4-course Vegan Christmas Meal at Hungry Tapir | Kuala Lumpur
As more of us are starting to become aware that we don't need to eat turkey or lamb during Christmas or any other festivities, interesting vegan food creations pop up even more like mushrooms.
The Hungry Tapir café in Kuala Lumpur had recently introduced a 4-course vegan festive spread as part of the Christmas celebration.
As an adventurous vegan, I wanted to try it.
So I asked my friend Colleen to be my date on the 24th as I knew she would be down for it, too. Such a blessing to have a friend with a can-do-it attitude.
Now, you must be thinking —
How much was it?
Was it good?
Was it worth it?
I'll let you know towards the end after I show you the pictures and let you drool.
AMUSE-BOUCHE: Vegan Pie
For the appetizer, we had this warm pastry with mushrooms stuffed inside. We were surprised at how perfect the pastry itself was. And it's interesting how there were a couple of blueberries on the side that gave it a slightly sour taste. Surprisingly, they suit very well. There was a bit of beetroot hummus at the bottom but I lowkey wished there was a small bowl of it. But no, this was a fancy lunch at Hungry Tapir—which by the way the interior was very aesthetically pleasing—so the food presentation must look stylish.
STARTER: Sweet Potato, Spinach & Quinoa Salad
I thought this should have been the appetizer and the vegan pie the starter. Nevertheless, this too was surprisingly good. I swear, only vegans know how to rock a salad. This one had a sweet tinge to it. Not the artificial type. And not just from the sweet potato, we thought. They might have added some sweet syrup—maple?—into the mix. Whatever it was, this salad, though plain it may seem, played with our taste buds very well, preparing us for the next course.
MAINS: Vegan Turkey and Steak
There were two options for the mains and since it was the two of us, we ordered both options and had the best of both worlds.
Vegan Turkey on Kabocha and Tom Yum Puree with Cranberry Sauce
I don't think I've ever eaten turkey in my life. It's not a thing in Southeast Asia where I grew up. Or it's just not a thing for my family because we don't celebrate Christmas. But Colleen loved it! The vegan turkey probably had chickpeas and nuts. It could've been a veggie burger for all I know. Traditionally, the cranberry sauce is served with turkey and so this isn't an exception. There was cranberry sauce on top and I thought it's interesting to eat a fruity condiment with a savoury dish. But it's considered normal and there are other weirder things in the world. Oh and I only found out that kabocha is a type of winter squash.
Vegan Steak on Potato Puree with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
I'm not sure which I liked better: the turkey or the steak. I thought I preferred the turkey but now that I'm reflecting on it, I think I might have actually liked the steak more. Hungry Tapir's steak was a soft but delicious vegan steak. Even though the texture was not at all like a "real" steak, the taste was superb. Lots of herbs and spices that were marinated with it, I assume.
The inside was red and kind of imitated the not-so-well-done of a steak, I suppose. I guess that put me off a bit and that's why I initially thought I didn't prefer it that much. Having eaten steak for the first 21 years of my life, and now knowing what the poor animals went through, seeing even a near-exact imitation of an animal part lowkey freaks me out. But that's an irrational feeling so I got over it.
Both Colleen and I kind of anticipated the Yorkshire Pudding. It's been a while. However, we were slightly disappointed with it. That's what you get for hoping too much. It did look like Yorkshire pudding. But the texture wasn't at all like it. It was basically a plain cake. Even the owner/manager of Hungry Tapir admitted that they need to work on it.
Also, I thought that perhaps there should be more gravy to eat with the pudding regardless of the texture. I'm such a gravy person and so the lack of gravy meant that it wasn't very satisfying. Thankfully, the mock meats and roasted vegetables made up for it.
DESSERT: Christmas Pudding and White Christmas Parcel
Just like the mains, this too had two options. We enjoyed them both!
Christmas Pudding with Cinnamon Vanilla Sauce
This was YUMMY!!! I loved it. Colleen said it's the best Christmas Pudding she's ever tasted. I probably would have loved it better if there was more vanilla sauce (maybe serve in a small cute pot?) or instead, Kelava's vanilla ice cream. But, I understand, this was a fancy lunch and Hungry Tapir wanted the meals to look impeccable.
White Christmas Parcel with Cherry Sauce
What's inside, you might wonder? Apples! It was basically an apple pie but with a fancy name. It was delicious. Honestly, both of their desserts were flawless. But I don't think I'd consider the parcel as a dessert; more like a tea-time meal. So for this round, the pudding won.
DRINKS: Tropical Soda and Hot Chocolate
The soda was served with the appetizer and the hot chocolate just before dessert. Both were nice and suited the course they were on. As a crazy chocolate person, of course, I enjoyed the hot chocolate very much.
OVERALL — Worth My Money and Time!
The 4-course spread was RM90 (sans tax) per person, if you're an early bird. Otherwise it was RM110 (sans tax). So with tax it was nearly at RM100.
It may seem expensive but I think it's worth what I got in return.
I got to experience a Christmas-themed vegan meal course with my friend Colleen.
Pro tip: bring a date along so that you can try everything in the menu. Since the mains and dessert had two options each, we ordered both options and shared them!
Yes, the Yorkshire Pudding did not have the same texture as the original, and the texture of the steak was questionable but other than that—the meals were BLOODY DELICIOUS!
I felt honoured to be a part of Hungry Tapir's first-ever Vegan Christmas special and tasted their food which was all made from scratch.
I'm not sure if all of the ingredients are locally sourced (probably not all considering the kabocha) but I'm happy that they were all vegan. Based on a study I read some time ago, the kind of food you eat has a greater impact than where it's sourced from. So this means a fully plant-based meal that is not locally sourced is better for the environment (and animals of course) than a meat-based meal that are locally sourced.
But of course, a plant-based and locally-sourced meal would be better but hey, if so we couldn't have enjoyed a typical Christmas meal.
I really hope they keep up this new tradition so that more people may enjoy it with their loved ones without the expense of any animal.