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Dinner at Le Pain Quotidien

Vegan Stroganoff LPQ

Le Pain Quotidian introduces a special vegan menu! 

One day I got a tweet from LPQ that they wished to invite me for a dinner on Thursday to try their new vegan menu.Wow, a whole vegan menu at LPQ! Sure I wanted to try it out. With a zillion restaurants of various cuisines now in Mumbai, the one's serving European food typically have the least amount of vegan options. So a French restaurant with a dedicated vegan menu was most amazing!

Not being sure who the other guests would be, it was a lovely surprise to find friends whom I have known since I turned vegan. Ritika Ramesh from Green stove, Anand and Vidhya Siva, who have been saving animals forever with their lovely daughter Shaswati and Harini Prakash from Tongue Ticklers and her lovely daughter Harsha, amongst the other guests.

The dinner was a gastronomic affair with several courses and we were served large portions of all of it.

We started with a nice light lemon drink and  the Mediterranean platter, that comprised of a choice of interesting and varied breads and 3 dips.. red bean hummus, beetroot caviar and baba ghanoush. The red bean hummus and beetroot caviar were very good, the baba ganoush could’ve been more smoked or a little more flavour.

Then we were served the tartine, 3 triangular crisp slices of bread with toppings of red bean hummus, corn and spinach and the avocado.  Once again the red bean hummus with some toppings and a thin slice of avocado was great. The buttery avocado spread with young sprouts was also good with fresh bite, though most of us preferred one over the other.  The spinach and corn needed some more flavour was what all of us felt. With an additional dash of crushed pepper, mine tasted way better.

The next course was the soup, Minestrone. Everyone liked it, and it was a good soup.  But since the flavour of celery isn’t something I enjoy, I didn’t have much of it.

The next was the salad, we had a choice of 2 salads. One was the Shitake and forest Mushroom cob salad and the second was watermelon with fresh aragula salad, with a maple mustard dressing. The people who chose the watermelon one didn’t have a great feedback, with the typical comment that it was a touch too sweet. I chose the shitake mushroom one and was very happy with the choice. The salad was delicious with just the right dressing for shitake mushroom which usually has a very strong taste of its own.

In the main course we were offered 3 choices, Mushroom risotto, vegetable stroganoff with herb spice, and a potato roesti with vegetable ragout. I opted for the stroganoff, and it was a great choice. The potato roesti seemed a bit dry and was the least favored. The risotto had good feedback, but the stroganoff was simply yum. The broth and the rice were perfectly flavored and complimented each other well, and every bite was.. well delicious.

And finally came the dessert. Fruit flan and carrot cake. Even as we were being served we were warned about the flan being too hot. So we dug into the carrot cake first. See normally I don’t care much for anything sweet in food. So end up having desserts very rarely. But this carrot cake was divine. Mildly sweet and lightly spiced melt in your mouth goodness.

The flan was also great as far as I was concerned. They had used melon for the fruity part, which was perfect for me since its not too sweet, and the crust seemed crisp and melty merging well with the fruity syrup. But on the whole everyone gave it a more mixed response. We all loved the carrot cake.. :)

While leaving we met the very enterprising Neil, who was behind this concept and marketing it. He spoke about how important their clients are to them and how they are trying to introduce more options based on diet preferences of people today. Way to go LPQ! The whole effort by LPQ to include a vegan menu is great, and the food is really good. I'm a fan already and  it will definitely be appreciated by everyone. 

Wishing LPQ all the success!