26th June 2013

Harrow is doing me proud, I never thought I would end up living somewhere where there would be such vegan choice so close by:

Gujurati? We got it. A vegan Chinese? We got it. Vegan cheese topped pizza? We got not one, but TWO options.

And now the lastest additions to the list, Vietnamese and a South Indian dosa joint!

Cafe Nem‘s menu has a little too much choice (poor me right!) so I tried to get a mix of the mock meat and vegetable based dishes on my very first take out order.

The prawn toast and banh xeo (sizzling pancake) were far too oily. The curry was very similar to Chinese curry which was disappointing since I was expecting something in the realms of Pho. The cripsy noodles pictured above have vegetarian baby ribs with tomato, ginger and spring onion on them (more on that below). I was expecting the ribs to be similar to the Yummy V dish which are crispy but these were  very meaty and actually made me nervous. Forunately I had Mr Ikeda, meat expert on hand:

Mr Ikeda: ‘Trust me that’s NOT meat, it’s tofu or something.’

Me (tofu expert): ‘Trust ME, that’s not tofu.’

So happy in the knowledge it was neither tofu or meat and thus something (!), I contentedly munched away and would again.

I somehow managed to eat quite a lot of the meal before realising the mixed vegetables for the crispy noodles were missing, and then ate a bit more before actually trying to find them. It turns out these had slid under the drivers seat on the journey back, retrieved they were enjoyed correctly with the remainder of the noodles for breakfast the next day. If you have not had crispy noodles before, the topping you chose comes with a thick sauce that softens the noodles.

Oh and the prawn crackers which were complimentary, are imported and expensive so it is only a small portion.

Although they don’t mark dishes vegan on the menu (‘vegetarian & no egg’ is used) I was told over the phone when ordering they don’t use dairy a lot, mainly in the desserts. There are plenty more things that have piqued my interest like the vegetarian salmon so it probably wont be too long before another meal, especially as they have non vegetarian dishes to keep Mr Ikeda happy and we found out they will deliver to us. Score!

Cafe Nem on Urbanspoon

After accidentally stumbling across a Saravanaa Bhavan I ordered my first ever dosa, a super thin pancake made from lentils. Sometimes doing crazy things like trying something you have never even heard of before pays off. It was love at first bite, literally.

I then resigned myself to never having them again as this particular branch of SB was in Southall, land of nightmare traffic jams. Two months later I discovered there was a branch in Harrow! Well of course you did Mitsu, we all knew this story was going to have a happy Harrow ending.

The lovely little man at the restaurant deduced I was a vegan from my intense questioning and kindly crosssed out everything that wasn’t vegan on their takeout menu. I actually really love their plain dhal which is the princely sum of £1.25, the regular stuff has ghee in.

It is a little disappointing most of the curry dishes I would usually go for are a no no because of ghee and they won’t make it without. On the up side it made me try some things I might have missed, like lentil donuts (vada) and a saucy rice concoction (bisibelabath).

Saravanaa Bhavan on Urbanspoon

I think may have run out of new places to try in Harrow, unless anyone knows otherwise…?

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