With the Vegetarian Festival (Oct 14-23) upon us, go beyond the fake meat stalls in Chinatown and try these restaurants offering proper jay menus.
By BK staff | Oct 11, 2012
The place: It’s easy to dismiss Anotai from the rather bland exterior. Step inside, though, and you’ll find a Zen vibe and Cordon Bleu-cooking by the eponymous chef. She gets all her veggies from her own farm, Rai Plook Rak, in Ratchaburi. The décor has a warm homey quality thanks to its handful of dark wood tables and chairs with ruby cushions, pale yellow walls and dim yellow lighting, and a Chinese arch that leads to a wooden staircase lined with jars of herbs and spices.
The dishes: The menu has several Thai dishes, like laab taohu (tofu in spicy salad, B125), along with organic salads and textbook pastas. They also do texturized vegetable proteins here—so fake meat, but the delicious kind, including a faux pla khem (B125). We’re also huge fans of the deep-fried Japanese tofu with tangy lemongrass dressing (B125).
976/17 Soi Rama 9 Hospital, Rama 9 Rd., Bangkok, 02-641-5366-70. Open Thu-Tue 10am-9:30pm.
The place: Glow shines with its simple Zen décor. The menu is all about healthy, macrobiotic or organic vegetarian options.
The dishes: Apart from their a la carte dishes like the Glow Caesar (romaine, avocado, sweet corn, creamy cashew nut and avocado dressing, B340) and lentil and seven-grain burger with avocado and tomato salsa (B410), we think it’s more fun and exciting to drop by Oct 15-17 to try the set menu created by Diana Von Cranach, chef and author of Rawfully Good: Living Flavors of Southeast Asia, who will be here cooking dishes like herbs, flowers and baby vegetables on crackers and shiitake and Thai flower salad with asparagus and green pepper jelly.
2/F, The Metropolitan, South Sathorn Rd., Bangkok, 02-625-3333. Open daily 10am-9pm.
The place: Originally from Chiang Mai, this family-run eatery is tucked away in the relatively quiet Bangkok Mediplex. The atmosphere is quite classy, yet casual, with cushioned banquettes and intricate bamboo lanterns adorning the ceiling.
The dishes: The menu is down-to-earth and straightforward. We admire the kitchen’s attention to detail. It shows you that it’s possible to enjoy a delicious meat-free meal prepared using tofu, mushrooms, and rare indigenous veggies as the core ingredients. Try hed kham waan (spicy and sour deep-fried assorted mushrooms salad with sliced garlic and Chinese kale, B120) and a nam prik ong set (B150), which goes well with mock kaab muu (tofu skin, B65).
G/F, Bangkok Mediplex Bld., Sukhumvit Soi 42, Bangkok, 02-713-6599. Open daily 10am-8pm.
The place: Built in 1908, Chakrabongse Villas was formerly a royal residence. Located by the riverside, the boutique hotel features a beautiful colonial house surrounded by a lush garden, as well as a traditional Thai house complete with a terrace.
The dishes: The vegetarian set menu (B2,300) contains dishes like nam prik noom (green chili paste in Northern style), tofu and mushroom in coconut curry and the hard-to-find mahor (sweet minced pickle and peanut ball stuffed in fresh fruit). There’s also a raw food menu (B1,500) that can be adapted to jay rules.
396 Maharaj Rd., Bangkok, 089-810-0498, 081-905-3039. www.chakrabongsedining.com. Open Tue-Sun 6-10pm. Reservations required.
Non-Jay Veggie Dishes We Love in Bangkok
Seven Spoons’s Quinoa
The food here reminds us of homey, hippie American restaurants. The dishes are healthy without being boring. Opt for haloumi cheese with caramelized almonds (B160), quinoa salad with grilled vegetables and feta (B180) and sweet pea, pecorino cheese tortellini with lemon butter sauce (B220).
211 Chakkaphatdi Phong Rd., Bangkok, 02-628-4588. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight
Try dishes like sweet potato gnocchi with mascarpone, zucchini, mint and chili (B270) and roast carrots with shallot, honey and poppy seed (B130) that showcase the straightforward but delightful objective of this popular new spot.
Sukhumvit Soi 45, Bangkok, 02-662-4478. www.quincebangkok.com. Open daily 11:30-1am.
Issaya’s Banana Blossoms
Here, too, you can find some delicious vegetarian options with vegetables grown in their backyard. Expect dishes like kanom hua chai tao (wok-seared with bean sprouts and chives served with spicy sauce, B230), gang kamin pak (vegetable curry in Southern style, B340) and lovely yam hua plee (banana blossom salad with heart of palm, B260).
4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chuaphloeng Rd., Bangkok, 02-672-9040-1. www.issaya.com. Open daily 11:30am-3pm, 6pm-midnight