For me, Veda was love at first bite.
One breezy late autumn evening, I found myself sitting at the newly renovated, two-storey establishment, reopened just this month, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, luxuriant greenery and contemporary decor.
Veda is not only committed to creating a unique plant-based dining experience for both vegetarians and meat eaters, but they also welcome city dwellers to relax with their furry friends al fresco on their pet-friendly terrace.
As I was immersing myself in the relaxed ambience, a vintage wooden jewellery box landed quietly on our table, and my curiosity was aroused.
“The name ‘Veda’ derives from the Sanskrit word vid, representing knowledge and wisdom, from which we drew inspiration to create this cocktail library,” our friendly mixologist Art Fatkullin said with enthusiasm. Inside the wooden jewellry box, a wide array of cocktails are categorised like an encyclopedia. Options for low- and non-alcohol drinks are also available.
Normally, I let the mixologist whip up something depending on what I’m in the mood for, but that night, I decided to be spontaneous and just randomly pick a card from the box. And voila! It was the sexy, sophisticated Sazerac ($140), the holy grail of historical cocktails. I precisely remember the drink’s seductive sunset colour, voluptuous aroma and strong, smoky flavour.
We first tried Veda’s samosa chaat ($125), chickpea-filled crispy puffs garnished with tamarind, yoghurt and coriander. The crunchy shell and starchy filling offer the perfect balance of textures and flavours, while the accompanying pomegranate seeds add a nice burst of acidity. It’s impossible not to love this dish.
The talented chefs at Veda are clever in paying homage to classic Indian street foods with innovative twists. This sweet potato chaat ($80) is another example of bringing a combination of crunchy and creamy flavours to one’s palate, although the samosa chaat had already stolen my heart.
The miso-glazed roasted pumpkin ($120), served with goat’s cheese, chestnut and mizuna, has a distinctive rich, rounded flavour. A dish with vibrant vegetables like this one proves that cooking is a philosophy rather than just a recipe.
Veda’s menu presents itself as a mix of Eastern and Western cultures, and the paneer tikka “escabeche” ($130) is an example of the culinary team’s versatility (and Executive Chef Raul Tronco Calahorra’s Spanish heritage). The beautiful brick of paneer marinated in smoked paprika escabeche, bathed in a luscious, tangerine-coloured makhani curry, is notable for its succulent texture and sweet, buttery taste. An aromatic and juicy grilled maitake mushroom sits atop the paneer. As I guiltlessly scooped up the last drop of makhani curry on my plate, everyone at the table nodded that this dish truly stands out from the rest.
Another must-order is the Silk Route momos ($100), a Veda signature, homemade with a spinach and ricotta filling. The finely chopped spinach and ricotta are steamed and softened together to achieve a velvety, creamy texture. The lightly spiced, jammy tomato chutney pairs well with the dumplings, and if you’re fond of chilli, the jalapeño sauce is also a must. This dish is a great example of Veda’s motto of celebrating our planet with minimal processing of fresh ingredients while bringing out their vibrant flavours.
Veda’s aloo gobi ($175) showcases a large chunk of roasted cauliflower, with melt-in-the-mouth potatoes suspended on top. The cauliflower retains a pleasant crunch and sweet, nutty flavour. It’s paired with curry leaf pesto and a moreish sauce made of lentil and coconut.
The dhal Muradabadi ($180) is a traditional vegetarian Indian street food. This hearty and healthy lentil dish is served with a big piece of crispy papad and colourful pico de gallo.
I always save a little room for dessert, particularly something like this enchanting Basque-style masala tea burnt cheesecake ($98), which features a soothingly sweet and mellow flavour contrasted by a dense and creamy texture. The fresh strawberry and cherry tomato garnish reminded me that this is a perfect sweet treat for Christmas.
Veda’s well-thought-out vegetarian menu is exciting for plant- and meat-based eaters alike. The restaurant’s world atlas of expertly curated cocktails is also too good to be missed. I’ll definitely bring my friends here soon for a feast of vegetarian delights.
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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