad was incredibly fresh, sweet, sour and spicy all at once. The curries were hot, spicy, mouthwatering goodness with crisp vegetables, tofu and sweet coconut milk. There is something very special about Thai eggplant, which was the star component of the green curry. The pumpkin hummus was great (and there were no chickpeas or other beans in it) and the sausage was surprising, but utterly delicious.  There are no words at all to describe the scrumptiousness of the dessert. All of the food was prepared to order in a tiny traditional Thai kitchen in the back of the restaurant. 

Mango PancakeOn Sunday morning I had a little time before my meetings started for the day, so I took the opportunity to go to Ethos for breakfast (and their free wifi!). I had read about their vegan and gluten free pancakes and so I had to check them out.  The restaurant is located on a little soi just behind the intersection of Tanao Road and Bangkok’s infamous Khao San Road (and incidentally a few doors down from May Kaidee’s flagship location).  It’s an extremely relaxed and relaxing environment with cushioned-covered floors and low tables. The menu is extensive and includes both traditional Thai food and a few “farang” favorites, such as spaghetti and tempeh meatballs and veggie burgers, among other things. 

But the highlight of Ethos’s menu is their juice and smoothie selection. Everything looked so great it was hard to make a choice.  I eventually settled on a pineapple and sweet basil smoothie and I was glad that I did. The combination was unusual, but incredibly refreshing.

I also ordered a green tea and the pancake of course, which came topped with banana, mango and coconut cream. The pancake was light and fluffy, the fruit oh so sweet and the coconut cream… just yum. I’m really looking forward to going back and checking out more of their offerings.

The great thing about Thailand though, is even if you don’t go to vegan and vegetarian restaurants, you can still get a great vegan meal.  Like this pad thai: 

Pad Thai

And this room service green papaya salad and green curry:

Green papaya salad and green curry

 

I’ve also been enjoying Thailand’s delicious tropical fruit and fruit smoothies with abandon! Isn’t this guava, rambutan, dragon fruit, watermelon and pineapple gorgeous?

Fruit

Okay, I have fallen asleep about three times since I started writing this post, so I think I had better turn in for the night. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to visit one or two more places before I leave on Thursday morning. 

 

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