Canes Bangkok, Suananda, and The Earthling Café laid out a one-of-a-kind plant-based feast.
By Shaan Bajaj
When I walked into the airy rooftop kitchen and bar at theCOMMONS Thonglor, I was immediately welcomed with a glass of wine, while I chatted to other attendees under the hanging fairy lights. Joanna and Max from Root The Future enthusiastically told me about the food that would be served, and how all the dishes are not only 100 percent plant-based, but also made from a variety of pulses from the US Dry Bean Council and the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.
They had prepared three long tables with white cloths and chic centrepieces made from flowers and different pulses, along with tableware, name tags, and the menu of what we would be eating. Everyone sipped on glass of wine and took full advantage of the photo booth with punny signs like ‘hummus-sapiens will save the world’.
Joanna kicked-started our meal with a brief speech on the winning restaurants and the idea behind the Innovate Your Plate challenge. Supported by the US Dry Bean Council and US Dry Pea and Lentil Council, restaurants had to come up with 100 percent plant-based dishes using pulses. The first dish was named Trio lentil crepes, but the plate offered us a lot more to dig into. Following the principles of Ayurveda, I tucked into a lentil, fenugreek spout salad before trying their lentil tofu. The texture of the tofu was soft and bouncy, and I was surprised to learn that it was made entirely from lentils. Finally, I cut into a piece of the crepe, stuffed with caramelized onions, on a bed of three different lentil dips, and it was delicious. The plate also came with a shot of buttermilk also made using lentils. The second course was, interestingly, a panna cotta made from white beans, aptly named a Beana cotta. The cloud-like delicacy was garnished with a sweet and crunchy jalebi with pistachio, elevating the dish a million fold.
After those delightful dishes, it was time to sample Canes‘ offerings, a restaurant I was eager to try. Their first dish, Lentil & chickpea pâté en croute, is a vegan take on the traditional French dish made using meat. The lentil and chickpea mimicked the texture of meat and it was unlike anything I had tasted before. Keeping true to their brand by innovating vegan dishes, the next plate was Prune stuffed gnocchi with lima bean fois gras, my personal favourite item on the entire menu. The fois gras was soft yet textured, while the gnocchi managed to balance the strong flavours. Overall, Canes truly wowed everyone with how versatile beans and lentils could be.
Last but not least, Earthling Café presented a heart-warming Black bean, chickpea and lentil katsu on a banana leaf, served with a red pepper sauce on top and warm rice on the side. It was a unanimous hit among all the attendees before we indulged in a Black bean brownie with chickpea fudge and lima bean ice cream, a sweet end to our meal. The afternoon gave us a glimpse into the future of the plant-based industry here in Thailand, and it is one I am very excited for.