Bangkok is a luxury travel mecca where you can stay at some of the finest luxury hotels in the region and dine at multi-award winning fine dining restaurants. The culinary scene has long been considered to be varied and experimental so it’s only to be expected that some of the leading hotels and restaurants have been at the forefront of the global rise in plant based dining. The team behind Green Monday have been instrumental in this growth by working alongside establishments city wide to ensure that plant based luxury in Bangkok is a reality.
Green Monday is a social venture originating in Hong Kong that promotes sustainability and a plant based lifestyle. They have been raising awareness of the links between diet and the environment since their launch on Earth Day in 2012 and are committed to promoting a wholesome plant based diet which reduces environmental footprint and improves public health. Launching in Thailand during October 2019 they have partnered with hotels and restaurants to develop plant based dishes and menus, many of which include the ground breaking Beyond Meat and the game changing OmniMeat. This is the future of food and we love it…
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
It’s only right to start with Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok who have led from the front as plant based pioneers in Bangkok. Since being the first luxury hotel in Bangkok to offer the Beyond Burger in September 2019 they now offer plant based items on each of their menus. The Dining Room is their all day dining venue where breakfast features a variety of plant based options. We loved the chia banana pudding and homemade coconut yoghurt from the buffet and the crushed avocado on multigrain bread with chia seeds and heirloom tomato from the a la carte menu was excellent. Lunch and dinner options include sushi, noodles, Arabic dishes and burgers to name a few; all plant based and all clearly marked on the extensive menu.
Erawan Tea Room has 20 plant based appetisers, soups, salads and mains on the menu and Erawan Bakery offers a trio of super nutritious plant based smoothies. Trust us when we say that the Coconut Pandan was sublime, made with coconut water, coconut flesh, coconut cream, coconut sugar and infused with pandan. Delicious. For street style Thai cuisine such as ‘Phad Kapao’ or ‘Larb Tord’ which both feature OmniMeat head to You&Mee. The ‘Larb Tord’ were excellent, spicy OmniMeat fried bites, coated with toasted rice delivering a crunchy texture and nutty flavour. You get the idea? Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has an amazing array of plant based goodness for you to choose from making it one of the most vegan friendly luxury hotels we’ve ever visited. Bravo.
The Peninsula Bangkok
The Peninsula Bangkok is synonymous with luxury and enjoys an enviable riverside location. They also offer a selection of premium dining options where you can enjoy vegan food as part of their partnership wth Green Monday. Breakfast at The River Café & Terrace is the perfect place to experience those Chao Praya river views whilst dining on plant based delights. You will find the largest selection of seeds and superfood powders we’ve ever seen, which you can sprinkle on your vegan yoghurt or chia almond pudding. Vegan options also include a selection of fruit sago and quinoa granola bars or acai raisin and wheatgrass chocolate energy balls. This all combines to create a seriously healthy start to the day which can then be continued with some excellent healthy options for lunch at The Lobby. Yes, you can enjoy a Beyond Burger if you wish but we opted for a light, delicate and simply delicious Agnolotti pasta dish with a Beyond Meat filling. Pickled pumpkin, almond foam, crunchy quinoa crackers, cubes of pickled pumpkin and pea purée combined to form a divine plate of plant based food.
During our stay we also enjoyed lunch at Mei Jiang and dinner at Thiptara Restaurant. Both were memorable meals featuring creative, multi-course plant based cuisine. The humble som tom o (pomelo salad) at Thiptara was prepared table side which created theatre and certainly added to the experience. Packed with flavour and texture and served in a fresh coconut; it was truly superb. A stand out dish at the excellent Mei Jiang (believe us when we say it was hard to choose) was ‘Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables and OmniMeat in Turnip with Pumpkin Sauce’. Beautifully presented with vibrant colours that couldn’t fail to make us smile. The white pumpkin was filled with finely chopped vegetables and OmniMeat and sat within a creamy pumpkin sauce. Next level vegan fine dining.
JW Marriott Bangkok Hotel
Next stop is JW Marriott Bangkok Hotel who have also worked with Green Monday to feature plant based options on their menus. The staff team have worked hard to create innovative dishes and in our opnion have succeeded. Their commitment to this partnership means there is a very good understanding of veganism in the restaurants which makes vegan dining a breeze. The breakfast buffet at JW Café features a labelling system where a small heart denotes vegan. In addition to these dishes the staff team are happy to create other ‘off menu’ vegan dishes including ‘Mushroom Tofu Pad Kra Pao’ and ‘Omnimeat Thai Style’ which were both very good. In fact the Omnimeat dish was outstanding and one of the best we tried. You will be happy to know that this is available from BBCO along with a selection of other Omnimeat dishes. There are also Beyond Burgers and Beyond hot dog to choose from although please note that the buns are not vegan.
Our lunch at Man Ho was an absolute feast. We sampled 11 dishes from the menu of which many are vegan and the others can be easily adapted. From our starters the steamed ‘Cheng Fun’ rice flower noodles with vegetables, mashed taro and sweet corn were our favourites. Delicious. The main dishes included an excellent chilled dish of ‘Eggplant with Chilli Sauce’. Delicate fillets of the most succulent eggplant which melted in your mouth and were topped with garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander and spring onion. Full of flavour and the perfect level of spice. Lunch was long, leisurely and very enjoyable indeed; it was amazing to be able to try so many plant based dishes from this classic Cantonese restaurant.
The Athenee Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok
The last stop on our plant based luxury tour of Bangkok was The Athenee Hotel, a luxury hotel with an illustrious history having being built on the grounds of a former royal palace. Princess Valaya Alongkorn, daughter of King Rama V called the palace home during the early 20th century and those imperial connections have been fused into the design of this luxury property. However, they’ve enthusiastically embraced the future when it comes to their culinary offering. You’ll find a Green Monday menu in the all day dining destination, The Rain Tree Café which is also where you can enjoy a delightful plant based breakfast. Vegan sushi? Check. Vegan curries? Check. Vegan sorbet? Check. Vegan dim sum? Check. You get the idea. You will also find a staff team who are eager to impress and happily prepared a rich and flavour packed duo of Thai dishes for us. Firstly, a modern take on a Thai classic, ‘Pad Krapao’ (from the Green Monday menu) featuring the game changing Omnimeat followed by cubes of deep fried tofu in a rich, sweet and sour tamarind sauce. This was a seriously good vegan breakfast.
The 3rd floor at The Athenee Hotel offers a choice of Thai, Japanese, Cantonese or French fine dining all of which can cater to vegan guests. The Allium Bangkok boasts a plant based menu and gives you the opportunity to experience the extraordianry talent of Chef Roxanne who is reinventing modern French cuisine with her own talented touch and panache. This simply named ‘Chiang Mai Tomatoes’ was far from simple and included sundried tomato, tomato gaspacho ice cream, tomato merangue, crunchy tomato chips and a tomato soup sphere which when eaten whole (you must do this) creates a flavour explosion in your mouth. Wow. Just a couple of doors away you can experience Royal Thai Cuisine from The House of Smooth Curry where Chef Montri works his magic creating dishes from the four regions of Thailand. Using organic ingredients where possible the dishes are fresh, flavourful and authentric with a modern and stylish twist. Our red curry was rich and packed with intense flavours, our mango sticky rice was refined and delicious but it was the pomelo salad that won our hearts by being both beautiful and delectable. The hardest decision we will have to make is which restaurant at The Athenee Hotel to select when we return later in the year!
We love what Green Monday are doing throughout the region and will continue to support them and their partners. The above luxury hotels have embraced the excellent initiative and used their own talent and creativity to ensure that yet again, those who wish to eat vegan food in Bangkok certainly don’t miss out. In fact, we believe that some of the food that we enjoyed would make everyone happy, vegan or not!
Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest have become luxury vegan travel specialists as they continue to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world.