Viva la Vegan!
Could it be that the latest upheaval in Thailand will begin with a French fry?
Among the endlessly grey blocks of upper Sukhumvit, the brand-new Broccoli Revolution, with its open windows, hanging ferns, chalkboard displays, and exposed brick loft, comes as something of a revelation (if not quite the revolution of its wonderfully catchy name). Where similarly upscale shopping areas of New York or London might be chock-a-block with such trendy juice bars, it stands out in Bangkok as among the first and, even with an admittedly limited menu in its “soft” opening phase, among the best.
Here, the slogan is “vegetables will change your life”—something one would hardly need to preach to an Asian populace, yet which perhaps needs just this restaurant’s sort of palatable persuasion. At the heart of the operation are some 18 cold-pressed juices, all of them mixing something green and leafy with something fruity—celery with green apple, cucumber with melon, and, yes, broccoli in an astounding amount of liquefied forms, matching surprisingly well with coconut and pineapple (B100-180). There’s raw broccoli as well in their signature Western salad (B250), a small bowl filled to the brim with apples and walnuts.
But this “revolution” aims to be indigenous and not just some outpost of Western ideology. With a branch already in Vietnam, and a Vietnamese chef at the helm, the place’s best offerings are actually goi coun rice rolls, a pho noodle bowl, and Vietnamese-style tofu toast. There’s a number of Thai staples on offer as well, all served with organic brown rice; a smattering of middle Eastern mezze (dips that lend themselves well to meatless days, B290); couscous, of course (B180); Japanese-style edamame and Mexican guacamole (B200); and Spanish gazpacho (B170). And all that eclecticism is before they’ve had time to roll out the full bill of fare.
But the best-seller so far, and quickly becoming the trademark of this green spot, is its mock-carnivore Broccoli Quinoa Charcoal Burger (B220)—yes, there’s some of the beneficial stalk even in this patty, though you can’t taste it and the buns are nicely black to offset lettuce and tomato. But what’s probably driving the orders and bringing even the purest of diners back are the accompanying fries. They’re thick, hand-cut, and unfrozen, and they actually taste like potatoes. In Bangkok, that’s rarer than the Carrot and Pumpkin Soup and the best intentions behind it.
Welcome, comrades, to a scrumptious new age where you can have your cake (broccoli optional) and still eat your fries, too.
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899 Sukhumvit Rd | 0 2662 5001 | daily 7am-10pm