Astig Vegan: Purveyor of Vegan Filipino Food Recipes to prove that Filipino Food can be vegan, healthy, AND delicious all the same time without losing its soul. AstigVegan recipes are developed by Richgail Enriquez. For questions or inquiries, feel free to email email@example.com
My boyfriend Chris loves to put great thought behind every gift he gives me. But then again, he loves to put great thought in everything he does! I’m proud to have him in my life and proud to be his date for Valentines Day.
Before dining out: Red roses and Vegan Godiva Dark Chocolate (I looove dark chocolate).
For dinner, we headed to Lers Ros Thai in SF. Chris said he researched this place and found out it is the most critically acclaimed Thai spot in the city.
For starters, we ordered Tom Kah Soup, which was promptly served on our table. Look at that flame!
I’m giving the soup an “A” for presentation as well as taste. The flame added a visual pizazz and I love that they incorporated oyster mushrooms in the ingredients. The tangy-savory coconut broth plus the mild flavor of the spices gave a nourishing feeling that relaxed us down and put us in an even more pleasant mood.
Having vegan appetizers at a Thai restaurant wouldn’t be complete without ordering fried tofu. We found out the one we got was nothing unique from what we had in the past. They did give us generous amounts though. The sauce wasn’t bad either but Chris and I didn’t use it too much because we discovered how delicious the fried tofu were if they were mixed in to our soup.
For main entree: Vegan Pan Fried Pad Kee Mow. I specifically mentioned no fish sauce and no meat and the servers gladly accepted my request. This rice noodle dish had the right amount of grease. Too bad it was a little too spicy for me, I guess that’s why they put a bunch of crunchy bland bean sprouts next to it-to subside the spiciness. I took my time taking a bite.
We also ordered Pra Ram. Chris loved the peanut sauce coating the fresh vegetables. Other restaurants would sometimes have their Pra ram broccoli too mushy, but this one had the perfect texture. We ate our Pra Ram with brown and white rice.
Their infamous Papaya Salad. Ok, there’s a story behind this one. Chris said he kept hearing rave reviews about THE Lers Ros Papaya salad. The reviews came from publications like the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, etc. The salad has so much reputation Chris and I just had to order it.
As it turns out, this salad was EXTREMELY SPICY. I mean, every papaya strand was coated with crushed chili pepper. I didn’t intend to send it back to the kitchen but Chris sensed I couldn’t eat it. The staff graciously replaced it with something relatively less spicy-but still super spicy for me. Chris agreed it was indeed too much as he sweats profusely after taking a bite. The staff ultimately volunteered to take it off our bill. I felt bad but they were in good spirits about the whole thing.
For dessert, we planned to order the classic sticky rice with mango. The server sadly told us they didn’t have mango that night but have durian instead. Now, I don’t know about you but durian is notorious for its pungent, repulsive scent. In other words, durian literally stinks-or so we heard. Chris and I had never tried it before so we boldly opted for it.
Chris was especially excited because his family is originally from Davao, where durian is the hometown fruit.
Contrary to our expectations, the durian didn’t stink but tasted amazing with a coconuty, fruity taste blending well with the creamy sticky rice. It reminded me of the taste of jackfruit but more savory than sweet.
When we got home, another gift awaits:
I’m slightly obsessed with loose leaf teas, especially Ti Kwan Yin Oolong Tea. Chris got me the highest, fanciest grade from the Aroma Tea Shop! He’s the best!
What I got him for Valentines Day: (Nothing too fancy like his, but equally thoughtful )
I baked vegan Raspberry Truffle Brownies. Chris is a big fan of having berries and sweet fruits in his desserts so I thought he’d love these. I got the recipe from Isa Chandra’s site, Post Punk Kitchen.
The pink heart shaped container was one of the gifts I got from my foodie penpal. I’ll blog more about that later.
I put the truffle brownies inside these DIY Valentines Day Treat bags. I got the idea from the site, Twig and Thistle.
at the back:
I printed and posted some DIY Vday stickers.
It was a lovely Valentines Day date. I wasn’t a big fan of all the hype but I guess it changes when you’re spending it with someone sweet and special.