The sheer power of punchy, modern Thai flavours is a focus at Longrain this month, as the Vegan Menu is officially launched in Sydney.
A pure vegan preparation by Executive Chef Griff Pamment has been added to the standard banquet and restaurant menus, where the kitchen has long been serving vegan food, without highlighting it. Adding the vegan menu now, is a reflection of current environmental trends, and the growing foodie movement amongst the health conscious and Millennials according to founder Sam Christie.
A study from 2010 estimated that there are 1.45 billion vegetarians globally out of pure necessity, and another 75 million out of choice. SBS this month reports that vegans make up approximately 21.8% of the world's population and as of March 2016, 11.2% of Australians agreed with the statement: "The food I eat is all, or almost all, vegetarian."
Longrain’s vegan menu includes signatures like the Ma Hor - caramelised tofu, salted turnip, peanut, chilli, sour pineapple - as well as the taste explosion vegan Betel leaf of yam bean, Thai basil, chilli jam and toasted coconut. But vegan the bill of fare also incorporates a range of exotic hot dishes.
The banquet includes stir fried firm tofu, okra, black fungus and yellow beans, a bamboo and snow pea salad, plus a peanut curry of roast pumpkin, bullhorn peppers and Thai basil. Modern Thai cooking abounds with killer flavours and textures - despite the omission of fish sauce and shrimp paste according to Executive Chef Griff Pamment.
“Last year we introduced a vegan Massaman curry spiced spring roll that really has been incredibly popular. It really flies under the radar as being a vegan dish. The wrapper is light and crunchy, it has great flavours and really packs a punch when dipped in a house-made smoky Sriracha.
“We also have a new vegan stir fry of firm okra with black fungus and yellow beans, plus the salt and pepper tofu,” Pamment says.
“We omit the use of fish sauce which is a staple of Thai cookery, but I find the chilli, lime, and ginger create mouth filling blast no matter what. The textures of firm or silken tofu, various strains of types of chilli and coconut also have satisfying effect,” Pamment says.
Longrain founder and owner Sam Christie, says the Vegan Banquet can also be accompanied by vegan wine. He already lists several vegan wines, including excellent examples by Ravensworth, a winery using no animal products for the wine’s fining and filtration.
“These are great wines, no matter what your dietary persuasion. From our point of view, at Longrain you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan food,” Christie says.