Sep 16 2011

Thai-style vegetarian food: Deva does it right

Published by at 2:40 pm under Food


Vegetarian food in Bangkok usually falls into two categories: vaguely Mediterranean-style (roasted vegetables and couscous) or aahaan je, Chinese-style Buddhist cuisine heavy on seitan and tofu [for an excellent je option, see previous post -- and we've also covered a few other veggie options here]. Well-prepared, both styles stand ready to prove that even meat eaters can be poly amorous with their food. But, as with most things in life, there is a third path.

GET IN MY FACE.

Deva Restaurant does a style of food closer to traditional Thai cooking: laap, spicy geng som, curries, fried holy basil dishes, only without the fish sauce or blaa rah (fermented fish paste). The cooks wouldn’t tell me what they used in place of the fish sauce, but it tastes awfully similar to light soy sauce mixed with mushroom soy sauce. Whatever the secret ingredient, Deva does it up right.

Open for breakfast and lunch (and an early dinner), Deva has both aahaan sang tham (dishes cooked to order) and aahaan kap khao (pre-prepared dishes ready to be served with rice). The kap khao dishes are fun because you can see exactly what’s on offer, and the dishes change daily. On your correspondent’s last visit, offerings included a hot southern orange curry with pumpkin, tofu laap (a chopped salad made of marinated tofu, chopped and seared, and then tossed with fresh shallots, cilantro, toasted pounded rice, chiles, garlic and lime juice, as well as the secret fish sauce replacement — highly recommended), and fried long stem mushrooms (marinated and then lightly dried before being fried, they are addictive with a satisfyingly chewy texture).

Just the thing for the morning after.

Deva’s fruit smoothies (70 baht) are not to miss as well, perfectly refreshing with a shot of ginger juice to make the mouth tingle. Prices are reasonable with dishes from 50 to 85 bah,t and the restaurant is clean and cool on the inside. Deva is located a few minutes’ walk from Ploenchit BTS Station in Mahathun Plaza, close to the top of Sukhumvit Rd.

Deva Restaurant
888/57 Mahathun Plaza, Ploenchit Rd
T: 08 1750 9456
Open daily 08:00-18:00

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