Staff Picks: Where To Wine And Dine During Jay Festival
Although Jay is technically a concept of Buddhist lent, the Jay Festival in modern-day Thailand has become a time of culinary excitement as vegan cuisine has come a long way from boiled vegetables and overly salty soups. With plenty of places to celebrate Jay in Bangkok for the rest of the month, we've selected just a few unique and novel options to help you make the most out of the festivities.
Celebrate Jay Festival in vibrant and dynamic style with Mia's mouthwatering menu by chef-duo Pongcharn ‘Top’ Russell and Michelle Goh. The nine-course tasting menu, which includes snacks such as hummus and tomato concasse, all the way to grilled eggplant and artichoke, and petit fours for dessert, is priced 2,150++ baht. Enjoy the vegan courses at the lively cocktail bar, The Curtain, or at the Insta-chic floral Rooms, from now until October 31.
30 Attha Kawi 1 Alley, Sukhumvit Soi 26
Open Tuesday-Sunday 6-11:30pm
2/11 Mandarin Oriental
When it comes to conscious cuisine, the Mandarin Oriental is a leader amongst luxury hotels, having embraced permanent vegan items and even a vegan afternoon tea set since last Jay Festival. This year, executive chef Dominique Bugnand is ready to outdo himself. The Mandarin Oriental will ring in the first day of Jay with a special dinner prepared by the executive chef, a special seven-course dinner priced at 1,800++ baht per person, to be served on October 17 only at the Riverside Terrace. Can't make that date? The Mandarin Oriental's chefs Martin Benton and Nick Gannaway will have you covered for the next nine days of Jay with vegan lunches at The Verandah and dinner at Lord Jim's. Expect innovative and tasty dishes such as marinated tender organic tofu served with mixed grains, organic beetroot, cucumber and carrot with spiced dressing, and vegan cappellini pasta.
This Ekkamai 'grocerant' marks the Jay Festival with a vegan artisanal sandwich, made in collaboration with Barefood Bangkok. At 395 baht for a 40-centimetre long sandwich and 220 baht for the half-size, the sandwich highlights what Vivin does best: sourcing premium, fresh ingredients. Bite into layers of artisanal sourdough baguette, roasted eggplants, fresh tomato and lettuce and Barefood's famous nut cheese. The sandwich is seasoned with organic olive oil, fleur de sel and kampot pepper and is available for order from now until the 25th of October. More vegan products such as granola and pasta sauces are available at the deli.
Vivin Grocery & Grocerant
Ekkamai Complex, 379/8 Sukhumvit Soi 63
Open daily 8am-9pm
80 463 5747, vivinmaison.com
4/11 Tortilla Quemada
Don't compromise on your love for Mexican street food during Jay week. Starting today, October 15, and until October 25, Tortilla Quemada, the new but promising kid on the block, presents the "Mexigan" Mexi-vegan set. Get a pair of vegan tacos at 190+ baht or the vegan meal set, which includes rice and beans, two tortillas, a mix of vegetables and pickles and your choice of TQ's authentic Mexican salsas, at 230 baht. Mexigan items do contain garlic and onion.
41, 1 Sukhumvit Road
Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-9pm
If you haven't already tried Haoma's 10-course plant-based menu, Jay week is a reminder to do so. As a restaurant that values sustainability, Haoma's vegan menu is a direct translation of its DNA that has been praised by both vegan and flexitarian fine-diners alike. If you're looking for something unique, delicate and special this Jay season, book this dinner for 2,990+ per person, or order vegan a la carte, which starts at 450+ baht.
6/11 Karmakamet Conveyance
A recent collaborator with Haoma, Karmakamet Conveyance, too, is offering a 10-course vegan menu from October 15 until 25. Titled "Appreciation", the menu is priced 1990++ baht and must be booked in advance of at least 24 hours. The meal does contain garlic and onion.
For wholesome vegan Italian food in the upcoming 10-day festival, head to the charming L’Oliva restaurant. Start your plant-based meal here with the Minestrone and Bruschetta, made with juicy, local tomatoes. For mains, there are two pastas, Pasta L’Oliva, a linguine with mixed olives, or the slightly spicy Penne Al Arabbiata. For pizza lovers, Pizza Vegana is a must! Featuring mixed vegetables on a fluffy, bready crust, the pie is drizzled with delicious vegan pesto.
4 Sukhumivit Soi 36, Lane 2
Open daily 11:30am-10:30pm
094 858 9868, fb.com/lolivabkk
8/11 About Eatery
From October 15 til 25, About Eatery's head chef Gabriele has crafted a special vegan menu of both classics and new items. Some of the highlights include a cashew cheese salsa verde, eggplant steak with rocket balsamic, homemade trofie pasta with vegan rocket pesto and an irresistible vegan burger with cashew cheese, cured eggplant and vegan ajolie.
9/11 Hummus Heads
When all fails, get hummus at a place that is dedicated to the creamy chickpea dip that is vegan by default. Located in the middle of Thonglor, Hummus Heads is a unique Lebanese restaurant that focuses on hummus as well as healthy adaptations of Lebanese cuisine. Recommended for those observing Jay this upcoming week are all the yummy hummus that Hummus Heads does, including beetroot, rosemary, pumpkin, basil, carrot and more. Some of Hummus Heads' vegan dishes do contain garlic and onion, but they will happily make dishes strictly Jay upon request.
Thong Lor Soi 10, Sukhumvit Soi 55
Open daily 10:30am-11pm
10/11 Little Sunshine
Don't miss out on a homemade vegan brunch at Little Sunshine on October 18, starting at 11am. The small and hidden organic café in Lumphini is offering a seven-course tasting menu as part of their second chef's table event. The menu is influenced mostly by the owner's personal experience as a US-certified dietitian and graduate of the former Natural Gourmet Institute. Expect luscious meat- and animal product-free recipes, including Autumn Plant Skewers, Green Foliage Ravioli and "Tofu" Salmon, as well as a rich homemade Umeshu. The vegan brunch is priced 2,650 baht.
83, 4 Witthayu Road
Open Monday-Saturday 9am-5:30pm
11/11 Bonus: Root The Future Festival
If 10 days doesn't seem like enough time to try all the wonderful vegan/Jay food Bangkok has to offer, why not head to one place where some 60 vendors are putting forth their best vegan and sustainable products, whether it's craft kombucha, cakes and other sweets, street food and even goods for the home or your closet. Taking place this weekend, October 17-18, at T77, a Sansiri community project in On Nut, The Root The Future Plant-Based and Sustainability Festival is set to be Asia's biggest yet. Not only it is featuring many of Thailand's best vegan restaurants and brands (just look up there), but there will also be many exciting activities to take part in, including talks, giveaways and musical concerts. Name us a better way to start Jay Festival this year. We'll wait.
Visit the official Facebook event to learn more.
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