All tourists know of Khao San road – it’s the infamous party street that has been fuelling backpackers and visitors alike with beer, clothing and awful ‘shock’ foods such as fried scorpions for many years. While I’ll admit I partook in the street beer and bought some elephant pants, the rest of the place is an assault on the senses. Amid all this hedonism and chaos, what does a vegan trying to be ethical eat?
Surprisingly, nestled not far from Khao San road is a perfect little vegan paradise. Head out of the bottom of the road and across, through an alley and you’re in Tanao Road – a small street with three restaurants that all cater to vegans – which was great for me and Ellen as we were hungry and ready to get away from Khao San. There’s the trendy, somewhat ‘hippy’ feeling Ethos, the low-key Number 1 Vegetarian and then May Kaidee, our favourite,
Unfortunately, we didn’t try the middle Restaurant, called Number 1 Vegetarian. It apparently serves meat, but offers incredibly low priced meals starting from 40THB. As we didn’t eat there I can hardly comment on the place, but reviews seem positive.
Our first choice was May Kaidee, an authentic feeling restaurant that is entirely vegetarian, with most meals also vegan. I ordered a tofu stirfry dish that was spectacular, full of flavour and with lots of fresh veggies. Ellen ordered a rice noodle based dish where the noodles were like giant folded up sheets. Both meals were delicious and when the bill came I felt like cheering. It was about 480 baht for both meals, two Chang beers (vegan according to barnivore.com) and mango sticky rice. That’s less than £10.
Our next choice came the next morning, although if you’ve seen our video you’ll know by ‘morning’ I meant more like 2.30PM due to west-east jetlag. We wanted breakfast style food, so opted for pancakes from Ethos. You’ve got to remove your shoes when entering and we chose a table sitting on the floor – it felt very down to earth. We ordered pancakes, and I chose a mango and banana one that I sprinkled coconut milk on. It was delicious. Ellen, on the other hand, chose a sickly-sweet chocolate and almond one that was drenched in chocolate.
Note on Ethos: Ethos kind of annoyed me, if I’m honest. For all the fantastic vegan options, there was a health warning in the back about Soy, saying it is linked to breast cancer and excess consumption is bad for you. Elsewhere on the menu people are encouraged to upgrade to Tempeh (fermented soy) as an alternative. No credible study has ever found that Soy is harmful to health and any adverse affect has been refuted, unless you’re allergic to it. In fact, the European Food Safety Authority said that isoflavones do not adversely affect the breast, thyroid or uterus of postmenopausal women. Phytoestrogen does not affect humans the same way it does plants or animals. Ethos, read up…
May Kaidee Round 2
So, the adventurous types that we are, we decided to return to the same restaurant we went to the day before. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Why? Because on Saturday’s, May Kaidee does an all you can eat buffet for just 150THB per head. I can’t even tell you what we ate, as there were 9 plates of amazing food and we just scoffed it all. Incredible, once again.
So, for anyone looking for food in Bangkok, I’d encourage you to take a trip to Tanao Road. Escape Khao San – or fuel up with vegan goodness before some Chang or bucket infused badness. Your choice.
Check out our video over on Howay the Herbivores YouTube channel to see all the vegan food we enjoyed in Bangkok!