How this Asian restaurant does vegan the right way

Asian5, vegan, Downtown Dubai

As more people turn to plant-powered diet, we visit a Downtown diner that’s REALLY on board with the food trend.

Stats claim there’s been a 600 per cent increase in people identifying as vegans in the US in the last three years (up from one to six per cent of the total population).

Whilst we don’t have the numbers for Dubai, anecdotally, plenty of our pals have vowed to dabble with veganism in 2019. It’s understandable why, the converts preach a range of benefits, from weight-loss and renewed energy levels to the ability to fit the fact that ‘they’re vegan’ into almost any conversation.

We jest of course, but large scale reductions in human dependence on meat would likely have dramatic benefits for the wider environment. Less intensive cattle farming, and a move away from factory agriculture, will eliminate the production of huge volumes of waste products like CO2 and methane.

Here in Dubai, Downtown street food connoisseurs Asian5 have launched their own vegan menu, bringing together food from five Asian nations – Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and China – under the banner of loving animals and saving the planet.

The menu isn’t outrageous in range, but it offers genuinely good options across the courses, including snazzy drinks and desserts. This kind of detail is something that a lot of vegan menus lack, so we really appreciate the inclusion.

Asian5, vegan, Downtown Dubai

We try lemongrass iced tea (AED 10), Vietnamese veggie spring rolls (AED 16) a Thai red sweet potato curry (AED 38) and their vegan laksa (AED 36). We round it all off with a portion of vegan-friendly mango sticky rice (AED 23) washed down with a pot of piping hot green tea (AED 16). Shhh we’re hungry.

The restaurant has an interior and outdoor terrace area and the service remains great throughout. The staff are very receptive to the various dietary requirements that come with the cosmopolitan consumer landscape of Dubai. The food is flavourful and authentic. And we love the fact that the veggie dishes were deliberately conceived as vegan, not simply meat dishes with the meat removed.

If you’re not ready to quit being carnivorous, Asian5 also do a fine line of farm-fresh fare from the five aforementioned countries. This includes Peking Duck (AED 99), som tam salad (AED 25), pho (from AED 27) and nasi goreng (from AED 33). Dishes are not quite as excitingly priced as street food from the countries they come from, but many will see change from AED 30.

Asian5. Al Murooj Complex, Rose Building, Downtown Dubai. 11.30am-11.30pm daily. Deliveries available direct and through multiple aggregator platforms. 04 325 9955.

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