Travelling to Golden State Vegan. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think, ‘Vegan’? …
You can be honest.
Most meat eaters think of hippies ranting about almond milk, roll their eyes, reach for their leather wallets and pay for their latte and ham/cheese panini from Starbucks and forget the thought totally. Vegans on the other hand might think past pleasurable mastication and onto the greater purpose of the lifestyle choice; rejecting the commodity status of animals and the associated personal and global benefits that come with it.
If your name is Eric, Golden State Vegan Cafe owner and head chef, you would have just finished your rookie season as a vegan. Not many newbies to the vegan game can say that they opened a restaurant. Not a bad start some might say…
But, Eric has genuinely made being vegan…. A game. One in which totally stumped a meat-eating advocate like myself. As your bite into your Crab Fishcake, Tuna Steak, Satay Sticks or Deep Water Scallops, you would find it hard to believe that they are not exactly what you think they are. Eric and his small team have managed to genuinely challenge what it means to serve Vegan food, which for anyone who likes food, is incredibly exciting.
Set back, just off of Soi 31 in Ekkamai, you turn the corner of a small soi to see a converted house with the hand painted GSVC sign differentiating it from the other houses; its appearance on the street sets the stage for how the food performs on the plate. The decor was selected and positioned in a way that makes the food jump off of the miss-matched crockery. Whether you want to enjoy the peaceful outside seating area, go inside to one of the larger tables or tuck yourself into one of the corners, there is a space for everyone.
In January of 2020, Eric had decided to fully become Vegan after watching a string of pressing documentaries that challenged his perception. Having ran a successful, busy Air BnB, the pandemic more or less totally decimated tourism within Thailand freezing income for the property. After testing out some ideas on friends, Eric had the idea of using their space to open a Vegan eatery, using the lockdown as an opportunity to hone his culinary talents. To this date, I have never met a four month old that can do what Eric’s baby can. When it comes to the food, Golden State Vegan is special.
The texture and visual appearance beneath the perfectly crunchy shell is as crab, as crab can be. Your nose is treated to the fresh scent of the dill and sour cream sauce that tops the cakes. Golden State Vegan has done a standout job here.
Who does not love peanut butter? If you don’t, obviously skip. If you do, you would go crazy for Golden State Vegan effort. With enough sauce to go around for every bite, there is a perfect balance of heat and flavour with every mouthful.
Golden State Vegan – Tuna Steaks
If this is not Tuna, what is it?! What could it be?! The light, refreshingly crisp texture and the sweet flavour, the tuna steaks are covered in sesame seeds. Possibly the most shocking of all of the dishes, it epitomises how vegan food like this can give new perspective for the meat obsessed.
Golden State Vegan – Scallops, Pumpkin, pistachio, peanuts and power.
With an almost ice-cream smooth puree, the the crunch and bite of the peanuts and pistachio match perfectly as you can alter your spice level with the chilli oil provided. Even the lineage that runs up and down each scallop as you cut into it mimics that of an actual scallop.
Golden State Vegan – Spicy Spaghetti
If you need to have some real spice on your plate, or you are Thai, this would be the dish for you. Aldente spaghetti, root vegetables and greens. Enough to make any Italian blush, this plate will give you all the heat you need, nutritional value your body craves and a more than generous portion your stomach will thank you for.
For all of the vegans out there, Golden State Vegan HAS be next on your Bangkok Vegan Eatery list and I will be shocked if you do not go back. For all you eye-rolling, hippy-stereotyping, closed minded, milk mad meat munchers, make this the next time you try something for the first time; you must just surprise yourself.