Once a year in Thailand citizens of Chinese ancestry adopt a full vegetarian diet for 10 days to clear the mind and body in purpose of merit making. Unlike traditional western vegetarianism, certain pungent items like garlic, onion, celery, and spices are shunned. This rule may take some flavors out of the running, but it also forces dishes to concentrate on delicate natural tastes. Here are where to find Bangkok's most delectable contributions to the festival.
Known for its daring menu, Liu's traditional dishes come with a modern twist. For the Vegetarian Festival, Master Chef Wong Kam-Yau prepares two special sets for selection. The first set, (THB 699++ baht) includes Deep fried spring rolls and gingko nut, Shredded bamboo pith soup with lotus root, Stir-fried yu-yi fungus asparagus and baby corn, Diced bean curd with Sichuan pickles, Steamed rice with vegetable in lotus leaf, and Chilled sago and honeydew in coconut milk. The second set, (THB 799++ baht) includes Deep fried bean curd skin roll and shitake mushroom, Braised vegetarian shark’s fin soup, Braised vegetarian abalone chunks with black mushroom, Sautà¹ed vegetarian shrimps with Sichuan chili sauce, Fried yellow noodles with mixed vegetables and dark Soya sauce, and Pumpkin cream with snow fungus and sago.
Begins September 22nd to October 7th
Back to the Classics
A place that is true to Chinese Tradition, The Summer Palace brings us Guangdong-style vegetarian specialties from Hong Kong Master Chef Cheung Chin Choi. Enjoy Deep-fried Taro Served with Black Mushroom Sauce, Pan-fried Eggplant with Soya Sauce “Hong Kong Style” and Wok Sautà¹ed Asparagus with Cashew Nuts. Larger groups will find the curved booths very comfortable, but to make it special, call ahead and reserve a private room.
Begins September 29th to October 7th
Yuan, the contemporary Chinese restaurant is big game in the Vegetarian Festival. Need to feel more energized? How about easy detoxification? It's told that they have used ancient Chinese wisdom to pair the celebratory vegetarian dishes with beverages that enhance their nutritional benefits.
Set menus include dishes like Stir-Fried Yellow Bean Curd with Cashew nuts and Chili, Bird’s Nest with Bamboo Fungus Soup and Braised Black Moss with vegetables and glass vermicelli. You can also order these a la carte for a lighter meal. Prices average THB 5,880 per 10 persons and THB 9,880 per 10 persons. Don't forget to let Worajit, Yuan's own skillful Tea Master create a cup of your favorite blend for you, it's an unforgettable personal show.
Begins September 27th to October 7th
Japanese if you Please
Usually known for its sizzling Teppanyaki, Benihana challenges the traditional by adding a Japanese twist on the vegetarian festival. Their "Veg a Yaki" menu is (as you might have guessed from the name) a fully vegetarian take on Sukiyaki, including original ingredients like Green Tea Soba and Somen Noodles with soy mirin dipping sauce, Fuku Yose of Autumn Vegetables—a fine soup made of seasonal vegetables, shitake mushrooms, and dashi stock, Momen Tofu Miso—Grilled tofu with yuzu and miso, and Tempura Vegetables with XO dipping sauce.
Begins October 1st to October 31st