The World Vegetarian Congress was held from last Friday to this Wednesday in Jakarta. I can safely say that I was in ecstasy each time I dropped by the event.
Living in the south side of town, I am deprived of easy access to vegetarian restaurants
or ingredients such as stocks or protein flakes. yes, yes, fake meat is not that healthy but hey, I could use a little treat now and then.
Anyway, the congress was more packed than I thought, the lectures and people were quite interesting. and the food? not bad at all. There were about 20 food stalls selling vegetarian, mostly vegan, treats. What was also cool was that they were mostly Indonesian food and street food I’ve missed so much and could only watch my friends savor since I decided to quit eating meat.
For example, there’s the rendang, one of the crown jewels of Padang cuisine.
Originally its beef cooked until tender with yummy, yummy spices and rich with coconut milk. I thought such pleasure was history to me but voila!
I think it was actually better than real rendang, cause it’s more tender and the fibres don’t get between your teeth.
Another treat, which was especially to my friend Ananda Ayu’s delight, was empek-empek. These are originally fish cakes served with sweet-sour sauce. These ones are vegan and used seaweed as the substitute.
The rendang was probably the best, but I also treated myself to my own personal favorite: mie ayam or chicken soup noodles. The “chicken” was protein flakes and the dumplings were filled with mushroom. mm!
And so I went on a little spending spree. Aside from pigging out, I also took home some seaweed, condiments (one jar was given free because the lady at the stall was so delighted to discover I was also a meat-shunner) and jerkies. Yes I know they’re probably gross to most people but there are some days when no tempe is available and I am not in the mood for sugary soy bars.
Good times.I discovered some interesting facts. For example the number of vegetarians and vegans in Indonesia has been rising sharply for the last few years, and that the Indonesian vegetarian society is one of the most active in the world. well who would’ve thought?
Well now that the craziness has ended, I wish those vegetarian restaurants were closer to my place! or..hmm, probably not…:D