With the emergence of Veganism the “go green and eat clean” thinking has been on the rise for a while now. With no meat, eggs, milk, honey or any animal products incorporated into their diets – it takes just one non-vegan to wonder how diverse the palate of a vegan truly is? Whilst Vegetarian options [...]


Vegan ventures

The Mirror Magazine this week delves into the Vegan eateries and home cooks that Colombo has to offer

With the emergence of Veganism the “go green and eat clean” thinking has been on the rise for a while now. With no meat, eggs, milk, honey or any animal products incorporated into their diets – it takes just one non-vegan to wonder how diverse the palate of a vegan truly is?

Whilst Vegetarian options are easily found in Sri Lanka, being vegan is a tricky affair. So here’s our curated lists of vegan eateries and home cooks in and around Colombo.

The VoV Coffee Lounge

Pix courtesy VoV Coffee Lounge

The VoV Coffee Lounge short for the “Voice of Vegans”, is a fairly new kid on the vegan block speaking to patrons with the aroma of healthy fast food.

“I kind of became a joke,” founder Shashika Eranga laughs as he recalls his past disastrous dining experiences in Sri Lanka.

A vegan himself, Shashika shares that eating out didn’t bode well for him as he always had to explain the restrictions of “veganism” to restaurant service staff much to their irritation and Shashika’s growing hunger.

Soon ‘spontaneous dining’ was almost impossible for Shashika after living off a vegan lifestyle in Canada for two and half years years. “Being vegan is a big thing in Western Countries!” Shashika shares adding “when I came back to Sri Lanka I Googled some vegan ventures and was disappointed to find out that the majority operated through home-based pre-orders.”

Taking his hunger pangs into his own hands Shashika dived head first into opening a vegan café. Initiating operations on Vesak poya day last year. Shashika laughs at the irony of his ventures auspicious opening date stating “it also just so happened that Veganism and Buddhism go hand in hand.”

Over the course of a couple of months his vegan venture blew up allowing Shashika to officially dub it The VoV Coffee Lounge .“I wanted to create an ambiance of affordable veganism,” Shashika adds when questioned on his low prices (iced teas priced at Rs.100 and in-house chocolates at Rs. 50).

With a multitude of future expansion ideas for his little cafe, the VoV Coffee Lounge can currently comfortably seat 10 to 15 patrons at a time. With head Chef Rohan Siriwardene manning the cooking station, Shashika taking the helm and a friendly, chatty service staff on the docks the restaurant has been smooth sailing as they aim to bring a “homely experience” for diners.

We specialize in “Vegan Junkfood” Shashika shares with a laugh that it’s not the average salads offered at the VoV café which instead celebrates “Western (American) style dinning”. Currently serving a range of pastas, burghers, and even expanding into Mexican cuisine “we keep trying to be innovative and our Chef makes everything from scratch,” he says.

The café is famous for their “Dinklage Burger” – named after the famous sharp witted dwarf from Games of Thrones. The unique quality of the Dinklage is that the Burger is made out of wheat gluten which takes four hours to make from scratch. later boiled in various spices in order to recreate a ‘meaty’ taste.

The restaurant also offers the “DiCaprio” burger which uses Jack Fruit as their core ingredient.

The café does delivery and take out. For more information log onto https://www.facebook.com/TheVoVLounge/

Address – 22/3, 00600,    Ramakrishna Rd,Colombo


Flow Health Bar
Perhaps one of the first food outlets to bring Vegan food and awareness to Sri Lanka back in 2014, the Flow Health Bar, found a niche for a demand in health food in the country at the time.The founders of the flow health bar began by establishing a stall at the good market almost four years back.As we learn at the recipes at flow are plant based, non-processed, raw and grilled. The concept we are told is not to force veganism just to add more vegan food into one’s daily diet.

The Flow Health Bar is famous for their green juices and their cold press juices.

They’ve pioneered the supply of various healthy refreshments like the Kombucha Tea into the dietary tracts of hungry patrons.

Their green juices come packed with leafy greens such as gotu kola and other local varieties. These juices are nutritious although “they may be hard to get your tongue round” a staffer at Flow Health Bar tells us.

For more information check out www.facebook.com/FLOWhealthbar/ or flow-loving.blogspot.com/

Address: 28, Ward Place,  Colombo 7


Délicieux  (Vegan Home Baker)
Celebrating 5 years of home baked Veganism, founder of Délicieux – Manesha Pieris happily shares her views on veganism and the growth of her business.

Lamington cake. Pic courtesy Délicieux

Albeit largely catering to the vegan sweet tooth, Manesha has also tried her hand at a variety of savory products. Her vegan sausage and burger patties are made with fillings of tofu, soy beans and even mushrooms. For the sausages Manesha goes that extra mile by making her own sausage casing crust with no eggs or dairy.

One of her best sellers is her Vegan ice cream made with options of soy or coconut milk bases. “Since I started this venture I have a lot of people come forth and contact me, asking for vegan food recommendations etc.” She takes no easy route taking into account customer allergies and preferences. “We also do a wide range of vegan cupcakes, cakes, brownies… you name it,” Manesha laughs. However, one of her more popular desserts is her “Dark chocolate Klubnika” – a decadent dark chocolate cake with three layers of dark chocolate frosting topped off with fresh strawberries each layer has a different texture.

Recently Délicieux launched the “Lamington Cake”- a vanilla vegan cake soaked in chocolate syrup and coated with coconut crumble. Another of Manesha’s personal recommendations is their Crushed Pineapple Cake which she says is “ our rendition of a pineapple upside down cake.”

Délicieux has also expanded to include several gluten-free and flourless options in their menu.

“In Sri Lanka we have a lot of people who want to take a slow approach in becoming vegan,” Manesha says. “At Délicieux we want to support a person in this process,” adding that her customisation of food balances ingredients allowing customers to get acquainted with the loss of familiar products like egg and diary without feeling its loss.

A full time academic who enjoys baking, Manesha says that whilst she is a huge foodie she has been vegan for some time. Her business aims to create alternatives to dispel vegan stereotypes.

“At Délicieux I’ve been fortunate to have very open minded customers.” However adding that in order to create awareness of veganism a large portion of responsibility lands on the shoulder of vegan bakers and proprietors. “I think we have a duty to fix our products to a customer’s budget and meet them on a common ground while at Délicieux providing them “a fusion of taste.”

Her understanding from experience is that getting into veganism can be a challenge, especially for those who have “a pre-defined idea of a meal in their minds and are reluctant to see a chang.”

She encourages non vegans to remove the labels and “experiment and fall in love with the food”… not the label.

Log on to Délicieux at https://www.facebook.com/DelicieuxCakery/

Address – 43, Veluwanna Terrace,Colombo 09

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