Before you scrunch up your nose, know that vegan food can be straight up delicious. And that vegan dishes go well beyond nut milk and tofu. A simple thing such a potato shingara or plain khichuri is also vegan.
There may not be a lot of vegan ingredients, but there is room to play with flavours and textures. And Zorba Kafe in Banani has done exactly that.
Their vegan dishes are simple yet tasty, made with no fuss items and they are quite affordable. The restaurant does delivery through Cookups and Foodpanda.
We tasted their soya biriyani, mushroom wrap, aloo porota, overnight oats and detox drink.
Soya biriyani (BDT 300)
The soya biriyani looked and smelled great. It was a flavourful combination of basmati rice, fried onions, soya chunks and surprising little bits of lemon peel.
The soya chunks were light and chewy, but they did not taste like meat. With every spoonful, the biriyani tasted better.
It came with a small portion of mango pickle, cucumber slices and some batter-fried leaves. These were slightly crunchy and chewy, and just delicious.
We could not help but think how they would make good snacks on their own. Judging by the taste, the leaves may have shiuli pata (leaves of night-flowering jasmine). This one deserves a good 4.5 out of 5.
Mushroom wrap (BDT 250)
The first thing we noticed was that the mushroom wrap had an interesting green colour. We could taste some vegetable in the bread, could be some kind of leafy green to bring out the colour. The filling was full of mushroom chunks, capsicums, and onions. They were savoury, crunchy, and went very well with the wrap. We would give it a 4 out of 5.
Aloo porota (BDT 110)
The aloo porota was soft with a very thick layer of potato filling in the middle. It was not greasy or too spicy, a perfect evening snack with chutney or sauce. Portion-wise, it was great too, two pieces were enough to fill the stomach but there were a lot more. We would give it 3.5 out of 5.
Overnight oats (BDT 350)
Although this dish was sweet, it was not really a dessert. Overnight oats are usually eaten for breakfast but they are also the ultimate comfort food.
The oats were soaked in a milk substitute, could be almond or soy milk, but they were not too soggy.
On the top was a thick layer of bananas, apples, grapes, mixed nuts, and raisins. There were hints of vanilla and chocolate, which were nice touches to this otherwise simple dish.
It was easy to understand how healthy this dish was because the sweetness came from the fruits only, there were no added sugar. The oats and the bananas tasted the best. This item should get 3 out of 5.
Detox drink (BDT 220)
The detox drink looked very nice with a deep, ruby red colour. The taste of pomegranate juice was strong, but there were some other vegetable juices in it and a slightly bitter aftertaste. The detox drink tasted quite different from regular fruit juices. We would give it 2.5 out of 5.
Would we taste these dishes again? Yes! We would definitely go back to ordering more from Zorba Kafe.