Check Out This Great Thai Food That Happens to Be (Mostly) Vegan
Relax, meat-eaters. Chinatown's My Thai Vegan Café serves up cuisines for all lifestyles. But spring rolls with "veggie chicken?" So good.
I’ll admit that, despite my efforts to the contrary, I can be a bit biased against vegetarian and vegan restaurants. I will eat most things in the world, except fake maple syrup (I mean, that’s just wrong), so I'm occasionally hesitant to dine at restaurants that advertise themselves as leaving out entire food groups.
However, the cuisine at My Thai Vegan Café in Chinatown isn’t just great “for vegan food.” It’s great food that happens to be mostly vegan — and I say “mostly” because for a restaurant with “vegan” in its name, it has an abundance of seafood and meat options. Even the most voracious carnivores shouldn’t miss this one
The restaurant is perched on the second floor of a building on Beach Street with a not-too-shabby view of Chinatown and the glittering neon Paramount sign down the street.
Despite the deafening creaking of the entry door which just needed a little TLC in the form of WD-40, once I ascended the stairs to the restaurant, it was nothing but delicious, affordable food with quick and friendly service.
Kick off with the bubble tea ($3.95), a cold “smoothie” available in 21 flavors with chewy tapioca pearls. I chose the honeydew. While bubble tea in America is usually made with dairy, My Thai Vegan Café does it with a coconut milk base that works quite well. The texture is a tad less thick but the additional coconut flavor is a welcome trade-off.
I opted for the fried spring roll appetizer ($4.50) with crispy golden-brown pastry and a hot filling of “veggie-chicken,” carrots, onions, mung beans, bean threads, garlic and pepper. Lots of flavor, no grease.
Pad Thai might not be the most adventurous dish on the menu, but it is one of my favorites, and throughout my humble food forays I have found it to be a consistent indicator of the quality throughout the rest of the menu.
The pad Thai at My Thai Vegan Café (pictured above) features the usual pan-fried noodles, onions, scallions, bean sprouts, and peanut crumble. Instead of meat, the dish included “veggie-shrimp” and “veggie-chicken,” which were actually pretty good imitations of their non-vegan counterparts. The dish arrived hot and quick, with a healthy heaping of bean sprouts and just the right amount of umami for the noodles.
For the finale, I knew I had to try the vegan cake that many a reviewer had raved about on the restaurant’s Yelp! page (500+ reviews with an average rating of 4 stars).
The waiter recommended the carrot cake with “cream cheese” frosting. The cake itself is rich, and the frosting impossibly creamy. No one would miss the “real” cream cheese here.
After my meal, I approached my waiter and asked politely if he was really sure that the cake was vegan. He smiled proudly and told me “Yes.”
Come for the awesome food, and don’t be afraid to bring your non-vegan friends.
My Thai Vegan Café - 3 Beach Street, Boston, 617.451.2395, MyThai on Yelp