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 on board with the food trend.

Clean eating was so 2018. The new year brings a new focus for healthy cuisine, this time in a meat-free and dairy free form. 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, FYI).

While we don’t have a similar study for Dubai, anecdotally, plenty of pals vowed to try veganism as 2018 drew to a close. There’s even a campaign devoted to people dabbling with the lifestyle, Veganuary.

Street food connoisseurs Asian5 in Downtown Dubai have launched their own vegan menu, bringing together food from five Asian nations – Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and China – under the banner of loving animal and saving the planet. The menu isn’t exhaustive, but it has genuinely good options across the courses, even in the drinks and desserts. This kind of detail is something that a lot of vegan menus lack and we really appreciate it.

Asian5, vegan, Downtown Dubai

From it we try lemongrass iced tea (AED 10), a Thai red sweet potato curry (AED 36) and Korean-style vegan salad rolls (AED 14), stuffed with carrot and coriander. Although a vegan-friendly mango sticky rice (AED 23) sounds appealing, we’re so full that we can only sip a pot of green tea (AED 16).

The restaurant has a ground floor, mezzanine level and outdoor area but we see the service remain great throughout. Staff are attentive to the varied diets customers in Dubai present with and the food is flavourful and feels authentic without too many bells and whistles.

If you’re not ready to quit being carnivorous, Asian5 also has big hitters from the five aforementioned countries, including Peking Duck, som tam salad, pho and nasi goreng. Dishes are not quite as excitingly priced as street food from the countries they come from, but most are under AED 30.

TL;DR: Stop by for a simple and authentic Asian meal that caters to your kind of diet and be sure to try the sweet potato curry.

Asian5. Al Murooj Complex, Rose Building, Downtown Dubai. 11.30am-11.30pm daily. 04 325 9955. www.asian5restaurant.com

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