When Tea Avenue situated at One Galle Face announced about their vegan high tea option for Poya days and weekends, we were simply over the moon!
So off I went with Chalani, Nipun and Thimali from SLYCAN Trust. The trio are not vegan and the idea was to get a genuine response about vegan food.
Tea Avenue recommends you to make a reservation before coming in and you can do it by calling them on their Whatsapp number. The café is nice and airy with hand sanitizer and health guidelines mentioned right at the entrance.
As mentioned before, Tea Avenue has been offering vegan high tea only for a short period of time and could not offer us a printed menu, for inspection. However, Mohammed, our server was quick to explain to us about the selection.
The High Tea was served in a platter with 5 savoury items and 3 desserts followed by a cup of tea. The artfully displayed platter served two and was priced at Rs 2400/-
The savoury items included a spinach quiche, bruschetta, crispy potato roll, spinach/spring onion wrap, mini vegan burger. The sweet selection included a brownie, tiramisu and fruit cocktail. This was the first time the trio from SLYCAN Trust has had a vegan spread and they were quite intrigued about it. There were a few mmmmms and hmmmmms and many a question was directed towards me. There was a variety of teas on offer and we had a selection of classic, chai, berry and lychee teas.
Now comes the taste test.
My personal favourite was the burger, it was super flavourful and had a nice balance of spice and crunchy freshness. Chalani liked the Spinach quiche and Nipun liked the Crispy potato roll. The Bruschetta had a thinly sliced roasted carrot at the base to act as vegan bacon. While in general it was a nice touch, I think it could have had a touch of balsamic vinegar to up the game.
We unanimously gave a side eye to the spinach wrap. It was our least favourite of the selections as there was already a green element in the quiche. I am sure Tea Avenue would take our feedback into consideration. Over all, it was a nice spread and we enjoyed the munching.
The true winners however, were the desserts. My oh my, the brownie certainly got some well…. brownie points. It was crunchy on the top and moist and squishy in the middle. In fact, the trio felt it was even better than the classic non vegan version. It had accents of coconut and some other unknown magical ingredient. Personally, it was the Tiramisu with its ginger biscuit base that was the game changer. Being a dessert snob (ashamed to admit, but true), this for me was pure excellence. The ginger biscuit added an oomph to the creamy decadence of the dessert. Further, adding the fruit cocktail into the dessert mix was a clever move as the peach, strawberry and cherry bites acted as a palate cleanser in between the two rich desserts.
On a serious note, we are delighted to observe more and more restaurants and cafes opening to the possibility of including vegan and vegetarian options to their menus. Understanding the need to serve humane and cruelty free food is a great win for not only for those who follow plant based food diets, but for animals in general and the world we live in. However, it is equally important to note that despite being meatless, vegan and vegetarian food can still be nutritious, full of flavour and textures. Therefore, offering bland or basic vegan versions of meat based food is also not acceptable. This requires innovation and food experimentation which is good for the industry as well as our health.
That’s why we LOVE and appreciate the comprehensive feedback form presented to us by Tea Avenue in order to help them better their vegan food service. This further exemplifies their commitment to serving not just any vegan food, but vegan food that is both tasty and enjoyable.
As for the trio – they all agreed it was a ‘different but enjoyable’ experience worth trying again and again. Different doesn’t necessarily mean bad and for me, this is an absolute win.
So, make that reservation and head over to Tea Avenue – One Galle Face next Poya day or weekend and try the Vegan High Tea. Let us know what you think about it.
TTFN for now, stay safe and eat plant based food!