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With documentaries like Seaspiracy and The End of the Line illuminating the dangers of overfishing, it’s easy to understand the appeal of plant-based seafood as a solution to decreasing the pressure on our marine ecosystems.
OmniFoods, well known for their line of imitation pork products, recently launched a new line of plant-based seafood products. The seafood alternatives come in a range that mimics the taste and texture of white fish fillet, tuna, crab and salmon. All are free of trans fat, cholesterol, hormones, artificial colourings, preservatives and MSG and are made from plant-based proteins including non-GMO soybeans, rice and peas.
We’ve been munching on imitation crabmeat since the 80s, so we were curious to see what this new “woke” generation’s seafood alternatives taste like. And what better way to try OmniSeafood than at Kind Kitchen by Green Common, a plant-based grocery store opened by the OmniFoods founders.
The OmniSeafood tasting menu ($168/person) is only available for dinner and features a tidy three-course menu made up of starter, main and dessert.
Our starter came in the form of two samplers: OmniTuna tartare and O! crab toast. The OmniTuna tartare was topped with cubes of creamy avocado, tomato and crunchy diced pepper. We liked the contrast in textures, although it’s important to note that the tuna here had the consistency of tinned tuna rather than tartare, which usually features raw fish.
The crab toast was our favourite of the two and had the texture of real crab alongside an authentic hint of shellfish sweetness, even though the mixture was on the garlicky side.
A nod to traditional Cantonese cuisine, the spicy storm shelter OmniFillet featured the “golden nuggets” product line under a mountain of crunchy breadcrumbs. We were told that the crunchy crumbs were crispy garlic, but since they were devoid of any garlicky notes, we deduced that they really were breadcrumbs. Nevertheless, this was a flavourful dish, especially when paired with the dried chilli, scallions and black beans – a clever take on a Hong Kong classic. The golden fish nuggets were crunchy, but a tad on the dry side, and we couldn’t detect much of the flaky effect of real fish as the nuggets were quite small. This dish came alongside a healthful bowl of riceberry rice.
For an upgrade, we were able to enjoy Kind Kitchen’s new line of tea-based drinks topped with salted vegan milk foam (+$28). The kale lippy tea was our favourite for its subtle, aromatic sweetness, while the roselle lippy tea featuring perilla tea was very tart.
Another reimagining of a classic Chinese dish, the OmniFillet in lemon sauce was plated beautifully, showcasing sweet, citrusy flavours over a bed of courgette ribbons. The fillet here was much larger than the one above, so we were able to see how similarly the imitation fish flaked compared to real fish. We preferred the texture of the larger fillet to the golden nuggets.
Dessert was a variety of flavours, ranging from a mini muffin, to homemade apple pie (more like tarte Tatin), to a vegan “snowball” that reminded us of frozen yoghurt. We preferred the chocolate muffin over the lemon poppy seed option and enjoyed the rather healthy snowball to round off our plant-based tasting.
An eye-opening experience of the new generation of imitation seafood. We think the textures of OmniSeafood are quite similar to the real deal, and we can foresee buying some of these plant-based alternatives as a way to switch up our consumption routine. In particular, the tuna and crab would make for great sandwich fillers.
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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