Veggie lover's dream
Opened in 2012, May Veggie Home quickly joined Bangkok’s top-notch vegetarian restaurant club thanks to creative dishes drawing on Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Western cuisines. Now at a central location near Asok BTS station, May’s soothing setting, house-made mock meats and vegan desserts keep on satisfying.
After spending a couple of years in the Thong Lor area, May’s new location in a bright and spacious air-conditioned space within earshot of Terminal 21 is quite a find. WiFi is free and tables are spaced far apart, making this a great choice for a date, a meetup with friends or an hour or two spent solo with a book, laptop and some great food. If you’re not up for a full-on meal, kick back with an excellent coffee, ice cream, iced coco or matcha green tea cake — all vegan.
While May’s ambiance is inviting enough to enjoy even if you eat nothing but steak every day, the thoughtful selection of animal-free dishes is definitely the main draw. About half of the selections are vegan takes on Thai dishes, including staples like spicy nam tok salad, tom yum soup, panang curry and “chicken” with cashew nuts. Vegan pad Thai, fried rice and simple sauteed vegetable options should do the trick for those who like to play it safe.
Unexpected regional selections include a northern Thai style khaosoi that forgoes the chicken, and an herbivorean rendition of kway chab yuan, or northeast Thailand’s take on Vietnamese peppered pork soup. Along with several types of mushrooms and tofu, many dishes feature mock fish, shrimp, chicken and bacon, all crafted in-house from meat substitutes and spices.
The other half of the menu draws on international flavours that have been embraced in modern Thailand. Vietnamese fresh rolls, herb-stuffed avocados, spaghetti with veggie balls, deluxe veggie burger and mild Japanese curry with katsu style deep-fried “chicken” are among the filling options. Come on a Sunday to enjoy barbecued fake meat skewers with grilled veggies and turmeric rice.
We went with the vegetarian “bacon” wrapped mushrooms as a starter, though it arrived a few minutes after our main course (dishes are served Thai style: when they’re done). Each hugging a two-bite size portion of delicate needle mushrooms with a tasty brown sauce, the “bacon” strips were fried until almost crispy. Strategically placed hints of salt helped mimic the experience of eating actual bacon, and the sizable portion was well worth the 130 baht price tag.
Knowing how difficult it is to pull off a Thai curry without ingredients like fish sauce and shrimp paste, we put May’s chefs to the test by ordering massaman with vegetables and oryngi mushrooms. Served with a generous portion of brown rice, the curry was far creamier and a bit sweeter than the slow-roasted and extremely savoury chicken or beef varieties found in southern Thai cooking. Yet the well-balanced flavours and hearty ingredients made it enjoyable just the same.
We found the service friendly and reasonably attentive. Some of the dishes take time to prepare, making May more suitable for a relaxing meal than a rushed lunch. Appetisers and salads start at 80 baht, while most entrees are available in individual portions for 100 to 150 baht or family-size for 160 to 220.
To get here, take the BTS skytrain to Asok station and take the stairs down at exit 4, then hang an almost immediate right onto Ratchadaphisek Road. You’ll see May Veggie Home on the right after no more than 100 metres. You could also take the MRT subway to Sukhumvit station and hop across the street via the elevated walkway. If you prefer a picnic, order takeaway and head just up the road to the lovely Benjakiti Park.
Address: 8/3 Ratchadaphisek Road (just off Sukhumvit Road), Bangkok
T: (02) 118 2967
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º33'39.38" E, 13º44'8.9" N
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David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
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