As if it isn’t shameful enough that Mumbai has zero exclusively vegan restaurants, its fancy eateries are embarrassing the city with mostly insipid fare that has been disappointing all the vegans. I’m a busy man who works six days a week, has cats to look after, bands that make music, and idiots to argue with on Facebook, so when I visit restaurants (that don’t even serve alcohol) three suburbs away for meals that aren’t cheap, it better be worth my time.
I ate my first vegan pizza at The Village Shop a year and a half after going vegan, and their Vegan Warmer (450/-) wasn’t too bad, but it didn’t make me want to eat it again. I had the best pizzas as a non-vegan at Alfredo’s, and The Village Shop‘s pizza didn’t do much for me.
However, I would go back for their Shiitake Falafel (a really good mushroom burger, 425/-) and The Nutwich (walnut pesto sandwich, 395/-).
The Birdsong Cafe uses cashew cheese too, but is extremely stingy with it. Their Bird Song Marguerite (tomatoes and vegan cheese, 385/-) would have been really something had it been loaded with the cheese. Even those who’ve had the Farmer’s Pizza (it has a lot more toppings) have observed that The Birdsong Cafe is terribly miserly with the stuff that everybody wants more of on their pizzas. But the biggest disappointment was their Almond Pesto Pasta, a dish so bland that I had to leave it midway. When you’re paying five hundred rupees for a pasta, the restaurant should have some vegan cream or vegan butter or vegan whatever the fucking dish needs, yeah? I won’t be going back to The Birdsong Cafe even though their vegan cold coffee is the bomb.
When it comes to being lethargic, Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe takes the fucking shit-cake. It is fucking understood by anyone who has ever eaten a slice of pizza that a pizza without cheese is like bhelpuri without chutney, but Ray’s Pizzeria has the fucking nerve to say things like “It is said that cheese is one of the 12,733,028 pizza toppings, so try our cheese-less pizzas.” And all their vegan pizzas are cheese-less, because these lazy pieces of shit want your money and want to seem cool by having “vegan options” on the menu but don’t want to make an effort to give you vegan cheese. Would Ray’s Pizzeria and Cafe have the shit in their ass to convince non-vegans that they don’t need cheese to enjoy a pizza? Because it’s easier and cheaper to steal milk from cows and buffaloes that have been tied to a spot, forcefully impregnated, injected with hormones, separated from their children, and will eventually become another topping on their fucked-up pizzas, right?
So now here’s what any restaurant that wants to offer the vegans a pizza should do:
- Make it cheesy. Have more than one vegan cheese on the menu. Buy local vegan cheese. Import vegan cheese. Make your own vegan cheese. Vegans don’t care how you do it – if you’re making them pay through their asses, you should be able to pull something out of your hat.
- Veggie toppings are great, but have mock-meat toppings as well – most of us went vegan not because we stopped enjoying the taste or texture of meat but because we didn’t want to continue funding the meat and dairy industries. This will also make vegans drag their meat-loving friends to try your cruelty-free food and switch to healthier eating habits.
- Read the two points above carefully. Vegans want their pizzas and food in general to be exciting enough to make everybody else to know that they’re missing out on a lot of good food and a much better way to live. So make sure there’s enough cheese and proper toppings because the taste is not going to come from your ass.