The restaurant serves fusion cuisine that will keep you coming back for more.
By Ashima Sethi
It’s common knowledge that our bodies begin to reject certain components in food such as lactose as we grow older. This was something I experienced first hand when I noticed that cutting dairy out of my day-to-day diet automatically left me feeling more energised. As a result, I began focusing on eating more vegetarian and vegan cuisine, and in doing so, was thrilled to find out that Thailand was going through a ‘vegan revolution’ with more and more people embracing meat-free dining and more restaurants popping up all over Central Bangkok serving vegan cuisine so delicious, you don’t even miss their meatier counterparts.
One such restaurant is Munchbox by Nidhi. Located inside the Bambini Villa complex in Sukhumvit Soi 26, the spacious restaurant is an ideal spot for all-day dining, boasting airy interiors and a capacious deck area for meals al fresco. The restaurant is decorated in a soothing cream, gold, and emerald green colour scheme, offering a mix of sofa-style group tables and tables surrounding a wooden centerpiece adorned with plants. However, in my opinion, the biggest standout about the restaurant’s décor is a neon sign on the wall that says ‘our food is grown, not born,’ which I think is the perfect tribute to the restaurant’s ethos.
Food and Drink
To begin, we enjoyed a duo of drinks to cool ourselves down from the city’s notorious heat. The first was the Mango lassi (THB 240) that was as creamy and refreshing as one would want. The second was the Paan mojito (THB 195), which we were told was one of the restaurant’s best sellers. A unique spin on the traditional mojito that can sometimes be too sweet, this variation is made with the addition of betel leaves that have a slightly peppery flavour that I really enjoyed.
We then moved onto appetisers beginning with the Tri-series triangles (THB 135). Now I know what you’re thinking, how could anything beat the original combination of spiced potato, pastry and tamarind chutney? Well, I dare you to give the restaurant’s fusion variations a go as I enjoyed all of them for very different reasons. The first was a Thai-inspired samosa filled with a phad kraphao centre; the second, a mixture of lamb and peas best enjoyed with their well-spiced mint chutney; and finally, the restaurant’s take on the traditional potato-based samosa. Next, we sampled the Mumbai special keema pao (THB 275) that takes inspiration from the popular Indian street food dish. The plate comprises of two soft, toasted bread rolls that you then load with a spicy mutton mince. The dish was very moreish, and I had to keep reminding myself it was totally vegan!
We then followed these light bites with some hearty Indian-inspired mains. The first dish I tucked into was the rich Vegan Butter Chick’n (THB 315), where plant-based soy chunks are cooked in a creamy tomato-based gravy. Now considering this curry is one of my all-time favourites, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my doubts about a vegan variation considering the original is cooked with a lot of heavy cream and butter. However, the restaurant’s refreshing take on this dish won over all of our hearts, and was a definite contender for the ‘Masala Recommends’ crown.
We also sampled the restaurant Signature lamb curry (THB 315) that is made from plant-based lamb and mushrooms, all simmered in a thick, expertly spiced curry. We enjoyed both dishes with a side of Chilli garlic naan (THB 145), which was the perfect accompaniment and added the extra hit of spice we were looking for. Beyond just Indian cuisine, Munchbox by Nidhi’s extensive menu offers vegan variations of classic Western dishes as well. One memorable example is the Margherita pizza (THB 315), which has a crispy crust and is topped with vegan cheese and fresh tomatoes. I drizzled a little bit of extra Tabasco over the top of my slices and before I knew it I had one, two, and then three without even realising.
To end the meal on a high we decided to order some desserts to share. The first was a citrusy Orange cake (THB 169) that is made in-house. The sponge was incredibly soft and the top of the cake was bursting with fresh, juicy flavours from the candied oranges. We also tried some of their Vegan ice cream (THB 129 for one scoop), specifically their coffee ice cream, and cookies and cream ice cream that was packed with a generous amount of Oreo chunks. Made fresh in Chiang Mai, it was the perfect dessert for a hot day and the ice cream was so rich it was hard to believe it was all dairy-free.
Taking the top spot was the Best butter chick’n lasagna (THB 350) where house-made lasagna sheets are stacked and stuffed with layers of alfredo sauce, Omni meat mince, a rich curry sauce, and vegan cheese. The ultimate comfort food that’s satisfying in every bite, it was really enjoyable to see an Indian-inspired take on such a classic dish.
Fit for all Diners
The cuisine served at the restaurant involves as little oil and sugar as possible to encourage healthy eating. It is also important to note that Munchbox by Nidhi hopes to cater to all kinds of diners, therefore their menu can be adapted to suit diners who are Jain as well. Navigating Bangkok’s dining scene can be tricky when one has certain restrictions, so it was refreshing to hear that the team are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their customers are happy.
Munchbox by Nidhi has recently launched Vegansia, a takeaway and delivery service focused on their Indo-Chinese cuisine. On the menu you can find much-loved items like hot and sour soup and fried rice to Manchurian in gravy, chilli potatoes, and more. These items are available in sizes S, M, and L. The latter can be ordered in the restaurant itself, but smaller portions are reserved for takeaway and delivery only.
MUNCHBOX BY NIDHI
Bambini Villa, 18 Soi Attha Kawi 1,
Khlong Tan, Khlong Toei, Bangkok, 10110, Thailand
Tel: 089 136 9703