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Upping the Ante on Asian Food, this Newbie is Serving Up a Pan Asian Vegetarian Menu and it’s Amazing

509 Interested |
I’m a voracious meat eater, I love and respect food too much to negate vegetarian food though, if a vegetarian meal is delicious, it will become my favourite. Yet, I am wary of vegetarian menus other than the usual chaat places, south Indian tiffin restaurants and perhaps regional restaurants serving Gujarati cuisine. Then I heard about the waves this new Asian place was making, with an entirely vegetarian menu inspired by the Asian sub-continent. I was both perplexed and intrigued, agreed that Asian food is largely vegan because they don’t use dairy but vegetarian seemed far fetched to me. Nestled in the tony Khan Market, Green Mantis is quite the sensation lately, so I just had to go see for myself. Airy, well lit and minimalistic, the interiors are refreshing and relaxed. With cane accents and artwork of watercolours of cutesy praying mantis, this kind of minimal décor puts all the emphasis on the food and that is actually a good thing. I am personally fed up of restaurants that are overly beautiful but don’t deliver when it comes to the food. Thirty minutes into the meal, I was certain Green Mantis had their game together, this menu was all about excellent pan-Asian food minus the meat.

The menu serves up cuisines from various countries, from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bhutan to Thailand and Vietnam. They use locally sourced ingredients to produce internationally renowned cuisines, ingredients that are super fresh, organic and seasonal. I was thrilled to find ingredients from local Northern Eastern and Tibetan markets in Delhi, like Tibetan coriander and smoked bamboo shoots. Sambals and sauces like Balado, fish sauce and oyster sauce are made in-house using plant-based ingredients, can you imagine, they’ve figured a recipe for fish sauce without the fish, amazing! We started with the Tibetan soup la-phing which has been given an upgrade with a mung dal starch wrapper which encases a variety of vegetables and is served like a rice paper roll, no soup. For sushi, we loved the Eggplant Maki and Ginger and Shiitake Gyoza, both of which were excellent. They also have a very unique Kerala Red Rice and Avocado sushi which is super high on flavour and novelty. My absolute favourites were the Scallion Pancakes which are quite a trend and the Cheese Hotteok, considering Korean food is finally coming to the forefront. For the main course we had the Sri Lankan stew with coconut rice cakes, the rice cakes were great, I could pair them with any curry and love it. Then there was the Malaysian Laksa and the Singapore Bee Hoon noodles, which I can’t wait to go back to.

Even the beverage menu is fun and progressive, the drinks are inspired by Southeast Asian spices, fruits and flavours. The menu has novel combinations like gari, basil and grapefruit spitzer and mango togarashi, which is a Japanese seasoning usually used over rice dishes. Honestly, I will be going back to Green Mantis because they’ve made meat inconsequential for me, the food is good and that’s all that matters.