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6 memorable meals from our pre-COVID-19 vegan travel adventures

The global lockdown and COVID-19 crisis has forced us all to postpone travel plans whilst life as we once knew it is still on pause. As self confessed foodies we have missed the culinary opportunities that our vegan travel adventures presented. We certainly haven’t gone hungry as we have been creating in our own kitchen and visiting local, vegan friendly restaurants wherever possible. However, we hope that it’s not too long before we can start exploring again! In the meantime we will just reminisce about these memorable meals from our pre-COVID-19 vegan travel adventures. Pink Pearl at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa Pink Pearl at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa is located on Phu Quoc island in Vietnam and is another unique and imginative creation from the mind of Bill Bensley and his talented team. Located just a short flight from Saigon, but it feels like a million miles away from the fast paced city life. Pink Pearl is the fine dining restaurant at JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa and no stay would be complete without a reservation here. A sublime vegan tasting menu was created upon request with decadent paired wines. It was truffle season during our visit and they featured in a number of dishes, including this thoughtfully presented, spelt and wild mushrooms extravanganza with parsley foam that was divine. Akira Back at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park Akira Back at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park boasts a central Sukhumvit location, just a few minutes walk from BTS Phrom Phong, with many rooms overlooking Benjasiri Park. We love the location as it is in easy reach of some of our favourite vegan restaurants in Bangkok, and we also love the fact that the vegan friendly Akira Back is one of the multiple F&B options available in the hotel. The vegetarian menu has clearly marked vegan options including this ‘Tofu Tobanyaki’ of lightly fried tofu fillets served on a medley of stir fried vegetables. Quality ingredients, packed with flavour and prepared by a passionate team that tasted oh so good. Grand Café at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Café is the open plan restaurant on the ground floor of the luxurious Grand Café at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. They offer a la carte, and buffet options but it was the vegan menu items that interested us and we were certainly not disappointed. There were a number of vegan options on the menu but The Mapo Tofu dish was the star of the show. Soft tofu and mushrooms in a flavoursome broth, served with rice, soup and pickles. The intense and rich flavours were truly memorable and the accompanying sides created the perfect combination. Akira Back at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach Next up was Akira Back at JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach where we were excited to be dining at Akira Back again. As big fans of Chef Akira Back, we were looking forward to another journey into his plant based repertoire and we were not disappointed. You will find a number of vegan options on the main menu, but upon request, we were able to exprience a vegan tasting menu. The simple sounding ‘Roasted Mushroom’ was far from simple; complex flavours and expert execution delivered a superb dish. Toasted quinoa throughout the dish added texture and the earthy flavours of the lightly spiced mushrooms were excellent. Superb. The Lobby at The Peninsula Bangkok The Lobby at The Peninsula Bangkok is one of the finst hotels in Bangkok and they certanly know how to look after their vegan guests, with plant based options at each of their F&B outlets. For super healthy lunch options in a classic and refined setting, then look no further than The Lobby where you can enjoy this light, delicate and simply delicious agnolotti pasta creation with a Beyond Meat filling. Pickled pumpkin, almond foam, quinoa crackersand pea purée combined to form a stunning plate of healthy, plant based food. TÎNG at Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London The final memorable meal from our vegan travel adventures finds us 300m above London. TÎNG at the TÎNG at Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London is on the 35th floor of The Shard and boasts far reaching views of the city below. The highlight of our plant based meal was the simply named ‘Organic Sand Carrot’, the name may be simple but the dish was far from simple. A single, baked sand carrot was served with carrot puree, pickled carrots and coriander salsa on a bed of couscous. The flavoursome and caramelised carrot combined well with the spicy salsa, pickled carrots and the sweet puree. An inspiring dish that elevated the humble carrot to similar heights as our location. It was not an easy task to choose these six vegan creations, as we’ve been blessed to enjoy many memorable meals in recent years. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long before we can start to explore again, and discover new, exciting vegan dishes in far flung corners of Southeast Asia and beyond. Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest have become luxury vegan travel specialists as they continue to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Eyers

Paul Eyers is co-founder of Vegan Food Quest who write about luxury hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia with a focus on sustainable travel, eco travel and vegan travel. Currently based in Malaysia, Paul also writes about sporting events and some of the finest golf courses throughout the region.

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  1. Over the last 6 months a lot of us have had to dig back into our memories to get through some difficult times. I must admit that I’ve thought back to some of my best meals I’ve had. Though none of my meals is as exciting and as beautifully presented as yours.

    1. so true. researching for thse posts and going through old notes and photos has certainly made us smile. let’s hope that we can relive some of these vegan travel adventures some time soon!

  2. It’s been tough for those of us that like to travel and try different foods in different countries. As a Vegan living in Cambodia many of my favourites have closed in the last few months. I can’t wait to travel again and try some of the amazing places I see on this Blog, not just today but in the past!

  3. That’s an amazing concept behind the organic sand carrot. It really stretches the way we think about food into another dimension. Starting off with one vegetable, almost serving like a steak or chop as the centre piece and then matching it with supporting / contrasting flavours is quite inspirational.

    1. thanks for your comment Dave. we were blown away by this dish. never did we think that a carrot would provide the centre piece to such an xciting dish. we would love to try it again…

  4. Wow, what a great selection of countries and food! The last 6 months really have been eye-opening and have made me realise (even more than I already did) how fortunate we were to have the opportunity to travel so often and to taste the different flavours of each country. I cannot wait to travel again in the future but thanks for sharing some of your memories with us all. You’ve inspired me to look back through my old travel photos.

  5. Who would have believed that we would be approaching the end of 2020 and travel restrictions were still in place? Let’s hope we don’t have to wait long before we can plan trips knowing that it is safe to do so….

    1. thank you for commenting James. you’re correct that none of us would have believed what 2020 had in store for us. there are glimmers of hope that things could change but they are only glimmers sadly.

  6. This made me realise I don’t know of anywhere that I’ve been to abroad or any restaurants in the UK that offer a buffet specifically for vegan options. It’s great to see there are lots of good choices around with quality food and interesting choices rather than being limited to a small menu with bland dishes. I think it’s an increasing trend towards being mindful of the needs of customers where vegan dishes are concerned as we’re seeing a lot more options coming out these days. A few years ago and the options would be so incredibly limited. I have friends that used to really struggle to find anywhere to eat.

    Also, I never would have thought you could make such an interesting meal with a carrot as a centrepiece. The Organic Sand Carrot looks yum!

  7. It’s great an article from you guys highlighting some of your favourite hotels & the amazing vegan dishes they serve
    I’ve loved reading your blogs in the past, & look forward to hearing about more of your future travels when restrictions are finally lifted


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