All posts tagged: tofu

#80 – Disappointing lunch at Tom’s Diner, Bruges **

Restaurant review #80 – A couple of weeks ago, we visited restaurant Tom’s Diner in Bruges. It is located in one of the small alleys on the north side of town, just above the Augustijnenrei. There are no vegan options standardly available. Long time ago I had mailed them to request if vegan was possible, and then received a positive reply. So I phoned the day before we wanted to go to make the reservation for two for a vegan menu, and vegan was said to be no problem (and to be sure I repeated again: no animal ingredients, etc). The lady on the phone even seemed very enthousiastic about it! It sounded promising! We arrived at Tom’s Diner for lunch and were seated at a small table near the entrance. The waiter seemed very taken by surprise when we repeated that we had asked for a vegan menu. He asked whether we just wanted one dish? I repeated that I had requested a vegan menu. He went back and forth to the kitchen, where we also heard ‘no …

#41 Indonesian ricetable at hotel/resto Opduin, De Koog (Texel, NL) ***

Restaurant review #41 – Texel is an island north west of Amsterdam. There are only a handfull of small villages on Texel, but the island is very touristic, so there are quite a lot of hotels and restaurants. Not that much options for vegans though. In another blogpost, I’ll give our vegan view on Texel, and places where you can have a vegan meal (and also some restaurants that replied they can’t fullfill our vegan needs). We were at Texel for the weekend, and on one of those days, we dined at restaurant Opduin in De Koog, a very small town on the west side of the island. Every Saturday evening, restaurant Opduin serves an Indonesian rice table (besides the regular menu). I had inquired in advance if we could get a vegan Indonesian ricetable (explaining what we do and don’t eat) and got confirmation. So we made a reservation. When arriving at the restaurant, the waitress said she was told it would be difficult to get a vegan ricetable. Duh? I told her I had gotten confirmation beforehand and asked …

Finding vegan goodies. A visit to Asian Supermarket Circle, Leuven

Shop review #15 – On one of our recent visits to Leuven, we discovered Circle, an Asian shop in the Brusselsestraat (no website). On the front window it is labelled as being an Asian supermarket but it is not really that big. Big enough though to look around for about half an hour. We only had about 10 minutes and we weren’t looking for anything in particular. So we just strolled around the shop, out of curiosity. I find it nice to discover new vegan items in a shop I’ve never been to before! Here are some of the items that caught my eye: And some of the dried mushrooms/seaweeds: Some more impressions from the shop Circle itself: Asian Supermarket Circle, location Brusselsestraat 114 3000 Leuven – Louvain 016/43 35 52

A visit to the Alpro factory in Wevelgem (Be)

A couple of months ago, I visited Alpro in Wevelgem (near Kortrijk, Belgium). The visit to the factory was organised by EVA West, a local division of vegetarian organisation EVA. Alpro makes plant based products, made of soy, almond, hazelnut, rice, … Their soymilk, coconutmilk, pudding and yofu’s are omnipresent in about every Belgian supermarket and are also sold around the world. The factory is Wevelgem (Belgium) is the main factory of Alpro. We got an introduction of about half an hour by a PR-manager, followed by the opportunity to ask some questions. Afterwards we visited the production units inside the factory. 

#31 Restaurant Buddhasia, Bruges **

Restaurant review #31 – Buddhasia is a new Vietnamese restaurant in the city center of Bruges (opened Fall 2014). It is located at the back of the Sint-Salvator Cathedral and near the main shopping street (a 5 min walk from ‘t Zand). NOTE: see update below.  Thai or Vietnamese restaurants often have a selection of vegetarian dishes that seem to be vegan (sometimes seperately listed as vegetarian or vegetable dishes on the menu), But restaurant Buddhasia takes it up to the next level and has a seperate vegan category on their menu card! Yeah! The vegan section lists five main dishes, ranging from 9€ to 14€. Upon ordering, we got an appetizer with noodles and bean sprouts (taugé). Our drinks followed quickly: a mango juice (4€) and a freshly squeezed orange juice (4,5€). We asked whether they also could suggest us some vegan entrees, and were suggested the Pho – noodlesoup (9€) (unfortunately no other vegan entrees possible). As a main dish, I asked the tofu with morning glory (water spinach) and garlic 14€) and my partner went for the noodles with vegetables …

#29 Fanny Thai, Brussels *

Restaurant review #29 – A bad restaurant experience. Every vegan has had one or will encounter one at one point. At least if you go out for dinner every once in a while (I know there are vegans who don’t, precisely because they have had such bad experiences, or they just want to avoid any risk of eating non vegan items). So before you read on, just know that we are not recommending this place. Fanny Thai is – obviously – a Thai restaurant in the city center of Brussels. It is located near the Stock Market (Beurs/Bourse) and the concert Hall Ancienne Belgique. There are several Eastern style restaurants in this area (Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai). We had been at Fanny Thai a couple of years ago, before going to a show at the Ancienne Belgique. I remember it stood out because they had a large variety of vegetarian dishes with tofu and with seitan (the latter not being so commonly served in Asian restaurants in Belgium). We didn’t remember the name of the restaurant anymore, but …

shop Biovita, Sint-Kruis, Bruges

Shop review #6 – Biovita is an organic shop, just outside the city center of Bruges. They actually have two shops, one in Sint-Kruis (Maalsesteenweg) and one in Sint-Andries (Torhoutsesteenweg). They plan to open a third shop at the end of October 2014 in Roeselare (41km from Bruges). This blog is about the shop in Sint-Kruis (Maalsesteenweg). It is the smaller one of the two in Bruges, but as it is the closest one for me, I mostly go to this one. To give you an idea about how far it is from the city center, it is 1,9km (a large mile) from the Kruispoortbrug at the Eastern side of Bruges, which would probably be a 25 minute walk. It is on a busy road, with many shops from larger chains (supermarkets, clothing shops, media shops). There’s easy parking in front of the shop. Biovita in Bruges is not a vegan shop, but sells many vegan products which you won’t find so easily in ‘regular’ shops. To give you and idea: special cereals, sweeteners (agave, maple syrup, rice syrup, etc), nutrionial yeast, …

#24 Restaurant De lachende Javaan, Haarlem (NL) ***

Restaurant review #24 – De lachende Javaan translates as ‘the laughing Javanese’, and is – obviously – an Indonesian restaurant in the city center of Haarlem (close to Amsterdam, the Netherlands). We went dining at De lachende Javaan on a Sunday evening in June 2014. Being a Sunday evening, we really didn’t think a reservation would be necessary. Wrong! Whereas restaurants in Belgium are usually fully booked for lunch on Sundays and rather quiet on Sunday evening, it’s the other way around in the Netherlands. Many restaurants are not even open for lunch! So the waiter proposed us to come back in an hour or two, near 9PM. Which we did. By that time we were starving (and cold!) and didn’t fancy having a look at the menucard. We just ordered a vegetarian rice table for the two of us (which is normally always available at Indonesian restaurants), checked whether they didn’t use dairy in any of the dishes (they normally don’t in Indonesian dishes), and asked for any items with egg to be left out. The waiter was …

#23 Restaurant Flamboyant, Haarlem (NL) ***

Restaurant review #23 – Flamboyant is an Indonesian restaurant in the city center of Haarlem (the Netherlands), not far from the market place. There are several vegetarian dishes standardly available, of which most seem to be vegan. We were there a couple of weeks ago, and made a reservation. We were asked to come early in the evening (at 6PM), since the restaurant was going to close at 8PM because of the football World Cup (The Netherlands were playing that night). And so we did. Because of the early hour, there was just one other table occupied in the restaurant. We ordered the vegetarian rice table (19,5€) and asked not to include any dishes with egg or dairy. This is what we got: Service was swift and very friendly (with some minor hickups from the student boy serving us). The food was nice, although the side dishes (eg the sweet and sour vegs) were not as tasty and varied as in other Indonesian restaurants that we have visited over the years. Comfortable and relaxed seating. All in all a nice restaurant …

#22 Restaurant Bali, Wommelgem ****

Restaurant review #22 – Bali is an Indonesian restaurant (obviously) in Wommelgem (about 7 km east of Antwerp). It had been on our ‘to visit list’ for many years (we love Indonesian food!), but for many reasons we never managed to get there before. One of those reasons being the restaurant not being open for lunch (usually the time we are in the area). There are plenty of Indonesian restaurants in The Netherlands (given the historical link with the country), but they are a rarity in Belgium. So we were glad we finally managed to get to restaurant Bali in Wommelgem. Besides other vegan items on the menu, there’s also a vegetarian rice table for 25€ per person (minimum of 2 persons), which can be veganised. We asked to leave the item with egg out of the rice table, which was no problem. We also checked whether the ‘fried banana’ (often included in Indonesian rice tables) didn’t contain any egg. The waiter was very friendly and made no problem to go check in the kitchen. As a …