A vegan paradise in Phrom Phong.
This two-story vegan bistro exudes positive vibes from the moment you ascend the bright staircase. Green plants and natural light provide the setting for vibrant and creative dishes, ranging from jackfruit larb tacos (B280) and gyro-style “chicken” habibi wraps (B290), to passionfruit cheesecake (B165) and homemade kombucha (B160). Even carnivores will find dishes to love here.
At a time when the rest of the world has warmed up to plant-based cuisine, Bangkok remains in a purgatory of tepid khao gaeng and Caesar salads. Vistro is out to change that.
Like many upmarket-casual vegan restaurants, you order at the counter here, and while the staff is warm and welcoming, service can be slow. On our last visit, it took several requests to get our drinks, and the starters came out after the mains. Not that there’s much difference between the two. The Vistro Dumplings (B220), stuffed with a mixture of tofu, sesame and spring onion, and served with crunchy, flash-fried soy protein balls, are so filling they might as well be an entree. They just can’t escape the unfortunate stereotype that haunts a lot of vegan food—they’re bland. That’s despite being bathed in chili oil and kombucha vinegar.
Other dishes don’t have this problem. The Habibi Wrap (B290) is proof that Mediterranean cuisines are perfectly suited for plant-based diets. Wheat flour wraps packed with hearty soy protein, lettuce and red cabbage receive generous pours of tzatziki and tangy chimichurri. It’s filling, delicious, nourishing. The bright, fresh beet ravioli (B260)—beetroot pockets stuffed with truffle “cheeze” served atop lemon-coated rocket—is just as satisfying.
Plant-based, Phrom Phong, green, global. This place might be calling out to the one percent of us who enjoy silent meditation retreats in Bali, but the food is so comforting, the flavors so far-reaching, that Vistro might finally force the plant-fueled paradigm shift this city’s food scene sorely needs.