Bo.lan – Bangkok

Bo.lan is not just one of those restaurants where you go for dinner, it’s one of those restaurants where you go to make memories; memories of the best Thai food you’ve ever eaten, memories of maybe even one of the best meals you’ve ever eaten?

To put it simply; if you love Thai food, you’ll love Bo.lan.

If you’re a vegan and you love Thai food then you may struggle to contain yourself as this is one of those places where they no only cater for all dietary requirements, but they excel at making beautiful, delicious plant based creations that will take your breath away.

The Bo.lan dining room - where all the vegan magic happens.

The Bo.lan dining room – where all the vegan magic happens.

Be warned though, after you’ve eaten there you’ll feel compelled to tell the world how good it was and you’re friends and family might get tired of you lamenting about ‘flavours’ or ‘foodart’  or just saying ‘mmm’ alot as you remember the food.

You may also find yourself planning a return visit, contemplating re-routing flights via Bangkok to squeeze in another meal or worse case mourning the fact you may never get to eat there again.

Think we’re exaggerating?

Read on to relive our amazing vegan meal with us and see why Bo.lan is now one of our favourite restaurants of all time.

The Vegan Food Quest is all about ‘Finding, Eating and Writing about the Best Vegan Food in the World’ and there’s no shortage of this at Bo.lan.

The Vegan Food:

It’s a good sign when the welcome drinks and snacks are amazing.

This lemongrass and pandanas juice served in a pretty miniature goblet, alongside steamed peanuts certainly did this to us. Such a simple beginning to our meal but one that left us smiling as we’d never tried the humble peanut served this way.

It goes without saying that we’ll be seeking them out again.

Beautifully refreshing, we were tempted to buy these pretty goblets from the small display of products for sale.

Beautifully refreshing, we were tempted to buy these pretty goblets from the small display of products for sale.

Soft, mellow and nutty inside with a natural sweetness, steaming peanuts are a tasty and healthy way to eat this nutritious nut.

Soft, mellow and nutty inside with a natural sweetness, steaming peanuts are a tasty and healthy way to eat this nutritious nut.

Too officially begin our ‘Bo.lan Botanical’ tasting menu, we were served ‘Ya Dong Grachai Dum’ served with local sour fruits; a small glass of rice wine, accompanied with a tiny panadas jelly, some local sour fruits and chilli salt.

It certainly woke us up with the alcoholic, then sour and salty flavours.

It certainly woke us up with the alcoholic, then sour and salty flavours.

Then came our amuse bouche; a pretty collection of bite sized delights full of delicious Thai flavours.

Bo.lan Botanical ‘Amuse Bouche’; we ate it and then instantly wanted to eat it all again.

Bo.lan Botanical ‘Amuse Bouche’ in all it’s glory.

Sweet, spicy and fresh flavours from the 'lemongrass laab' salad, laced with fresh coconut.

Sweet, spicy and fresh flavours from the ‘lemongrass laab’ salad, laced with fresh coconut.

 A soft, stuffed dumpling.

A soft, stuffed dumpling.

 A cured mushroom that was salty and slightly sour with a soft texture that just fell apart, paired with a miniature salad.

A cured mushroom that was salty and slightly sour with a soft texture that just fell apart, paired with a miniature salad.

A crispy rice cake topped with local fresh herbs.

A crispy rice cake topped with local fresh herbs.

 A local herb salad full of fresh herbal flavours dressed in a rich coconut cream.

A local herb salad full of fresh herbal flavours dressed in a rich coconut cream.

Arriving next was the ‘Single Plate of the Day’ – a dish of rice noodles and banana blossom with a spicy, coconut creamy sauce on the side to pour on and a local vegetable and herb salad to be mixed in.

Striking presentation for this fun ‘DIY’ noodle dish

Striking presentation for this fun ‘DIY’ noodle dish

The one thing to say about this dish is that is was spicy; it had a creeping chilli heat that was so good that we just couldn’t stop adding more of the spicy sauce to get that chilli euphoria.

he sweet and creamy flavours seemed to balance it out meaning that although we had a real chill afterglow at the end of eating it, we could really taste all the other flavours going on.

The noodles...

The noodles…

The salad...

…and the salad.

The ‘Single Plate of the Day’ assembled with the most delicious chilli spiced sauce.

The ‘Single Plate of the Day’ assembled with the most delicious chilli spiced sauce.

When our main course(s) arrived, our table was filled with delightful dishes of vegan and plant based goodness.

‘Southern Style Red Turmeric Soup with Lotus Shoots’ - Spicy, earthy and savoury broth full of fresh vegetables; light and tasty.

‘Southern Style Red Turmeric Soup with Lotus Shoots’ – Spicy, earthy and savoury broth full of fresh vegetables; light and tasty.

‘Stir-Fried Mushroom and Young palm Heart with Holy Basil’ - The fried Holy Basil on top added a new texture to this spicy stir-fry.

‘Stir-Fried Mushroom and Young palm Heart with Holy Basil’ – The fried Holy Basil on top added a new texture to this spicy stir-fry.

‘Isaan Style Curry of Local Vegetables’ - So rich with coconut, sweet, spicy and creamy yet bursting with flavour from the fresh curry paste made with coriander seeds, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon alongside regular Thai spices.

‘Isaan Style Curry of Local Vegetables’ – So rich with coconut, sweet, spicy and creamy yet bursting with flavour from the fresh curry paste made with coriander seeds, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon alongside the regular Thai herbs spices.

‘Local Salad with Herbs’  - Beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat; this salad was spicy and fresh with lemongrass and chilli flavours, with the edible flower and salad garnish being surprisingly delicious.

‘Local Salad with Herbs’  – Beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat; this salad was spicy and fresh with lemongrass and chilli flavours, with the edible flower and salad garnish being surprisingly delicious.

‘Salad of Grilled Banana Blossom’ - The banana blossom was soft and dressed in a zingy and sour dressing made with light coconut milk, laced with fresh coriander, basil and roasted rice flavours.

‘Salad of Grilled Banana Blossom’ – The banana blossom was soft and dressed in a zingy and sour dressing made with light coconut milk, laced with fresh coriander, basil and roasted rice flavours.

‘Relish of Yellow Beans with Turmeric and Young Ginger’  - Crunchy, sweet, salty and spicy.

‘Relish of Yellow Beans with Turmeric and Young Ginger’  – Crunchy, sweet, salty and spicy.

A small plate of sweet fried needle mushrooms, rose apple and cucumber arrived to cool our chilli hot mouths - who knew rose apple was the cure to spicy chillies?

A small plate of sweet fried needle mushrooms, rose apple and cucumber arrived to cool our chilli hot mouths – who knew rose apple was the cure to spicy chillies?

And then to dessert, or pre-dessert in this case; an icy, sweet glassful of deliciousness with candied sweet potato, agar agar jelly and lemon basil seed.

Getting us prepared for dessert…

Getting us prepared for dessert…

Our actual dessert was nothing short of heavenly; a sautéed coconut cream with tapioca pearls and a slither of jackfruit hidden in the bottom. Accompanied by some sweet potato crisps, each mouthful was a blissfully sweet, creamy, savoury, soft and crunchy symphony.

Vegan heaven looks like this.

Vegan heaven looks like this.

Creamy and sweet sautéed coconut, tapioca pearls and crisp sweet potato combined to make an awesome dessert.

Creamy and sweet sautéed coconut, tapioca pearls and crisp sweet potato combined to make an awesome dessert.

But even this wasn’t the finale; shortly after we’d polished off our much loved dessert, we received a platter of petits fours meaning more dessert bliss as we worked our way through the little mouthfuls, all displayed artfully on a slate.

It was dramatic, to say the least, and pure indulgence for our vegan selves to be presented with such a celebration of sweet things.

This is a dessert that vegan dreams are made of…

This is a dessert that vegan dreams are made of…

We admit that we were a bit ‘dessert drunk’ as we picked up each little gem to try; we remember a peanut candy, a ‘banana paste’ that was like a banana flavoured toffee with a deep caramel taste and a crispy rice cake that was light and toasty.

There was a chewy and soft pandan flavoured layered cake, a thai ‘white chocolate’ made from coconut that had the texture of a peppermint cream and a savoury sweet dumpling that was delightfully soft.

There were local fruits and chilli salt, agar agar jellies and a Bo.lan toffee that we saved until last and sat silently chewing with smiles on our faces.

Vegans are often miss out on a really good dessert unless we’re eating in a vegan restaurant; not at Bo.lan though, in fact, vegans don’t miss out on anything at Bo.lan.

The Vegan Food Quest Verdict:

Make a reservation at Bo.lan for a fine dining Thai meal that will leave you with food stories to tell your friends back home.

Order the ‘Bo.lan Botanical’ tasting menu for an adventure in Thai cuisine that will set the standard for just how good vegan Thai food can be.

Enjoy the variety of dishes, the beautiful food art, the skilful balance of sweet, spicy, sour and salty flavours as you work your way through each delightful course and let yourself be indulged with the 3 course dessert.

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We were guests of Bo.lan but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.

Bo.lan

24 Sukhumvit 53 Alley,
Watthana,
Bangkok 10110.

Opening Hours: 6pm to midnight, Tuesday – Sunday

Email: contact@bolan.co.th

Telephone: +66 (2) 260 2961

6 thoughts on “Bo.lan – Bangkok

  1. Randi

    So glad to find this. We are debating whether to go here on our trip. There are so many poor reviews on Tripadvisor, and it’ll be during VegFest so there’s SO much to eat, but your recap is stellar!

    Reply
    1. Vegan Food Quest Post author

      Hey Randi,
      I’ve read the TripAdvisor reviews and it’s weird how much this place splits opinion! We really liked it, but then we ate the vegan menu which most people don’t eat. We recommended some other travellers went there who ate fish and they felt the food was also really good so who knows? Personally, it’s still some of the best Thai food I’ve eaten – we loved the creativity, the fresh ingredients and the way things were presented. It’s weird when people say they’ll stick to street food which they think is better in comparison to a place like this! The two kinds of eating just don’t compare in my book – two completely different worlds! I’ve also been to other restaurants who use similar concepts but I genuinely felt the experience at Bo.lan was better. Would be interesting to hear what you think if you head there?

      Reply
  2. eileen

    What a fantastic review. Your photos and descriptions paint a picture of a vegan food experience not to be missed when I next visit Bangkok.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Vegan Food Quest Post author

      Thank you very much, glad you enjoyed reading it! We really enjoyed our meal there, let us know what you think when you visit (you should definitely make a reservation there to try the Bo.lan Botanicals menu!) We have loads of tips for Bangkok and we’re always happy to share them, such a great city for vegan eating. Thanks for reading x

      Reply
  3. Sarah White

    Hi
    I’m going to Bangkok with my daughter in February. The food sounds amazing. How much would we expect to pay for a 3 course meal for 2?

    Reply
    1. Vegan Food Quest Post author

      Hi Sarah! How exciting that you are going to Bangkok – so much great vegan food to eat there. We thought Bo.lan is a wonderful restaurant for a truly special night out – their current Bo.lan botanicals dinner menu is THB2,680++ per person or THB2,280++ per person for the smaller version, you can also go for lunch and order some single plates but I think their concept is really about serving the degustation menu so I’m not sure if you can order 3 courses a la carte. If you look on their website you can click though to their current menus to have a look at the dishes they serve. They are very accommodating for began guests but do make sure that you let them know when you are making your reservation. We’d love to know how you get on so drop us a line if you get there and let us know what you ate. Have fun in Bangkok!

      Reply

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