Thursday, June 14, 2012 0

Hibiscus - delicious vegan food!

By kat in ,

On one of my last days of internship, some colleagues and I wanted to part ways via a good meal together. I chose Hibiscus because 1) I wanted something light, 2) I wanted to take advantage of my last TTC monthly pass xD and 3) I never had vegan food before!

So we trudged our way over to Kensington Market where this small eatery is tucked away among the many marked and unmarked stores on its streets (I made sure I used my TTC pass even though it was a walkable distance - Asian level: A). It's really easy to miss Hibiscus unless you're on the look out for it!

We all ordered the same thing: their signature Soup & Salad Combo ($8.83 inc. tax). Long green beans, tofu, beans, chick peas, raw broccoli, qinoa, carrot hash, alfalfa sprouts, beets, sesame seeds, a raw cracker, and probably more good stuff that I don't remember on the top of my head. The top white creamy paste was also particularly delicious.

A very different kind of salad than the conventional one - in a good way. At the first sight of the neatly organized chopped vegetables and beans, I was reminded of bibimbap. I was hesitant too, thinking it's just random raw vegetables, beans and whatever grew in their backyard placed together. But it was surprisingly really good! Their signature salad really grows on you with every bite.

And that piece of "raw cracker" was kinda like a very, very thin piece of 100% whole grain cracker (made with what felt like 10 different types of grains) with the chewiness of beef jerky. Let's just say it was addictive and one piece wasn't enough.

 The soup was squash puree with ginger. The wholesomeness and natural flavours of this soup really complimented the salad and the vegan experience.

In fact, both the salad and soup made my first vegan experience a huge success! It is easy to assume and feel that a meal like this is simply a few hand-picked vegetables from someone's backyard, washed and chopped up into a bowl. In fact, it probably is just that. But thankfully, Hibiscus has culinary coordination - best part of the salad is that the texture and flavours actually come together to make it more than the sum of its individual components. The most surprising part was that the meal was very filling - and there I was, worried at first that I had to grab a snack after to fill myself up. Nope, that did not happen at all. I was barely able to finish all that grain + veggie goodness.

A wonderful quaint and dainty vegan cafe that did not fail to delight both my taste buds and meet my expectations of a holistic, authentic vegan experience. Service can be a bit slow since it's a fairly small shop with only 2 staff in the front. But I will definitely be back to try their lactose-free ice cream that I keep hearing good things about!

238 Augusta Ave
Toronto, ON M5T 2L7
(416) 364-6183
Monday to Sunday: 11 AM - 6 PM

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Hibiscus on Urbanspoon

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