Calm, soothing music; comforting, eastern decorations; attentive, but never overbearing service; and, of course, amazing food. That, in a nutshell, is Dharma Kitchen.
What the Hell is Tempeh?
Tempeh is one of the meat replacements that Dharma Kitchen uses, most notably in their burgers. It is essentially, fermented tofu – okay, that might not sound too appetizing, but trust me, its excellent. Dharma Kitchen marinates their tempeh in red wine, before grilling it.
You can find tempeh in their burgers and rice bowls, and it is highly recommended you have something with tempeh.
So What’s Good?
The burgers (yes, the ones with tempeh) are excellent – if you like spicy food, try the Bengal State burger, which is smother in a spicy peanut curry sauce. The salads cannot be underestimated; they aren’t your average side salad. Mounds of fresh lettuce, grated carrot and grated beat are accompanied by high quality ingredients such as avocado.
If a rice bowl is more your things, try the NuCao bowl (again, spicy). It is filled with vegetables, brown rice and grilled tempeh, covered in the same spicy peanut sauce as the Bengal State burger. Finally, if you want to try one of their mains, try the basil tofu curry; I know, it doesn’t have tempeh in it, but the basil curry sauce makes up for it.
One More Reason to go?
Dharma Kitchen is had a far nicer atmosphere than restaurants with a comparable price (around $12 for mains). It is cozy, comfortable and never, ever overcrowded. The service is always fast, but never rushed. They bring water (with lemon in it) without asking and often come to fill it up.
The atmosphere matches the name and the food. Eastern carvings, statues and pictures adorn the walls and empty spaces, and calm music fills the restaurant. Along with the food, you might really believe you’re in a Buddhist monastery (okay, probably not).
There’s Really no Meat?
None. Dharma Kitchen is 100% vegan – no meat, no milk, no eggs, no animal product of any kind. The meat is replaced by tofu or by the aforementioned tempeh (seriously, you’ve gotta try it); any cream that might go into a curry or sauce is replaced by coconut milk; any milk they might need is replaced by soy milk.
If you believe that vegan food is be bland, boring or just average, Dharma Kitchen will set you straight in a hurry. They make honest, flavourful, healthy food without any animal products whatsoever. If you’ve always wondered about vegan food, this is the place to experience it.