All posts tagged: tofu

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 …

#15 Restaurant Rosenobel, Antwerp ***

Restaurant review #15 – Rosenobel just opened a couple of months ago. It was announced in several media as being a vegetarian restaurant, although they also serve non-veg items. On their website they state to have a ‘vegetarian inspired kitchen’. We had already emailed to ask whether they also have vegan items standardly available and got an affirmative reply. Great! The restaurant is located at the foot of the cathedral in Antwerp, and although we knew this, we walked by several times in search for this restaurant. There is no sign on the front wall with the name of the restaurant, and given the lounge seatings behind the front windows it’s not really apparent this is a restaurant. To be clear and prevent you from wandering in the cold like we did: if you are facing the front entrance of the cathedral, restaurant Rosenobel is located on your left. We were there for lunch on a Saturday and the restaurant was remarkably quiet (just one other table besides us). Vegan items are not indicated on the menu …

#10 Bistro Pastis, Bruges ***

Restaurant review #10 – Bistro Pastis is one of the few places in Bruges which standardly has vegan main dishes available. We received this tip from vegan friends who had already been here for dinner. There are four vegetarian main dishes standardly available on their menu, of which two are without dairy and eggs. We had previously mailed with the question if we could get a vegan menu, explicitating what we do and don’t eat, and we got an affirmative reply. We went there on a friday evening, some months ago (November 2013). Remarkably, there were hardly any tourists, but a lot of locals. Although Pastis is very close to ‘t Zand, there seems to be little tourist traffic in the Speelmansrei. That night it was very quiet on the street. But the restaurant soon packed. So we do advise you to make a reservation. Tables are spaciously situated, which gives it a calm and more restaurant atmosphere than a bistro impression (at least downstairs, we don’t know about upstairs). Appetizer There’s nothing vegan to choose from on …

#6 Restaurant Chang Thong Thai, Bruges **

Restaurant review #6 – Chang Thong Thai is a Thai restaurant in a small alley next to ‘t Zand. Their online menu card lists several vegetarian/vegan dishes seperately. We’ve already heard some experiences from other vegans and vegetarians about this place, so we decided to go check it out ourselves! It was a good thing we made a reservation for dinner, because shortly after we arrived, the place was packed (on a weeknight). Although it is in the city center, we hardly saw any tourists probably because it’s not in a main street. There’s a small area upstairs with some tables as well, but since the toilets were located there we decided to take place at one of the tables downstairs. Tables are stashed pretty close next to each other, which made us a bit uncomfortable (hearing every word of the conversation of the couple next to you, willingly or not, is not really enjoyable). Comfy arm chairs though. This is dining in a traditional Asian style setting (well, you know, Western Asian style), with buddhas statues …

Selection of soy sauces

Shop review #3 – There’s a nice selection of soy sauces at the organic shop Origin’O in Bruges. Not only the standard tamari and shoyu, but also different flavoured ones. We normally use standard tamari and shoyu, but decided to give these special ones a go: the teriyaki (sweet soy sauce) and the coriander and wasabi tamari. Nice additions in our kitchen, with a more distinct flavour. The Teriyaki is a new addition in the range of organic LIMA products. Next to the coriander and wasabi, there are many other seasoned soy sauces from LIMA. We use quite a lot of soy sauce: in marinades (e.g. marinating tempeh or tofu or boiling TVP), in making seitan, in stews, as a sauce in woks or on rice, to fry sunflower seeds in, or just as a dip sauce for snacks.

#5 Brasserie Forestière, Bruges ***

Restaurant review #5 – Brasserie Forestière in Bruges lists some vegetarian options on their menu. I had already enjoyed a vegan wrap with tofu when I was there for a work lunch, so we decided to go check it out for dinner. Before going there for dinner, we had asked whether it was possible to get a vegan menu (explaining what this means), and chef Kenny assured us this wouldn’t be a problem, and that certain items on the menu could be adapted à la minute (e.g. leaving dairy items out of the dish). Forestière doesn’t serve any desserts though, only starters (or soup) and a main dish. Forestière is located close to the theater (schouwburg), in the center of Bruges. Upon being seated, we immediately noticed the wide space between the tables. Contrary to many other brasseries or bistros, Forestière is not jam-packed with tables and chairs (they could at least add 10 more tables), and that gives a nice feeling of spaciousness. It gives you some breathing space and you don’t have to …