Vegan food isn't easy to come by.
Actually, considering how most Sri Lankan dishes are vegan we're gonna change that to westernized vegan food is hard to come by. So, imagine our surprise to find out that there's a vegan restaurant in Boralesgamuwa?
Yep, we are quite happy to confirm that there is a fully-fledged vegan restaurant in Boralesgamuwa that serves up some of our most frequently found dishes like fried rice, kottu and subs without any sort of harm to animals.
Situated by the side of the road, The Vegan isn't a large restaurant. Almost completely white with features of black and hints of colour here and there, the ambience here was a bizarre mix of an art gallery and a 90's music video. Clean, comfy and having a big enough capacity to seat at least two dozen people, we liked it.
Plus, it really goes well with the 'eating clean' thing you tend to be proud of when you eat vegan food.
The menu at The Vegan is limited to a bunch of specials on their blackboard which we assume changes every month considering how it was titled September. But, the gist of their menu can be described as your everyday kadey food (Eg: kottu, burgers, pasta, sandwiches) veganized.
Take the Submarine, for example. Coming in at a pretty reasonable Rs. 390, it was served as a giant portion size of Finagle bread (Finagle is apparently the only bread company in Sri Lanka that does vegan bread according to our server) stuffed with tomatoes, coleslaw, lettuce, sauce and a patty made up of nuts and chickpea (?) that they referred to as mock meat.
We were pleasantly surprised by this one. Sure, it wasn't anything extraordinary but the veggies and the thin patty of mock meat managed to convince us that we don't really need meat to make a sub taste good. Especially considering how subs are essentially just sauce and veggies in bread either way.
If you're wondering about the mock meat, it's actually not bad. Tasting kind of like soya, nuts and spices, it tasted lighter than, well, meat, but managed to substitute it quite well.
The bread was soft and the veggies fresh. The only issue we had with this dish was the fact that the fries were both too little and too fried.
The Wrap (Rs. 390) was even better than the Sub. The portion size was quite small, but, as a wrap, it was really good. With thinly cut strips of bell pepper, mock meat, herbs and a whole bunch of seasoning, the filling was albeit saucy, but pretty good.
The shell (we assume also comes from Finagle) was slightly rubbery but that didn't bother us too much considering how thin it was. Honestly, the wrap is a safe bet to go with when at The Vegan.
And while we loved the wrap, the salad was as average as a salad could get. Plus, it doesn't get better when you have to eat soggy coleslaw with your hand.
The only reason we got the Cheesy Toast with Strawberries Rs. 110 was because we wanted to know how one could make toast both cheesy and vegan at the same time. And no, it wasn't cheesy. Buttery for sure, but not cheesy.
Packed with a generous layer of strawberry preserve, the toast was crunchy, tangy and just the best kind of strawberry toast you can make. Plus, they use coconut butter to make it and they're pretty generous with the amount of butter they apply. Kudos to that!
*Pictured Above: Passion Fruit Juice (left) and Soy Iced Coffee (right)
In terms of drinks, they only have around 10 options you could go with including flavoured tea and black coffee. We went with the Passion Fruit Juice (Rs. 125) and the Soy Iced Coffee (Rs. 290). The Passion Fruit Juice was a glass full of super fresh, slightly watered down passion fruits that you could tell they had made just then. Not too sweet and utterly tangy, this was okay.
The Soy Iced Coffee, on the other hand, was lovely. Super light with slight whiffs of coffee and plenty of chocolate, the Iced Coffee was more chocolate-based than anything else. The chocolate had small bitter tones to it which we thought was really nice.
The staff at The Vegan was both friendly and very kind. They had forgotten to turn the closed sign the other way around but came rushing out when they saw that we were possible customers. They did happen to have a pretty good idea about the menu and where their food comes from, which is great.
However, they took around 20-30 minutes to bring our food.
We like it. The food was good, the staff, nice and we had very little to complain about the ambience. We'd recommend it. And if you do happen to drop by, get the wrap and hope they've grown in size.