Vegan Tallinn

The summer is very hot and nice, and it was finally time to take a couple of days off from work. A good way to celebrate that is to go on a daytrip somewhere, and we opted to travel to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. We left very early in the morning and came back late night, so it was very essential for us to find something to eat.

After some shopping, we first headed to African Kitchen (homepage) which we already knew to be a nice, cheap and fast place for a quick bite. Vegan/vegetarian friendly too. I had some african fried rice with soya (the portion was bigger than I expected, so much for a quick bite!) and while madame Tofuhead entertained herself with some fresh orange salad. Both were very nice, affordable and helped us to survive many hours in the blazing heat outside.

african_kitchen_1

 

african_kitchen_2

After some more hours of shopping, enjoying local craft beers and wandering around, we decided to test our luck with Vegan Restoran V (homepage, Facebook). We had heard before the place is very popular (how awesome is that for a vegan restaurant, eh!) and it might be a bit hard to get a table without a prior reservation, but luck was on our side this time… Popped in, asked if it’s possible to get a table for two for an hour or so (before we had to head back to harbour to catch out boat), and ta-dah – a table we got. Pretty much all the tables were reserved for early evening, so if you’re planning a visit there on a tight schedule, do place a reservation ahead.

It’s a rather small restaurant, nicely low-key decorated with a great atmosphere. The waiters are very friendly and overall the service was top class. Being the burger enthusiast I am, I had no chance but to order a chickpea burger, while Tofuhead had some stuffed zucchini with a tofu broccoli salad. The burger was great, the chickpea patty had a very nice texture and fit in nicely with a slice of tomato, some mayonnaise, onion and everything else stuffed in the burger. And it was very big! Served with some baked veggies on the side, I have no chance but to give it 5 stars out of 5, possibly the best veggie burger I’ve had so far!

chickpea_burger

Zucchini slices had a lentil and tomato filling and they were served with fried tofu slices and broccoli. A hint of orange gave nice freshness for the tahini sauce. There were also a few hot pepper slices on the plate, enough to bring some extra spiciness to the dish, but not too many, since dish wasn’t supposed to be hot.

lentil_stuffed_zucchini

PS. Sorry for the potato quality pictures, they were taken with a cellphone camera.

 

Restaurant Day: Funny Bunny

Local Animalia group had a vegan pop-up restaurant on today’s Restaurant Day.  They had burgers, lasagne, pita falafel, pumpkin soup, pasties, pancake, bilberry pie and other desserts. We don’t have a vegan or even vegetarian restaurant in our town, so visiting this pop-up restaurant was a must.

For starters we had pasties. I took a lanttusupikas (a turnover with rye crust and rutabaga filling) and Nomad had a Karelian barley pie with toppings. Both were yummy. We got our main courses very quickly, right after we had finished our starters. We both had Pita Falafel. They had made the falafel themselves, and damn it was tasty. So much better than a bland frozen falafel you get in most restaurants here in Finland. There were also tomatoes, lettuce, zesty cabbage salad and garlic dressing.

falafelpita

We skipped the desserts, because we don’t like them so much. But I bet the ones with a sweet tooth enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed our savoury dishes.

Thank you Funny Bunny restaurant, see you next Restaurant Day!

Turkish Restaurant Ani, Helsinki

I went to restaurant Ani with my sisters. It’s not far from Helsinki center and it’s easy to reach by tram. Ani serves Turkish food, and most of the dishes on the menu are far from vegetarian or vegan. The buffet on the other hand was very vegan friendly. And if you tell them you’re veg(etari)an they’ll bring you a small plate of falafel to the table. Prices aren’t high, the buffet was only 9,50 Euros.

The restaurant is quite small and it seemed to be full all the time, but people just kept coming in and somehow the staff managed to find tables for them. We had to wait about a minute to get a table, so don’t go away even if the restaurant looks full.

For starters I chose some cold dishes from the buffet: potato salad, marinated carrots, black eye beans, olives, salad and hot peppers,

ani1

As a main course I had rice and tomato sauce, falafel, hummus, pasta salad and pickled vegetables.

ani2

There was also beans in tomato sauce, steamed vegetables, marinated garlic cloves, cabbage salad, pickled cucumber etc. I’m sure even a picky eater would find something to eat from the buffet, or from ala carte menu. Ani would also be an excellent choice for a group that includes both vegetarians and omnivores.

Vegan Food in Jyväskylä

I spent two days in Jyväskylä this week. It was a work related trip, so I spent nearly all the time in the Craft Museum of Finland. I had searched the Internet for restaurants that serve vegan food so I could easily find something to eat on the lunch break. It looks like there’s two restaurants that are easy for vegans: Soppabaari and Katriina.

On the first day I went to Soppabaari with two other women. I had been there earlier, and I knew it’s a nice restaurant. The vegan soup of the day was carrot and coconut soup and it was served with bread. My omni coworker had the same soup, and her soup was garnished with cream and mine with fresh herbs. The food was good, and the other ladies were pleased that I took them there.

soppabaari

On the second day I went to vegetarian restaurant Katriina. The restaurant reminded me of a school canteen, but you can’t expect a fancy restaurant with such low prices: soup lunch was only 6 Euros (2,70 for students) and regular lunch was 7 Euros. The soups of the day were pureed carrot and bean soup, lentil and vegetable soup and another pureed soup, which I already forgot and the regular lunch was a rice and bean casserole. The salad selection was rather boring: cabbage salad with few cucumber and radish slices, and peas, corn and mung bean sprouts. Again, like a school canteen. I had the lentil soup, some salad, a slice of rye bread and a bread roll. The bread roll was really good, I think they might make those themselves. And there were also peanuts you could add to your soup or salad. The soup was a bit too salty for my taste, but in general everything was okay.

katriina

I think Soppabaari is better than Katriina, but I could go to Katriina again. I think most of the customers were students, and I can understand why it’s popular among students.

Good Life in the Caribbean

We were married in October and now we’re on our honeymoon in Barbados. The food here is based on fish and chicken, but we’ve always managed to fid something to eat.

We also found a vegan restaurant called The Good Life located near Accra Beach, Christ Church. It’s not far from our hotel, about 30 minutes walk, and a bus there takes only few minutes. Their menu was filled with dishes that sounded delicious, so it was hard to decide what to order. Finally we chose Deluxe Vegetable Wrap and Good Life House Salad.

CAM00030

CAM00031The wrap was very tasty and it was the first time I ate plantain. Tofuhead’s salad was topped with almonds, pumpkin seeds, raisins etc. and it was also very tasty and filling.  We had beer with dinner and for the dessert we ordered fruit smoothies. Prices in the restaurant were very reasonable, all this costed about 30€. We definitely recommend trying this restaurant if you ever go to Barbados.

A Day Trip to Tallinn

Yesterday I went to Tallinn to buy cheap booze. The boat arrived to Tallinn at 11 and 11.30 I had already bought all the booze I needed. I still had five hours before the ship left back to Helsinki. The weather was nice, and I decided to walk to old town. I just walked around, checked several shops, climbed to Toompea-hill.

Few hours later I thought it would be time to find something to eat before heading back to harbour. Most of the restaurants in Tallinn (or at least old town) don’t serve any vegetarian dishes, or the only vegetarian option is something like feta salad. I saw a Tex-Mex restaurant, which had some vegetarian options, and they had even marked them on the menu. I didn’t go inside, but was sure that I’d go back and ask if they had anything vegan if I couldn’t find a better restaurant. A little later I found an Asian restaurant Bollywood. They had a lot of meat free dishes on the menu, so I decided to go in. There were several vegetable dishes that sounded like vegan, and others that were in creamy sauce. I asked the waitress if Tofu and Exotic Vegetables was dairy free, and she told me it was. Here’s what I got:

And I also got a bowl of rice. I suppose the exotic part of the dish was bamboo shoots, since button mushrooms or broccoli don’t seem so exotic. I expected the sauce would have been more garlicy, but it was tasty anyway. I enjoyed the combination of soft tofu, meaty shitake mushrooms and crunchy onions. I wasn’t super hungry and the portion looked quite big when I got it, but I ate everything, even all the rice.

With a full stomach I walked back to the harbour. The restaurants on the boat suck, so on my way to harbour I bought some trail mix, bread, potato chips and soda to have something to eat before I getting back home.

Restaurant Day on Feb. 4, 2012

Restaurant day on Saturday went well. We served chili, Caribbean lentil soup, Mexican chocolate cake, pumpkin muffins, coffee and tea. All the food was ready when we opened our restaurant, and they tasted good. More customers would have been welcome, we had quite a lot of leftovers. One reason for lack of customers could have been the freezing weather, and some people may not feel comfortable about going to strangers’ homes to eat. Next Restaurant Day will be in May, and maybe then we’ll have an outdoor restaurant again.

Even if we didn’t have many customers, I don’t have a reason to complain. We got enough money to cover the expenses and we got plenty of food for ourselves. We didn’t have to cook for ourselves on the weekend and we still have some soup and chili in the freezer. It was also nice to eat muffins on Sunday while we played Ticket to Ride board game with our friends, and my coworkers were very pleased, because I served the leftover cake on coffee break at work. Couple of them also asked for the recipe, and if you’re interested, check here. It’s delicious and very easy to make.

Once again, we were too busy with cooking and serving and forgot to take photos.