Going Vegan for a Day!

Food Issue 179 Nov, 2016
Text by Numa Shakya

Are you the kind of person who cannot live without eating meat? Is meat a part of your everyday diet?

If you ask the same to me, I am quite neutral; I can live without eating meat, but meat is a part of my everyday diet, consequently, maybe, making me an anti-vegan person. I am not sure, because I have never given it a thought.

Consuming meat products doesn’t make me guilty, thus going vegan, consciously too, is out of the question. But a new taste now and then, even for a ‘chickiterian’ like me is always interesting and impelling. So I thought, which led me to trying out the dishes at Bliss Raw Café, a vegan restaurant hidden behind the kora of Boudha.

I ordered their popular bliss rice paper rolls, vegan sushi roll, and bliss rainbow salad. I was a bit hesitant when Kathryn Sunantha, the owner of the cafe, started explaining to me what being a vegan meant, “No dairy products, no meat, and no butter.”  

With the very essence of Newari cuisine ripped off; going vegan sounded like a foreign idea that I would never come to terms with. Veganism of course is not a bad lifestyle; in fact, it is a much healthier choice.  

As I mulled over its meaning, I began to realize that veganism wasn’t a completely new idea for me. In some way, I could relate to veganism, because we also celebrate the holy month of Gunla when we abstain from meat, practicing ‘ahimsa’ ourselves.

Just like Bliss Raw Café, which too is inspired from the idea of ahimsa, meaning to practice good virtue, ergo, good virtue starting from diet. The food here tastes subtle; actually, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the food here tasted of kindness.

Bliss Rice Paper Rolls is stuffed with organic greens, sprouts, and hummus paste, and is decorated beautifully with fruits and served with smooth black lentil soup. It’s like dim sum, but with a healthier taste. It’s fresh, and hence, crunchy. I liked the boiled mushrooms that came with the platter, which was seasoned with sprouts and sesame seeds. It tasted like chicken. 

The vegan sushi roll is a must-try. However, since it uses the same ingredients, sprouts and organic green veggies, garnered with mango and avocado paste and seasoned with sesame seeds, the taste is almost similar to the paper rolls. But I would suggest ordering this if you are here, because it is milder and yummier. 

The Bliss Rainbow Salad was another surprise. The combo of cold noodle with green veggie salad, sauced in avocado and mango sauce, tasted ripe. 

And, for a sweet tooth like me, nothing tasted better than the café’s special, ‘Don’t worry be happy’, chocolate-smoothie grinded with banana, organic cacao powder, maca powder, and cashew milk. The smoothie promises benefits such as healthy bones and good energy, but it won my heart because of its rich taste. 

Brunch at Bliss Raw Cafe definitely won’t be a wrong number. But it certainly will surprise you at a lot of levels, because veganism underlines strictures like no dairy products, no fried food, and no food cooked over 48 degree Celsius heat. And, it will surely leave you to question your conscience later, or thoughts of conscience to curl upon on your bed.

Ever since my brunch at Bliss Raw Café, the question of my diet and conscience has been tickling me. Kathryn Sunatha’s, “You are what you eat” has been troubling me for good reasons. Because good food sometimes is hard to take, and for a perplexed person like me, blissful and kind things do give me indigestion ;)

But, I am guessing, this could be a start to going vegan sometime in the future.