A Vegan Asian Lunch and Dinner

Yesterday I’d planned to go for a Thai meal at lunchtime with my friend Shirley. We work on the same street so headed to the nearby Ekachai in Liverpool Street Arcade.

I love this restaurant and have been multiple times. Shirley loves Thailand and Thai food, it’s where she met her Husband while she was on holiday and they decided to head back there for their wedding last year.

Ekachai has great vegan options and have a few dishes containing tempeh which I haven’t seen on any other Thai menus.

To start I went for salt and pepper tofu which was lovely with the sweet chilli sauce. (Shirley helped herself to my raw chilli slices!)

For my main I chose my favourite, the Nyonya curry. This contains tempeh, green beans, tomatoes and new potatoes in a lovely sauce.

In the evening I was going to The Humane League London volunteers monthly work party at Imperial College so I decided to have dinner at Tombo a Japanese cafe and specialist in Sake and Matcha. (Tombo means dragonfly in Japanese). I’d seen this cafe on previous visits to the area so was interested to see whether they had vegan options. When I looked up the menu online I was pleased to see they had clearly marked vegan options so I decided to have the miso aubergine and tofu donburi. This dish was nicely flavoured although I feel like the tofu could have been crispier.

I look forward to trying their other options. I was pleased to see they had a vegan dessert option so I got the matcha cheesecake with an oat matcha latte to takeaway.

The cheesecake didn’t have a strong matcha flavour it was more lemony, but still delightful. The flowers didn’t add anything to the cake apart from looking pretty so I brushed them aside after trying a couple.

The matcha latte was divine. It’s so nice when you get a proper one compared to the chain coffee shop versions.

Do you enjoy Asian food as a vegan? What are your favourite dishes? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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A Vegan Asian Lunch and Dinner

Haul from Japan Centre

My Husband and I decided we were going to Japan on our honeymoon long before we decided we were getting married! We had a great time there in April 2015 and fell in love with the culture and of course the food!

One of my fave sweets is mochi, pounded rice cake filled with a sweet red bean paste. In search of my fave snack we went to Japan Centre in London on the way home from my in-laws. My Husband was also on the look out for katsu curry ingredients. Of course we saw lots of other things we fancied. I’ve only included the vegan items below.

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The panko breadcrumbs and the curry sauces are for my Husband’s curry. The mild one for me and the hot one for him! The wasabi was also for him, something else I can’t handle!

Above the curry sauces on the left is yuzu sorbet. Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit. This had almost completely melted by the time we got home but still tasted delicious. I didn’t realise there was a mini spoon in the lid else I would have eaten it on the train!

My Husband got a grape soda, I had a little try and it tasted like any other grape soda I’ve had (and none of them taste anything like grapes!) I got a lychee chi hi which is a cocktail drink with 4% alcohol, I was debating between getting the lychee or the peach but I was glad I went for this one. They don’t taste alcoholic at all so it’s good this is only a 250ml can as I could knock this stuff back!

I got some noodles to have with the frozen natto I bought. Natto is fermented soya beans, they have a strong cheesy smell which is somewhat off putting and have a very sticky texture. I would say the taste was similar to tempeh but a bit more intense. The freezer at the store had a sign saying the natto was vegetarian but the sauce pouch inside contained fish sauce which was very helpful. I stirred in a bit of soy sauce and rice vinegar with mine and had them on top of noodles.

Lastly we have the mochi. I was disappointed there wasn’t any coconut mochi available which I had seen on the website and the matcha one I was excited about contained milk! The large mochi had an odd texture and wasn’t stretchy at all. The smaller ones were really nice but I am much more impressed with the ones I get from my local Asian supermarket.

My Husband also got some non-vegan goodies including chocolate covered almonds and some almond Pocky.

Have you been to Japan Centre? What we’re your favourite items?

Plumes x

Haul from Japan Centre

Review – Japanese Dinner by The Vegan Ronin

Last night my Sister-in-law and I attended a Japanese supper club hosted by Jhenn AKA The Vegan Ronin. I had heard about the night on the blog of a mutual friend Fat Gay Vegan and was aware of the work Jhenn had done when she was head chef at Veg Bar in Brixton which my Sister-in-law and I had visited in the Summer. We booked the dinner through Social Belly, a new site linking diners with hosts in London and at £24 it was great value for money.

Having never been to a supper club before we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Jhenn and her husband Ed were both very welcoming and told us lots of stories about their time living in Japan. There were 3 other guests, 2 of which I was aware of online as we followed eachother on instagram. It was great putting names to faces and loving getting to know new interesting people.

For our first course Jhenn had made us a selection of soya dishes. This included a soya cake, a salad and some spongy tofu that had been frozen and then defrosted to change its texture. We also had some warm fresh soya milk which was really tasty and creamy.

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Next up we had a potato salad with soya beans, braised daikon, bamboo and spinach, squash with adzuki beans, millet “eel” wrapped in nori and stuffed dumplings. Everything was so delicate and beautifully presented.

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Following that we had a dish made by Ed known as Ed’s balls! In Japan it is common to get battered octopus as a snack, so this is the vegan version. A cube of konjac is battered and deep fried and topped with a brown sauce similar to HP/Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and nori flakes. This was a real treat and very different from the other dishes we had tried.

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To end the meal we had miso soup, rice and sweet potato and pickles. This reminded me of the traditional breakfast I had had in Japan and is designed to fill you up if you are still hungry. I definitely wasn’t so I had a half portion of rice!

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Lastly we were treated to some Japanese sweets. We had coffee jelly made with agar served with soya cream. Two rice balls one of which was covered in sweet adzuki beans and a sesame seed crisp.

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All the food was amazing and I’m so glad we tried it out. Jhenn helpfully wrote up out menu so we could remember what we had.

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If you’ve never been to a supper club before its something I’d really recommend you do. You get great food and get to meet other people in a relaxed environment. I can’t wait to book out next one!

Plumes x

 

 

 

 

Review – Japanese Dinner by The Vegan Ronin