A fully vegan restaurant means not having to think about anything except what on the menu looks like it will taste the best! In the case of Nam Vegan Restaurant, thinking about what to order is no small deal as they have a lot of dishes to offer and everything looks good!
Nam Vegan Express - Vegan Restaurant
Located on 10th Avenue in New Westminster between Cariboo and Cumberland, NVE is in the same outdoor strip mall as the Hi-Five Chicken that we once visited in a past life. Place your order at the counter and they will bring you your impressive food when it is ready.
We started by trying their Bao Buns. Nice and fluffy as you would expect, the buns were filled with just enough impressive vegan pork that I'm sure most people wouldn't know the difference.
The Fried Shrimp in tempura batter were also quite impressive. The texture was the surprising thing here as the shrimp had just a bit of that familiar snap and even had some pink colour. They did not have an overly briny shrimp flavour but we honestly didn't come here to eat seafood so we enjoyed them just as they were, with Thai sweet chili sauce.
So, the Fried Fish doesn't look like you may expect. It is wrapped in nori of some kind that provides a nice oceany flavour while the 'fish' itself has brilliant texture. We try not to rate things according to their closeness to the more common sacrificed animal, but we could have been eating fish. NVE kindly marks all of their vegan 'meats' with a "v" on the menu so you don't have to think twice. The tomato sauce also really hit the spot here.
The belle of the ball for us was the Pan Fried Stuffed Eggplant. Stuffed with their house made tofu mixture and served with mushroom vegan oyster sauce, this was substantial and tasty! A bit salty and rich, we're not sure what the tofu mixture is but we would order it again!
Not all places that have vegan options have a vegan dessert so it was hard for us to pass up the Vanilla Strawberry Cake! Delicious!
Not a huge place, NVE is run by the chef and her son, if I understand correctly from their web site. At one time, I think they might have been all take-out but there are a few tables. The room is kind of homey but not too fancy. BTW, in case you assumed we were gluttons, at least half of the food went home with us including an order of very impressive Pho that I forgot to photograph! Not a very professional move I admit, but we are avowed amateurs. We'll be back to try more from the menu!
Food 4 out of 5
Vegan Options 5 out of 5
Comfort 4 out of 5
Service 4 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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