CHENNAI : Soul Garden Bistro
The bistro opened last November with a delectable array of vegan food...and desserts! Vegan ice creams made from natural flavours and soy milk. No preservatives or sugar is added to the ice creams. “Vegan is not commercial to us. We cater to a small section of people. We are the only ones to introduce a vegan Caesar salad made of soy milk and cashew nuts cream.
Our latest experiment is with vegan mock meat. It can be added to pizzas and pastas,” says Narendran Raju, chef de cuisine of the bistro. Their vegan appetizers are a must try — peri peri veggies, hummus and peta, chili idli, falafel and buffalo potato. They also have a tandoori section where tofu is used instead of in tikkas and kebabs. Oats vegan burger with a patty made of vegetables, vegan bun and mayo is a hot favourite among customers. All the ingredients at the bistro are sourced from their in-house bakery.
Wild Garden Cafe, Amethyst
A handful of vegan people go for the green options. A dish can be prepared in a vegan way by cutting down on a few ingredients. For instance, our Greek salad can be made with tofu instead of goat cheese. We customise the menu according to preferences,” says Virginie Bompoil, consultant chef of Amethyst. Their vegan menu was curated four years back. It offers five dishes in pastas, salads and pizzas. Salads and sandwiches are popular with the crowd. Stir-fried vegetables and Chinese cabbage are their recent additions.
The Brew Room
Ever tried vegan coffee? At the Brew Room, you can pair your pumpkin muffin with coffee brewed using almond and coconut milk. Baked vegan brownies, chocolate cakes and muffins are available as accompaniments. “Earlier we did not have a predominantly vegan menu. Now we are introducing more options to target this market. Vegan food has been picking up since 2014. First people turn into vegetarians and then cut down on dairy products due to lactose intolerance.
There are also many who are going gluten-free for weight loss,” says Nivruti Reddy, director of The Savera Hotel. The vegan menu was introduced in 2014. In the beginning, the eatery had only a couple of vegan options. Since 2016 they’ve been serving vegan pizzas with a different spread and topping. Some of their hot-selling items are Buddha garden pizza and Japanese drip coffee made of almond milk. Next on their menu is a vegan bowl and sandwiches with in-house spread veggies and quinoa.
Singapore Laksa and Thai green curry. These are a few among the other vegan delicacies offered by this year-old eatery. “I’m a Canadian. The vegan movement is quite popular on the west coast. The purpose of bringing in a vegan concept is not to attract a foreign market. We have a regular crowd and a lot of customers drop by through word of mouth,” says Chindi Varadarajulu, one of the partners of Pumpkin Tales run by a three-women team.
South East Asian delicacies, which have coconut milk as a primary ingredient, are a hit here. Their vegan specialities include tofu scramble for breakfast. Some of their popular items are pumpkin soup, noodles, Thai curries and tofu marinated in miso. “We make our own tempeh. It is extracted from soy bean, and fermented. We’ve also been using cashew instead of cheese,” she adds.
If you’re looking for zero-cholesterol vegan options then this is the ideal place. Marieen Vijay, a vegan foodie and animal activist, conceptualised the Veggy table brand under her vegan food company Catalyst Food in 2012. Right from pastries to pizzas, all the items on her menu are completely vegan. The eatery does not offer dine-in option. Orders can be placed two days prior and collected.
“I’ve been constantly developing and veganising alternatives to exclude animal and animal products (milk and milk products, eggs and meat) from the menu. In fact, the idea of exploring vegan options popped up around 2008 and I’ve been trying out several options in my kitchen,” says Marieen. She delivers in and around Anna Nagar, Nungambakkam and Chetpet.