Being a food writer, I have had a lot of mixed reactions for being vegetarian whenever I went to a restaurant review. So, when I received an invitation from The Imperial hotel for to experience their Vegan food promotion over lunch at The Spice Route restaurant I was more than elated.
Chef Veena, executive chef, Spice Route was our host for the afternoon. Born and brought up in Thailand, she came to India post-marriage and took her passion for food as a profession. Chef Veena told us that she gets a lot of requests for vegan food from the guests, especially the ones who are on their way to embrace vegan and still want to tantalise their taste buds with the flavour of the meat. To craft the vegan menu, Chef Veena made liberal use of konjac (a vegetable from Korea) and tapioca (a starch extracted from cassava root, native to the north region of Brazil). Rich in fibre, both of these ingredients are used to create mock meat.
The promotion of the vegan menu is on till March 20 but the dishes will soon be added to restaurant menu. It was also lovely meeting Ms. Mridula Dwivedi from Travel Tales from India. Here’s all what we were treated to.
The first starter was Thai spring rolls with mock crab meat. I can’t say about the proximity with the real crab meat but it was delicious.
The mock prawns came in second and looked exactly like the actual ones with the texture and colour.
I have been asked at many occasions the reason for being a vegetarian. I say it is completely by choice as I still have not been able to convince myself to eat animal flesh. But what could be better than getting the similar taste in vegan options.
This was quite a tempting one with subtle flavours and amazing colours.
The above two dishes make the part of the main course vegan menu. Paired with rice, they are a burst of flavours. Be careful of the green peppers in the mock chicken dish.
And to end the afternoon on a sweet note, Chef Veena treated us with the super delicious tofu ice-cream. All this while sipping refreshing coconut water.
Where: The Spice Route, The Imperial hotel, Janpath, New Delhi
Cuisines: Malaysian, Thai, Kerala, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan
Cost for two: Rs. 6,000 for two people (approx.)
Text and images by Supriya Aggarwal
PS: THN was invited by The Imperial hotel for the review.