What do you do for a birthday girl obsessed with plant based cuisine who also harbours a secret love for trashy desserts? Take her to Grassroots Pantry but bring your own cake...
This was our strategy for a friend's birthday, and my first go at the ultra healthy and creatively designed Grassroots menu, having long been on my "to eat" list after meeting the founder and chef, Peggy Chan, at various foodie events in Hong Kong. She has even give her own TedX talk.
Unfortunately I was driving, so unable to partake in the organic wines and other fun stuff, but I did choose a good juice, the "Immune Booster", containing kale, apple, lemon & grapefruit. It was sharp, refreshing and sweet with only a hint of bitterness from the greens, and guzzled far too quickly to take any decent photographs.
Pictured above was one of our appetizers: gyoza in an almond dan dan dressing of which a gluten-free variety is available using a tapioca wrapper. We also tried the "Ethnic Plate", and its eclectic mix of items including pap-en-vleis in berbere spice and crushed kasoori methi aloo. Don't ask me what any of this actually is, but it was quite tasty. The kimchee pancake however I felt was a little light on kimchee kick.
During the main courses, I became greater friends with the clever hedgehog mushroom. Named after its shape, its thick meaty texture lends itself chicken like properties and fooled the many carnivores amongst us that that there was actually meat in the Thai Green Curry:
The Szechuan Vegetable Stir Fry was another favourite where the little hedgehogs crept up again.
As mentioned, the particular birthday girl is not as virtuous as she would like to project, and has a particular penchant for trashy desserts, namely the frosting upon them. While Grassroots' puddings did look highly interesting, we decided to pay the cake corkage and bring our own, a chocolate fudge cake from Nigella Lawson's first cookery book.
After a plant-based meal, one could say this finished the job nicely, although I would like to return to sample the restaurants' desserts, and breakfasts for that matter including the lemon chia seed pancakes with almond condensed milk, jam and maple syrup..... I will leave you with that thought...